Friday, January 27, 2012

Cloth Diapering 101: My Wash Routine


I must say that it took me a little while to get my Cloth Diaper Washing Routine down pat! I must also say that not one thing works best for everyone! In addition, it is best to follow the particular manufacturer's instructions for the best washing outcomes! Every diaper is different!


You must also take into account the area of the country that you live in. Some places have hard water, and others soft. This does make a difference in how you may wash your cloth diapers! Please see my post about What's in Your Water!


Here is the basics of my routine: (I know I broke it down a lot, but the more detail the better...my detail oriented personality/list maker ability will come out now!)


1) Before I put any poopy diapers into the diaper pail, I rinse it down with my awesome Bumgenis Diaper Sprayer. I do this for nursing poops too! I know a lot of people say that it is fine to put nursing poopy diapers directly into the diaper pail, but I prefer to rinse first so there is less of a chance for stains! I do not however spray pee-only diapers!


2) Take dirty diaper laundry sack out of diaper pail and (this is key) before I make the trip down two floors to the laundry room, I put a clean bag in. Why do I do this you ask? Because I don't want to get stuck throwing a dirty diaper in a non-lined pale while dealing with a squirmy wet baby who decided to pee on me! Nor do I want to deal with the hubs throwing a dirty poopy diaper directly into the un-lined bag pale claiming that "he didn't know" or "he assumed" the liner was there!


3) Empty dirty diapers/accessories into the washing machine, flip pail liner inside out.


4) Wash your hands (just in case you got any poops on them)


5) Set the Washing Machine to Heavy/Cold/Wash. I do this to rinse out any pee or poop left over in the diapers. 


6) For my second wash, I do a Heavy/Hot/Wash with 1/2 the amount of recommended detergent. If you put too much detergent, sometimes it will build up on the diapers over time. This can cause diaper rash or irritate the babies skin, or make the diapers smell bad. Personally I use Country Save detergent because it is one of the more inexpensive detergents out there, plus I had heard so many great reviews on it!


7) Optional: Sometimes I will do a third Extra Light/Warm/Rinse. For awhile, I though my son was getting a rash because of a build up of the detergent in the diapers, so I did a third rinse just to be sure! I no longer do this, but it did help me rule out where the rash came from!


8) Hang dry all of the diapers, preferably in the sun. If no sun is to be found, I hang dry in the gloomy basement on a cheap drying rack I picked up at a tag sale! I will usually do my laundry at night, so the diapers can hang dry all night long! Some people like to throw their laundry into the dryer, but I prefer not to. This is mostly because I want the diapers to last as long as they can with minimal damage! By the way, do you like my basement bathroom decor? It's my attempt at making it more stylish:)


9) Once dried, have hubby stuff all diapers for me:) Ha Ha. I have let him do them before and he even offers to help sometimes, but usually they don't get done to my perfectionist standard and I have to fix them, so I just do them at night or while watching TV!


10) Put all your Fluffy Diapers away in an organized fashion where they are ready and able to be used! I probably didn't have to tell you that, but I wanted to make an even 10 steps (once again showing my yearning for perfection and organziation).


**I usually do my dirty diaper laundry every 2 to 3 days. This really depends on how big your Cloth Diaper Stash is...if you have more diapers, you can afford to go maybe an extra day. But remember that you don't want to go too long and let bacteria build up!


What is your washing routine like?


What type of detergent do you use?


How often are you doing fluffy laundry?


I would love to hear your ideas, comments, questions, etc.!



40 comments:

  1. My routine is quite similar. I wash about every other day, sometimes I let 2 days go by in between, but more often every other day. I also use wetbags in rotation instead of a diaper pail. That takes almost no space at all and looks really cute. I use all-natural super-concentrated Melaleuca detergent for HE washers. It has no any kind of additives, so it works great on CD. I also do throw my diapers and inserts in the dryer on low or air-only sometimes, but sometimes I do hang-dry them.

