Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dear Nicolle: Washing Cloth Diapers

Hi Nicolle,

My name is Mina and I enjoy reading all your articles.  I was really inspired by your article on cloth diapering and recently made the switch when my son was 11 months old and I really enjoy it!  We'll be having kid #2 at some point and I'm looking forward to CDing from the newborn stage.

I was wondering if you could share with me info about your washing routine.  I have an HE Front Loader and I've been experimenting with various cycles/techniques and I'm not sure I found a method I love just yet because the occasional microfiber insert may have a faint lingering odor after the wash.

What cycles have worked for you?  Do you use a disinfectant in every load?  What detergent do you like?  I'm using Charlie's Soap and I'm still on the fence about it since I sometimes have smell issues and it's "greeness" is a little controversial. 

If you can share any suggestions/tips that have worked for you, I'd really appreciate it.  If you have other CD recommendations/tips not  necessarily related to washing, I'm totally open to those too!

Thanks so much!



Dear Mina,

Thanks for the note. I am happy to hear that you have been using cloth diapers and liking it!  As far as washing, here is what I recommended in the original article:

All of these covers and diapers can be washed with your regular laundry.  Detergent charts are useful to make sure your choice of detergent is good for your diapers, but most kinds are (here are more tips).  Fabric softener is not recommended on absorbent pieces, since it makes them less absorbent.  As mentioned earlier, if you choose fleece or wool covers, you will occasionally need to lanolize (or fabric softener-ize) your covers.  Stripping Diapers is an occasional task as well, and is basically an extra wash cycle when (and if) your diapers ever start to smell bad or seem to be less absorbent.

But let's get more specific. I also have an HE Front Loader.  I used two methods.  One was for the beginning, when we had more poopy diapers (remember, we did EC/ Diaper Free Baby so didn't have as many poopy diapers as most), and the other method was later, when poop was mostly in the potty.

At first, we kept a wet bucket.  We would shake off the solids into the toilet, and later we got a diaper sprayer which helped get all the solids into the toilet with zero actual touching of them on our part (As an aside, both kids are in underwear now and we still use the sprayer for cleaning the toilet-- it's a great addition to the bathroom).  For a wet bucket, we kept a small garbage can filled partially with water away from kid hands.  In our old house, we had a laundry room sink and kept it inside there.  We don't have one here and could have put one atop the dryer.  If we had a stink problem, I used a splash of bleach in there.  Knowing what I do now, I would have used Borax instead.  When it was time to do laundry, I would pour the water into the sink and wash the diapers with the whites/ towels on hot with our regular detergent (we use Trader Joe's).  If there were a lot of diapers, I would do an extra load, but this was very rarely.  I also do laundry twice a week or more.

As there became fewer poopy diapers, I started just throwing the wet diapers into the whites/ towels laundry basket (we have two laundry baskets- one for whites/ towels and one for colors- so we don't have to separate later).  They would dry there (or not, depending on how many days they would wait and the weather), then get washed on hot.  I throw some Borax (or bleach) in with the whites on occasion- and prefer Borax.  The powdered Borax goes right onto the clothes- you use about a quarter cup.  If you are ok with bleach, it goes into the top tray in one of the slots.

As for Charlie's Soap, it's green-ness is indeed controversial.  I have also read that it has been known to cause diaper rash in babies that can sometimes be severe, so I have always steered clear of it.

In general, I think all you need to do is wash the "pee" diapers with normal laundry and "poop" on a hot cycle - with NO SOLIDS in the machine.  And with smell issue, stripping diapers (running them through the wash on hot with vinegar once per month poured into the top slot where fabric softener goes) is how to get rid of it.

Best of luck with the new baby and keep on cloth diapering!


Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...