15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Baby Shampoo
This gentle parenting favourite has lots of uses in and out of the tub. From cleaning your eyelids to washing your floor, you'll find lots of uses for baby shampoo.
Wash your face
If baby shampoo is gentle enough for your baby’s scalp, then it stands to reason it would be gentle enough for your skin. Dermatologists often recommend that people with eczema (seborrheic dermatitis) use baby shampoo to wash their face every day. (Need more tips? Here are some common face washing mistakes to avoid.)
Painless adhesive bandage removal
“Just rip off the Band-Aid,” they say. But if you’re not brave enough (and who really is?), you can rub a drop of baby shampoo onto the adhesive, and it should curl right up off your skin. A dab of baby shampoo also helps remove any leftover cream or ointment under the bandage.
Clear your sinuses
A neti pot can help keep your sinuses clear and eliminate snoring, but if you add a drop of baby shampoo (a half teaspoon to eight ounces of saltwater), it can help you get over a sinus infection, according to Mas Takashima, MD, director of the Sinus Center at Baylor University. “We tell our children to wash their hands with soap, not with plain water, in order to clean bacteria from their hands. The same concept is being used in the sinuses,” Dr. Takashima says in a news release. (Also, be sure to follow these safety tips whenever you use a neti pot.)
Treat minor eye inflammations
Got red, itchy eyelids? You could have blepharitis, which is a common eye disorder often caused by bacteria, according to the National Eye Institute. Symptoms include itching, redness, burning, tearing, and crusting on the eyelids upon waking. Treatment involves keeping eyelids clean and free of crusts. Apply a warm compress to loosen the crust, then gently scrub your lids with a mixture of water and baby shampoo.
Clean costume jewellery
Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, right? So it wasn’t surprising to me when my jeweller recommended cleaning my engagement ring by boiling it in a mixture of baby shampoo and water. But did you know you can also use baby shampoo to clean costume jewellery, which is notoriously less durable than diamonds? Simply mix together one drop of baby shampoo and water, and apply with a Q-tip or a soft toothbrush, suggests jewellery manufacturer Stella and Dot. Then rinse with cool water and dry thoroughly.
Mop the floor
If you’re trying to reduce your use of harsh chemicals when cleaning your house, consider using baby shampoo. Many flooring and cleaning companies suggest using baby shampoo as an option for cleaning laminate floors. Try a mix of one to two tablespoons per gallon of water. It’s gentle, but it helps remove oils, and it rinses clean, without residue. (For a more natural solution, these vinegar cleaning hacks are worth a try.)
Clean and maintain your leather furniture and other items
There are lots of leather cleaners available for your furniture, shoes, and handbags. But in many cases, they might not need a special solution. Try a drop of baby shampoo mixed in warm water applied with a damp, not soaking wet, cloth. Then simply buff it off until it’s dry. “Good old baby shampoo mixed in warm water is a fine leather cleaner,” say the experts at Saddleback Leather Co.
Clean your leather jacket
Your leather jacket doesn’t want to be subjected to harsh cleaners any more than your leather furniture does. As with your leather furniture, simply dissolve a bit of baby shampoo in water, wipe it on the leather with a soft, damp cloth, and dry with a soft, dry cloth.
Handwash hosiery and other delicates
It stands to reason if your hose and other delicates call for mild soap, then what could be milder than baby shampoo? A gentle detergent like baby shampoo is good for your clothes—and the environment—when washing anything by hand, says the Sierra Club. (Plus, these other tips can help de-stink your clothes in a pinch.)
Hand wash cashmere
Cashmere is from the fine, soft underlayer or undercoat of hair from certain types of goat. So if baby shampoo is gentle enough for baby’s hair, then why not for your cashmere sweater? Simply hand wash with baby shampoo and lay flat to dry.
Unstick a zipper
Got a stuck zipper? Try putting a drop of baby shampoo on a cotton swab, then dab it on the zipper. As long as the zipper’s not broken, the shampoo will help the zipper run smoothly and the shampoo will rinse out in the wash.
Shampoo your dog
You’d think that if shampoo is gentle enough for a baby that it’s gentle enough for your four-legged best friend. But dog skin and human skin have different pH balances, according to the American Kennel Club. Using a human shampoo—even a gentle one—can be too strong for a dog’s skin, making it more vulnerable to bacteria and parasites. That said, if your dog rolled in something gross and it’s an emergency, a gentle baby shampoo is an OK option. Your own shampoo might work if it has soothing ingredients like oatmeal and aloe vera. (Keep in mind, this is the very best diet for dogs.)
Wash your makeup brushes
Dirty makeup brushes can be a breeding ground for bacteria. This can hurt your health and complexion by triggering acne breakouts and rashes, says the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Dirty brushes can also spread a serious infection caused by E. coli or a staph or fungal infection.
To keep your skin safe, the AAD recommends washing your brushes every seven to 10 days in a mixture of water and gentle shampoo. Only wash and rinse the tips. Squeeze out extra moisture, then lay them flat to dry. (Here are some other nasty consequences that can happen when you don’t wash your makeup tools.)
Make washable paint for fun kiddie baths
Tub toys are loads of fun, but sometimes kids just want to make a colourful mess in the bath. Just a drop of food colouring and a bit of cornstarch added to baby shampoo, and you have bathtub paints for your kids. How much easier does cleanup get than when you use soap-based paint?
Next, learn the sneaky ways summer could make you sick.