    Keep up good work, Julie :)
    Irina

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    1. If I had to do things over, I might have bought the large hanging wet bag too, they are cute!! I have never heard of Melaleuca detergent...where do you buy it?

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  2. I heard that ur hubby is very skilled at stuffing those diapers. And I heard he is incredibly handsome and charming. Are these rumors true?

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  3. I took your advice Julie and added an extra rinse. Now I don't have any more stinky build it. :) I also add a teaspoon of white vinegar every time I wash my diapers. I got myself a large wetbag which I really like but I really need at least two.

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    1. So glad to hear!! Yeah for no more stink!! I am trying to win a large wetbag too!! Those come in handy! I have two small wetbags which are good for travel too!!

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  4. I like to use vinegar as a rinse agent in all of my laundry - it helps get any soap residue out of everything and it acts like a natural fabric softener too!

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    1. Love the idea, just did a post and some research on it! Thanks:)

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  5. What a routine! You have this down to an art form.

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  6. Thank you for sharing what works for you in terms of how to keep up with the cloth diapers. This is a great resource for moms switching to Cloth or for first time mommies.

    Felissa
    http://twolittlecavaliers.com

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  7. Contemplating using cloth diapers. Still debating because this will be our last baby and I am not sure if we can afford to buy a bunch of cloth diapers. This post was very helpful though. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I can understand why you might not want to buy a whole bunch of diapers if this is your last baby! But you have a couple of options

      1)Invest in some Pretty Good Cloth Diapers and you can resell them on Ebay or Craigs List! The re-sell value, especially after only 1 child is VERY good, espeically for some of the popular brands!! I bought some of mine used on ebay! You can also use disposables for the first few weeks until your baby is old enough to fit into the One Size Diapers. This way you don't have to invest into Newborn diapers, since they grow out of them quickly!

      2)You can also buy some of the Hybrid type diapers (such as the Flip Covers) and buy your own prefold or flat inserts. I bought a package of 10 cotton prefold inserts from Walmart at $12 for 10 inserts. Therefore you don't have to buy the inserts that come with the Flip covers which are more expensive!

      Just a few thoughts:) If you have any questions let me know! How exciting having another little one:)

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  8. My routine is similar, but I use Amway's Legacy of Clean detergent. It's fairly inexpensive and it's soft on the diapers. I hadn't heard of Country Save before, but I'll have to look into it. Thanks for this post!

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    1. Legacy of Clean, I have never heard of that! I will have to look into it! We don't have an Amway around here though, maybe that is why! I ordered my Country Save online in bulk from Amazon!

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    2. Do you know the pricing for the Legacy of Clean detergent? I am curious! I am trying to find the most cost efficient diaper safe detergent out there!

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    3. Becca, I will soon be a first-time CD user.
      I was looking to stay with my Legacy of Clean detergent, but then i read this ***Note: The Legacy of Clean Laundry detergent is NOT safe for cloth diapers due to presence of surfacants and brighteners. http://www.bestgreenthings.net/healthy-home/

      How long has you been using it, and have you had any problems with it?

      thank you

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    4. We sell Amway. There are several different detergents. the Legacy of clean for delicate fine fabric is safe for cloth diapers. On detergent charts it actually gets a 4 yellow star rating. You can check that out here.

      http://pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoices.htm

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    5. We sell Amway products and I did check into the detergents for cloth diapering as we are using them. There are different detergents available. The Legacy of clean delicate fine fabric detergent is safe for CDs. The detergent charts rate it as 4 yellow stars also.
      http://pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoices.htm

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  9. We have always used cloth diapers in India, disposables come in picture only when going out and night time. But that is because hiring maids there is not so difficult and expensive as it is in some other countries.
    Now here in Singapore or when I was in jamaica I didn't have a maid, so i am washing my baby's diapers myself.
    I wash them everyday, its a lot of work :) After the initial rinse I soak them in dettol for a few minutes to disinfect and then put in the machine with our organic laundry liquid (its made from soap nut). It works perfect and leaves the diapers smelling fresh and fluffy.
    Honestly, can't wait for the day she is fully potty trained LOL

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    Replies
    1. Ha Ha! Interesting! what is dettol, never heard of that before!! I am learning so much from everyone!! Everyday is a lot of work!

