Sunday, January 8, 2012

Washing Cloth Diapers

When washing cloth diapers, there is a basic wash routine that is recommended, which is:

Soak/Prewash in Cold with a Cold rinse
Heavy/Large wash in Hot with detergent (1/4-1/2 of the recommended amount) with a Cold rinse.
Extra rinse in Cold.

I always use the largest amount of water when washing.  When choosing a detergent for your cloth diapers, you will want to use one that is free of additives or dyes, as these can leave behind a buildup or residue on your diapers and cause them to repel liquid, which in turn causes leaks.  There are many opinions on which detergent is best, but I use Tide Original in powder form (this rinses out of fabrics easier than liquid).  I have switched to other detergents, but always end up going back to Tide as it seems to do the best job of cleaning for me.  A lot may depend on your water type (hard or soft) and any sensitivities your child may have.  Tide does have enzymes in it, but in my opinion they help to clean a lot better than a detergent without enzymes.  Rumparooz care instructions give some good information about cleaning and also the purpose behind enzymes being in detergent.

Occasionally, your diapers may seem to be repelling and causing leaks.  When this happens to me, I just make sure to do an extra (or a couple extra) HOT rinses (after the diapers have been cleaned of course) and that seems to do the trick.

I wash every other day or when my wetbag is full, whichever comes first.  You don't want to let your diapers sit in a wetbag or pail for too long or then you end up with ammonia and stink problems.

I dump my entire wetbag of diapers into the washing machine and then throw in the wetbag.  I do a soak and prewash on Cold/Cold.  Then I change the temp to Hot/Cold and do a heavy wash with 2 Tbsp of Tide detergent and set it to do an extra rinse on Cold/Cold afterward.

When they are done washing, I pull out the diaper covers, pockets, and wetbags and hang them on a clothesline to dry and the inserts and wipes (I use cloth when at home) go straight into the dryer, along with my All In One diapers (they take quite a long time to dry if I hang them).  I pull out any disposable wipes that have been used (everything can go right into the wash when keeps it easy) and throw them away, as well as any flushable liners that didn't end up being flushed as they were just wet on.  I throw in a couple of dryer balls to help fluff up everything and it helps everything to dry quicker (another option would be tennis balls) and I set my dryer to medium high heat.  If you end up drying your pockets, I would suggest drying on a low to medium low setting so that it does not ruin the PUL waterproof lining.  Make sure not to use any fabric softeners or dryer sheets on your diapers as this causes build up as well.

Sunshine is also a great way to dry your diapers as there is something magical about the sun that whitens your diapers, gets rid of any stains, and also leaves them smelling very fresh.  Give it a shot, it's pretty amazing!

And that's all there is to it!  

Happy Washing :)

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