Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cloth Diaper Series: Washing and care

Check out privious post here:  How to begin And Options and buying

OH NO!! Washing diapers!!! Sounds scary i know but i can assure you it is not as bad as it sounds. I can honestly say (and i know its weird) that my diaper laundry is my favorite to do! Yes i know it sounds crazy but i know that many cloth diaper mommies out there agree that it feels so satisfying and you have a feeling of giving back when you wash them instead of throwing them away.  It takes me less cloth wipes to clean a mess than disposable wipes and i don't need to smell them in my garbage for week.
Which pile looks better to you?

Basic cloth instructions

*pee diapers simply put in pail or wet bag
*poop diapers shake solids into toilet and spray or rinse away excess then put in pail
* Wash diapers every 3 days or less depending on stash size to keep stains and smells at bay
* first step cold rinse cycle no detergent
*hot wash cycle with recommended amount of detergent safe for cloth if not using a cloth specific detergent then use 1/4 the the amount needed.
* Do an extra rinse to get rid of any left over detergent
*dry on low heat setting or line dry

Stripping diapers: most diaper users will have to eventually "strip" their diapers this basically means to get rid of any excess detergent,mineral build up or anything that makes them repel water. You generally will need to strip when you notice they don't smell as good after washing this usually means build up or if the are not as absorbent.  There are many different ways to do it and different reasons why here are 2 great article about how and why for you to reference i love these sites and will also give links again for the main page at ens of post i love these sites that much!  Stripping: Zany-zebra   Stripping whys Pin stripes

So those are the basics here are some tips and do and donts for cloth diapers.  One big don't is the use of diaper rash cream or zinc oxide it will stain diapers and is hard to wash off there are lots of different natural products available to use for diaper rash if you need it they work great my personal favorite is coconut oil. and if you do need to use it they make disposable liners that you can use and they work good to catch solids so you can just toss in and flush.
If your having problems with odors you can try to add some baking soda to your first rinse cycle.  By far the best thing to remove stains and odor is to hang in the sun to dry. The sun is a fantastic natural bleach! My best advice on getting a good wash cycle down is to not give up, i live in an extreme hard water area and it took me a long time and a lot of advice to get it right. Avoid using detergents with enzymes or brighteners. If you have hard water you can add a downy ball with white vinegar to soften diapers or add directly to final rinse water. To add to the life of your diapers its recommended to line dry more often if  you have "crunchy" diapers you can run them thru a fluff cycle with no heat to soften them.

This is my personal wash routine: i live in an extreme hard water area and even with a water softener we still have mineral build up i had a ton of issues with stink for awhile and they just didn't seem clean and i was constantly stripping my diapers it was getting to be more work than i wanted then i finally got the right combo and rarely needed to strip and they are clean and smell good.

I spray my poop diapers with my sprayer and i sometimes rinse my heavy soaked overnight diapers if im not washing for few days. I add some baking soda to first rinse to help with odor. I use rockin green hard rock formula in my hot wash cycle.  Then i add a downy ball of vinagar to rinse cycle. I sun my diapers most of the year and toss my prefolds in dryer just before they are dry to un crunch them.

Dont be afraid to try a few different detergents either! I started with rockin green soft rock i thought i had soft water because i had a softener i was half right i still had the minerals so i thought it wasnt working and tried a different brand. Next i tries ecosprout which i really liked and it was working good and it really beat the ammonia problems i was having but i still seemed to need to strip alot. So i then tried the rockin green hard rock and i love it! I also noticed my stains are almost gone.

Here are a few resouces for you to use up first a video how to use a diaper sprayer

These are my 2 favorite resource websites they have everything you need for info about how to wash, tips  diaper making patterns, how to strip your diapers, diaper FAQ and so much more i check them out every time i have a question!

Pin stripes and Polka dots


Thanks for reading Keep an eye out for my final post in the cloth series about all the available accessories, How to use, and some reviews on what i like/don't like.  Minnesota Momma

1 comment:

  1. New follower! :-) Looking forward to reading more of your blog! I cloth diaper too! :-) Feel free to visit my blog! :-)