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  10. what do you do if your baby pee's and your diapers have a 'barnyard' like smell to them?

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    1. I would think it might be time to strip your diapers! There could be some kind of build-up in the diapers...I just did a post about stripping your diapers. You might also want to add a little vinegar to your laundry as well...Check out the (2) posts below!

      http://www.myclothdiaperstash.com/2012/01/vinegar-and-cloth-diapers-what-you-need.html

      http://www.myclothdiaperstash.com/2012/03/let-stripping-begin-cloth-diapers-that.html

      Hope this helps:-)

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  11. Thank you for writing about this. I have been curious as to what would be a good routine to wash the diapers. We are planning to cloth diaper our new baby due in May. Your posts are very helpful to newbies!

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  12. I love your drying rack! Also agree that sun drying is awesome! I need to find a good deal on cloth diapers for my 11 month old. He grew out of the Fuzzi Bunz and I haven't bought the next size up!

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  13. I am still trying to build my stash (my ds is onle 3 months) so I wash every day. I have only been doing 1 wash and 2 rinses, but some inserts are still smelling a little. I will try washing them twice and see if that helps. I am using Ecos free and clear soap, but have ordered some country save. I will see if that makes any difference. Thanks for the tips!

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  14. I wash every other day (well really night). I do a cold rinse without soap, then a hot wash with soap, then another cold rinse after without soap. Then I hang the diapers to dry on a rack like you have and put the inserts in the dryer. I wish I could get my hubby to stuff diapers for me! LOL! Oh and I was using Rockin' Green but I ran out and had to have something asap so I've been using Tide Original. So far so good! (Michelle Ferguson)

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  15. I wash about every 3 days, I have a top loader and soft water so that makes my life a bit easier. I do a cold prewash with no soap, a hot wash with a full scoop of Country Save (I have read that it is a myth that you need to use less soap especially if you are using a soap that rinses clean) and then I run a second warm rinse. I have only had to strip my diapers once in 2 years and never have stink issues.

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  16. I am just starting so right now I dont have a routine so I loved reading what your routine is, it sounds simple enough so I think I might try it!

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  17. You actually use a diaper pail.. Does it stink after a while? How long do you wait?

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  18. Our routine is about the same. We have enough diapers to go 3 or 4 days, but I try to go every 2 just for my own stuffing reasons. I hate when I have a ton to fold. I think we have the same diaper pail and we really like it! It is the only one we have seen that holds quite a few diapers and doesn't have to much stink build up

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  19. That is almost exactly the way I do mine except we have really hard water here so I use more detergent. I don't have enough diapers so make it 3 days so I wash every other night when I put the little one to bed.

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  20. It's good to hear someone else's routine. I use a laundry ball and I just do a cold wash and line dry. It's such an easy routine and it works so well!

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  21. I dry my diapers but I use prefolds and fitteds. I line dry all my covers.

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  22. I'm still working on my wash routine. I have some slight microfiber stink issues :/
    I'm just switching from ALL F & C to Rockin Green so hopefully that helps. Also, any idea how to soak my fluff when I only have a front loader?

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  23. love the drying rack idea! Is there any particular reason for a pail liner? I currently just use a regular bucket. Is this okay? Or could you make a cloth liner and wash and reuse it?

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  24. This helps so much! Thanks for sharing!

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  25. This is very similar to mine, except I don't have a sprayer (wish I did) so mine go straight into the pail with the exception of really messy ones which get soaked in the toilet....

    Bekah Kuczenski

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  26. I have started doing a warm prewash instead of cold, I really think it is helping keep the stinkies away.

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  27. Since we have to pay to wash our clothes {$1/load}, I rinse the diapers off before talking them to the laundry room. Wash on hot with detergent. Run the machine again without detergent. Thankfully, it's worked for us for the last 18 months.

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