Be sure to CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR before trying something new or something you are unsure of!
I use bleach on just about everything that goes in the wash for Evan. With infection at such a high risk it just eases my mind, KILL BACTERIA. I try to be as "green" as I can but when it comes to keeping things clean to keep my child healthy, bleach is the first chemical on my list. As it destroys colors, I tend to save one load for those favorite outfits. I do not use much, just enough to help clean.; about a tablespoon or two per load.
-Detergents free of dyes or perfumes
Ok a little contradiction going on with bleach 1st on the list. I use these types of detergents for a few reasons. Many people are sensitive to smells, I know I am. So having very smelly perfumed cleaners can be nauseating especially on little baby lungs. Dyes don't really makes sense anyway. Why would you wash your clothes with dye? Isn't the point to get them clean? I avoid both in Evan's laundry but always add a splash of bleach to ease my mind.
-Use the HOTTEST water setting on your washer
As Aqauphor is made up of grease, hot water will "melt" it away. I have a sanitizing cycle on my machine which uses very hot water. Our water heater is set at a very high temp to begin with (as it heats our house) so even out of the faucet, it is too hot to touch. This does help with the laundry as well as cleaning up Aquaphor around the house.
-Keep you machine clean
On a regular basis you should run a few empty loads to clean out the machine. Aquaphor will build up in places you can't even see and will keep building up with the more loads you do. My machine has the added Bruli hair combined with Aquaphor which creates a yucky mess. I usually get the Tide washing machine cleaner. It's fragrance is very strong so I run 1 or 2 HOT empty cycles to flush it out. I throw something like dish towels in for the first load as the fragrance might still be sticking around. I wont put Evan's clothes in until the 3rd load or so. Front loaders can be tough to work with but no matter the type of machine you have keeping it clean and "aqauphor free" will lengthen its lifetime.
-Spray & Wash w/ Resolve
I found this to be quite helpful for your own clothes. Aqauphor stains everything! And this product seems to work the best. It may take more than one wash and all fabrics are different but there hasn't been an Aquaphor smear I couldn't get out. Though Aquaphor stains don't bother me much, this product works great for that really special shirt or outfit.
-Try cleaning the machine with dish soap. This worked very well for me once I figured out the correct amount of soap to use. Trial and Error.
(Added from post- Laundry Drama: Saving Your Washer. Published on July 25th 2013)
-For Front Loading Machines
Clean out the drain (pump filter) often and use washing machine cleaners to "clean" the machine. Dish soap works well too on a HOT cycle.
You wouldn't believe the crud I have found in here. Lot's of Aqauphor and skin build in the pump filter. **Make sure you have a dish to collect water, I use a cookie sheet to catch any liquid as you unscrew ***
-Shake out clothing excessively! You can get some good exercise doing this!
-Soak heavily soiled Aquaphor clothing in HOT (dish soapy) water before washing in machine. I use a pre-soak setting on my washer for this step.
-Run empty HOT cycles on your machine after Aquaphor loads.
-Clean out your machine weekly or biweekly (with a machine cleaner or even on the machine's cleaning cycle. BTW just saw the button on my Kenmore that it had a "clean machine cycle"- imagine that!) Products I have used:
as well as bleach, vinegar, baking soda and dish soap
-Buy an extended warranty and have your machine serviced yearly. Our new machine for Evan came with a 10yr motor warranty and optional 5 yr service plan. The plan cost the same as one service visit and it isn't a bad idea to have someone come out yearly to do that. FYI- they sometimes use a shop-vac to suck out things from the hoses or rubber drain area in front loaders and it seemed to help significantly!)
Since I did not take care of our other machine in the first few years with Ichthyosis, Evan was due for a new one. The front loader still works but will not finish cycles when Evan's clothing is in it. So we use it for our own clothing and it is working great.