Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Standard Cloth Diaper Washing Routine

*Some housekeeping (no pun intended) before begin: If this post is your first exposure to my cloth diapering series, you may be interesting in reading these as well:
What does washing cloth diapers look like? In this post I'm going to take you through the routine washing of cloth diapers as I do it. I wash my cloth diapers 2-3 times a week. On occasion if your cloth diapers begin to smell even after you wash them, you may need to do a more intense wash or two called stripping. I will cover that in more detail in another blog post. But for now, I will just show you the day-to-day care of cloth (g) diapers.

When I get down to about 3-5 inserts (see this post to read more about my cloth diaper stash), grab the diaper wet bag - it's time to wash some dipes!
Dirty diaper wet bag - ready for washing.
I simply unzip the bag, shake out the contents, and throw the bag in as well!
Cloth diaper stash and wet bag, unloaded in the washing machine.
Close/shut the lid. Run the diapers through a simple rinse cycle - ON COLD. No detergent yet. Washing your diapers on cold is very important if you are using (g) diapers. The nylon snap in liners will stretch out and essentially be ruined if you wash them on a hot setting. Since I always wash them with the rest of my diapers, I ALWAYS only wash my diapers on cold.
Rinse Cycle on cold.
The rinse cycle is done. (As I've mentioned in a previous post, you need to use detergent for your cloth diapers that rinses clean, otherwise you will need to strip your diapers more often. I use Rockin' Green and would heartily recommend it - we haven't had any problems with smelly diapers.) Now, sprinkle in 2 TBL. of your Rockin' Green diaper detergent. That's all you need. No bleach or liquid softeners. I always keep a tablespoon in my bag of soap for convenience.
Adding my soap for the wash cycle.
Wash your diapers on cold through a normal wash cycle - whatever setting that is on your washing machine.
Ready for the real wash now.
Ok. So your diapers are done being washed. Now what? You have a couple drying options. If you are going to dry your diapers in the dryer, make sure you separate all the nylon liners from the load. And set them where they will be able to dry.
The nylon snap in liners, separated from the rest of the load.
Throw the rest of your diaper load in the dryer. Do not add any softener sheets. Those can cause build up in your diapers over time and make your inserts less absorbent.
The stash ready to be dried.
I find that my diapers don't usually get completely dry on just a normal dry cycle, so I usually put them through either a heavy duty cycle, or a normal with a touch up.
Drying cloth diapers in most dryers takes a little more time than a standard run.
Your second drying option is to sun dry your diapers on a drying rack. This is energy efficient, and helps to naturally bleach your diapers. Something to consider when sun-drying your diapers though: they get crunchy. They are not very soft after a sun dry session. So, I recommend throwing them in the dryer for 10 min. after they have been sun-dried just to soften them up a bit. Not necessary, but it is what I like to do to keep the softness of cloth diapers on my baby's bum in the equation.
Sun-drying the diapers in my backyard.
Now that your cloth diapers are clean and dry, they are ready for your baby to use again! :)

1 comment:

  1. I've never been able to get by without an added rinse, but that's because my guy is on solids. You'll probably find your wash routine requires a tad bit more once Lincoln is on solids. My guy was on formula and that certainly isn't as easy to wash clean as a breastfed baby's poop.

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