Monday, December 3, 2012

Washing Cloth Diapers

Everything I read has different washing directions.  It seems everyone cleans their cloth differently.  Here is how I do it.  This works for me, I find it easiest and less time consuming.  

When the diaper is wet I pull the inserts out rinse them in the sink in cold water and then rinse the shell with cold water.  I ring as much water out as I can and then stick them in the wet bag.  Poop diapers I use flushable wipes, this way I can just dump the poop and the wipes into the toilet and flush.  Now, usually the poop is similar to play dough consistency  so it plops in the toilet pretty easy without much for marks on the diaper.  I want to eventually get a diaper sprayer and I am sure I will before baby #2 arrives.  For now, I simply rinse all the diapers in the sink and then toss them in the wet bag.  Now, I have never read anywhere where people rinse the diapers, even just wet diapers, before putting them into the wet bag.  However, I am extremely sensitive to smell, always have been, by rinsing it all first I am not overwhelmed by the smell of ammonia on wash day.  Rinsing all of the diapers first also alleviates extra rinse cycles on wash day.  Wash day is usually every other day.  I use Rockin Green detergent to wash the diapers.  I love the smell, and it gets the diapers extra clean with just one wash.  No more extra rinse cycles and double washes.  One wash, with one rinse cycle and you're done.  After they are done in the wash I hang them all to dry.  Sometimes I put the inserts in the dryer on low heat.  And, if I skipped a wash day and low on clean diapers I will throw the diapers into the dryer with no heat to dry.  I have only done this twice though.

So, step by step on how I wash cloth:

  1. Rinse diaper and insert as soon as you change the diaper, toss in wet bag
  2. Wash day, wash diaper with Rockin Green soap, one rinse cycle
  3. hang diapers to dry. 
It is as simple as that.  

Now, brand new diapers require washing BEFORE use.  You should always wash any item of clothing before wearing it, and especially baby clothes.  Cloth diapers require a special wash routine before use in order to absorb and prevent leaks.  Most inserts are cotton/hemp combination, or just cotton. There are some that are bamboo as well, either way, the wash is the same.  Cotton naturally has a waxy substance in it.  This is not ideal for cloth diapers as it prevents full absorption.  So, the inserts first need to be washed in a hot cycle, this will melt and remove most of the wax.  I also add an extra rinse cycle with this as well.  Also, the first wash I use Tide detergent.  It is a harsh detergent but not nearly as harsh as the others on the market.  I know many people who use Tide on all their cloth diaper washes, and not just the first wash.  It is supposed to be safe without deteriorating the PUL.  I have even used it a couple times in a pinch.  The tide will also help break down the wax and help make the inserts more absorbent.  Wash the diapers 6-7 more times, after that the diapers should be ready for use.  The inserts will be more absorbent with every wash, up to a point.     

Now, lets talk about inserts.  The inserts I use are a hemp/cotton mixture.  At night I double them up to prevent leaks.  During the day I only use one insert, as two is unnecessary and way too bulky for him to run around like a crazy child he is.   During the summer on really hot and humid days I liked to use either prefolds or disposables.  As much as I dislike disposables they were more breathable, and light and prevented the heat rashes and diaper rashes Owen would get.  I did not do this very often, only maybe one disposable diaper a day.    When I go out away from the house and I think I will be gone for more than 2 hours, I take disposables.  They are more compact, and so take up less space in my purse.  I also take the wet bag so if I have to change his diaper I can put the wet diaper in the wet bag.  

All of this is just what works for me.  Everyone has their own way of doing things, this is my way of doing it.  

1 comment:

  1. I also rinseby hand.
    Then I wash with cold and rinse with hot :)