Saturday, August 14, 2010

Speaking of Washing....

What  you need to know about caring for that adorable fluff....

General Wash Instructions:
1) Wet diapers can just be tossed into your diaper pail or hanging wet bag until laundry time.

2)  What about the poo? If its breastfed poo, don't worry about it. Just toss the soiled diaper into your diaper pail. Formula poo or once you baby starts solids need to be dumped/rinsed in the toilet and flushed before you put the soiled diaper in your pail. A diaper sprayer or flushable liners make this task a little easier.

3) Make sure your detergent is cloth diaper safe.

4) Washing: We wash our diapers here every 2-3 days depending on how ambitious I am feeling. My pail liner, diapers, and cloth wipes hit the wash together. I run a cold/cold prewash with no detergent and then a hot/cold wash cycle with an extra cold rinse. Your diapers should come out smelling fresh (no hint of stinkies). If you still have some stank, an extra rinse cycle may take care of it. Rinsing out detergent is very important with cloth diapers. If you are still experiencing stink and/or repelling issues, a good stripping may be neccessary (which we will discuss below. 2-3 drops of tea tree oil can also help with smell issues and is anti-bacterial. Don't be afraid to experiment with your wash routine. How you need to wash your diapers can affected by your type of washing machine, type of diapers, and detergent. My method is a pretty standard reccomendation and works well for us.

5) Drying: Line drying diapers is the best...for a few reasons. 1. it saves 50-60% on energy costs. 2. line drying in the sun will "sun out" tough stains on your diapers or liners. 3. line drying will extend the life of your diapers. And 4. line dried laundry smells delightful. Now we live in when winter comes, goodbye line drying. I would have icesicle diapers. Diapers can then be hung to dry inside or dried in the dryer.  Diapers should dry on medium heat in 60-90 minutes. Diapers or covers containing PUL (the waterproof layer) are best allowed to air dry or dried on low. If your PUL starts to be leaky it can be dried on hot to reseal the PUL. This should only be done about once a month. Make sure you check the care instructions on your specific brand of diaper to extend the life of your diaper.

6) DO NOT use fabric softener in the wash or dryer sheets. They will cause repelling issues and are just down right icky. They contain toxins and will coat you washer and dryer. Wool or synthetic dryer balls work wonders in the dryer. They speed drying time, help with static, keep your diapers soft, and keep the toxins off your clothes. We have 4 lavender scented wool dryer balls that bounce around our dryer and I LOVE THEM. If you feel the need for fabric softener in the wash 1/2 a cup distilled white vinegar is an option. I have also heard baking soda works. Both our cloth diaper and regular detergent contain baking soda, so I have never experimented with natural fabric softener in the wash.


When you first recieve you cloth diapers in their pretty, brand new packaging, most will contain oils or  from the manufacturing process that repell water so they need to be prewashed or "prepped" before you put them on your baby's bum to ensure optimal absorbancy/effectiveness. Think of running water over a brand new, unwashed wash cloth or towel. The water just beads off and doesn't absorb into the cloth. It is the same with cloth diapers and inserts.
Some cloth diapers require more prep than others. Generally your diaper's manufacturer will have prepping instructions so make sure you check. 3-5 washes is a general prepping reccomendation. Diapers become more absorbant over time. To prep, toss them in with your towels, other cloth diapers, child's laundry. If a new diaper leaks when you try in on your baby....inadequate prep work is usually the culprit. This happened to me with our GroVia diapers. Simply wash it a few more times and try again.
The worst part of prepping is the anticipation of getting that adorable fluff on your babies bum.


Got a case of the stinkies? Does your diaper REAK as soon as it gets wet? Having leak issues with a diaper that has always worked well in the past? Build-up in your diapers is to blame. Build-up happens when residue left by detergents, oils or other substances remain in the fibers of your diaper/insert. No worries...easily fixed. Strip those babies.

Make sure you wash your diapers before putting them through the stripping proccess as stains may set if you don't. You don't need to dry freshly washed diapers before stripping them.

The WASH Method:
Wash: Run your stinkeroos through a HOT wash cycle with NO detergent.
Rinse: Rinse your diapers again and again with the hottest water you can muster from your machine. During each rinse cycle, check to see if there are soap bubbles on the top of the water. Rinse until you don't see any more bubbles. It can take up to 4 or more rinses to get all the build-up out so don't get discouraged.

Not Working?
If your stripping process didn't make a difference with the could be because you aren't using enough detergent when washing. Try running a wash cycle, upping your amount of detergent.

The need for troubleshooting happens. If you are having problems let me know and we will find an answer.

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