Friday, March 1, 2013

My Cloth Diaper Washing Routine

Washing Cloth Diapers

 All cloth diapers come with directions for washing. Sometimes they are vague, other times they are pretty intensive.  Each brand has varying opinions on how you should wash their diapers. Diapers should always be washed with a cloth diaper safe detergent. No colors, no scents, no softeners, no additives at all. You can check out this site for detailed information on some cloth diaper detergents and their effectiveness.
I'd say the two most common are Rock In Green and Charlies Soap. I use Rock In Green, it was the first one I tried and I have stuck with it. I have had no problems.

Before use you need to prep your diapers. Synthetic fibers, such as microfiber, just need one wash/double rinse. Natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo or hemp need multiple washes to strip the fabric of the natural oils. The oils repel liquid, so the more you wash, the better the absorbancy.

Here's the thing. When it come to babies and toddlers, you have to deal with poop. Eventually, you get over it. I got over it when my first was starting to potty train at 13 months.  If you are breastfeeding I have great news for you! Breastfed baby poop is water soluble! Yeah, so?! Well, that means you don't actually have to do anything with baby's poop. It is recommended that you breastfeed or formula feed exclusively for 6 months (meaning no other foods/solids). So in those first six months, if your baby only has breastmilk, all you have to do is throw the poopy diaper in the washing machine.  If baby has formula, or you introduce fruits/veggies early (or when you do introduce fruits/veggies), then you'll need to knock solids (poop) 
into the toilet. 
There are two products that can make dealing with poop a bit easier. One is a diaper sprayer, that attaches to your toilet. You can purchase one at a cloth diaper store, or you can make your own. Then when baby poops, you take the diaper to the toilet, use the sprayer to remove all poop, then throw the diaper in the diaper pail. The other item is biodegradable/flush able liner. These are placed inside on top of the diaper. When baby poops, you just take out the liner and flush it away with all the nasty!
If all you are changing is a wet diaper, then just toss the wet diaper into the diaper pail or dry wetbag.
*Store dirty diapers either in a bucket with a pail liner or in a wet bag. Do not soak diapers. That will attract all sorts of bacteria and yuck.*

You'll want to wash your diapers no more than every 3 days. Suggested rule of thumb is every 2-3 days. I do the wash every 3 days unless I have a lot of poopy diapers, then I wash after 2 days. In the beginning I was doing diaper laundry every day, until I built up my stash.

I am one of those people who HATES laundry. But for some reason, I really don't mind my diaper laundry, I'd almost say I like doing it, but that would sound strange.

Laundry Day! :)
Take your bucket/bag to the laundry room. Load diapers into washing machine. Start with a rinse cycle. I rinse in cold, because that is all my washer will do, some recommend rinsing with warm water. This will get some of the urine out and the rest of the poop in the diapers before you start your wash. After the rinse cycle is finished start the wash cycle.  I wash in warm unless I have poopy diapers, then I wash hot. Add detergent per recommendations on the package of your cloth safe detergent. Like I said, I use Rock In Green, so I add 2 Tbls of detergent. Once the wash/rinse cycle has completed, do another rinse. My machine has a button that will automatically add another rinse.

So, rinse (cold or warm), wash (warm or hot), extra rinse.

All soakers/inserts can be tumble dried (unless otherwise marked by manufacturer).
Microfiber dry the quickest, mine are usually dry in two 30 minute cycles. My cotton, hemp, bamboo soakers take 3 cycles to dry. My Thirsties All-In-Ones also take 3 cycles.

Hang dry all diaper shells.

When I only had a days worth of diapers I didn't use the drier at all. I washed at night then hang dried my inserts, they were always dry by morning.

On a side note. Never use diaper rash creams such as Desitin on cloth diapers. They will build up on the soaker and make it repel water, causing leaks. There are many cloth diaper safe bottom balms, such as 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is really helpful! Thanks! I am totally new to all of this. I am definitely doing the liners.