Kids’ Clothing Care: A Parent’s Guide to Preserving Those Precious Outfits

little boy in clean, stylish kids clothing standing outside on a staircase

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The right approach to clothes maintenance doesn’t just make your children look stylish. It contributes to their health, comfort, and well-being. 

No matter what age your child is, keeping their clothes in excellent shape is always a challenge. An educated approach to cleaning and preserving your kids’ garments can help you save time and money. Let’s take a closer look at professional tips and strategies.

Understanding Kids’ Clothing

To ensure the best appearance, functionality, and longevity, kids’ clothing manufacturers often use such fabrics as:

  • Cotton – this eco-friendly, durable, and breathable material works great for onesies, shirts, dresses, and pants. It’s also soft, non-allergenic, and impressively absorbent.
  • Linen – this natural fabric is a timeless option for kids’ clothing for the summer. While being highly breathable, it prevents sunburn and releases moisture quickly.
  • Fleece – while this fabric is synthetic, it’s highly popular because of its warmth, durability, and cost-effectiveness. It’s a great option for kids’ sweatshirts, hats, and jackets because it dries quickly and doesn’t retain odors.
  • Wool – this natural material can keep kids warm on colder days thanks to its excellent insulation properties. It’s also breathable and absorbent.
  • Bamboo – bamboo fabrics are soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic. They whisk sweat away from the body and keep children cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

No matter how wonderful the material is, it doesn’t always stand up to the kids’ timeless ability to wear anything down. Besides stains, rips, and general wear and tear, children’s garments can quickly become too small thanks to the famous growth spurts.

The Basics of Clothing Care

The key to keeping your child’s clothing in top shape is following basic care rules:

Reading the Label

Don’t overlook the washing and drying instructions that the manufacturer puts on the label. Following them carefully can ensure effective maintenance and longevity. If you need to cut the label off so it doesn’t bother the child, save it for reference.


To make cleaning easier, sort the kids’ clothes based on color and fabric type. For example, silk, lace, and wool require a more delicate washing than denim and cotton do.


The majority of kids’ clothes can be washed in mild water at 30-40 degrees Celsius (86 – 104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Choose a mild detergent designed for children’s clothing. These detergents don’t have harsh chemicals, fragrances, and dyes.

Use a gentle cycle when washing delicate kids’ clothing. If you are washing cotton or fleece, opt for regular cycles.


The majority of kids’ clothing can be safely dried on a low-heat setting. However, some of the more delicate items may require air drying. Check the label to avoid mistakes that could cause shrinkage or damage.

Removing stains

From food and grass to ink and mud, kids know exactly where to get the most stubborn stains. Some of the eco-friendly stain removal methods are:

  • Grass – equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water
  • Tomato juice or ketchup – white vinegar (soak before washing)
  • Ink – hand sanitizer or hairspray (rub into the stain)
  • Chocolate – equal parts of white vinegar and water

When using an off-the-shelf stain remover, always read the label. Allowing it to sit for too long could damage the fabric.

Special Care for Special Garments

While cotton, fleece, and bamboo garments don’t usually require special care, dressy and delicate children’s clothing does. Silk, wool, satin, and cashmere are among the fabrics that need a different approach. Make sure to use the most delicate washing cycle and an appropriate detergent.

Formal suits, dresses, and heirloom pieces usually need professional maintenance.  Always read the label carefully. In many cases, fancy delicate items require dry cleaning. 

Organizing and Storing Children’s Clothing

Storage and organization have a direct impact on the lifespan of your kids’ clothing. To make maintenance easier, you can:

  • Categorize clothing by type to make it easier for children to find what they need
  • Rotate clothing based on the season to simplify access to weather-appropriate garments
  • Take advantage of the available storage solutions (hangers, bins, organizers) to prevent clutter

Storing off-season clothing properly is key to ensuring its top condition. Take advantage of vacuum-sealed bags to maximize space. If you don’t use these bags, add moth balls to the storage space to prevent unpleasant insect encounters. Make sure to keep off-season or outgrown garments in climate-controlled spaces. Storing them in a hot attic or a cold basement could cause damage.

Teaching Kids About Clothing Care

Encourage your child to participate in maintaining their wardrobe. Teach them how to fold their clothes after washing and get their help with sorting the garments. When kids get a little older, take the time to show them how to hang clothes and use off-season storage bins.

By involving them in the process, you can instill good organizational habits that contribute to garment longevity.

Dealing with Tough Situations

Some of the clothing challenges that your kids come up with can be fixed at home. For example, you can use a stain remover to get rid of the stain or repair some of the smaller tears on your own.

However, if a stain doesn’t succumb to traditional methods or when the tear is too large, you may need professional assistance. For example, companies that offer dry cleaning services can take care of tough stains because they use specially formulated solvents instead of water.

Sustainability and Clothing Donation

Sustainability is becoming an important part of responsible living, and kids’ clothing isn’t an exception. Here are a few ways you can support sustainability with children’s garments:

  • Sustainable materials – you can buy clothing made from sustainable materials (organic cotton, linen, bamboo)
  • Donation – you can donate the clothing your kids have outgrown to charity
  • Repurpose – you can repurpose old kids’ garments to make doll clothing, quilts, pillows, cat toys, and more.
  • Recycle – you can recycle kids’ clothing through local Facebook groups, clothing banks, and community centers.

You can also take advantage of brands that recycle worn clothes for money. Some of them are H&M, Carter’s, North Face, and Levi’s.

Taking Good Care of Your Kids’ Clothing

Proper kids’ care begins with understanding fabric properties and reading the label carefully. With the right approach, you can make sure that your child’s favorite garments stay in top shape for years.

While the majority of kids’ clothing maintenance is DIY, knowing when to call the professionals can save you time and money. To keep your children’s clothing in excellent condition for a long time, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a trusted dry cleaner like OXXO Cleaners that Care.

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