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.!