Monday, August 8, 2011

Quick Tips for Cleaner Cloth Diapers

Washing cloth diapers is an essentail part of using cloth and doing it just right can require lots and lots of practice.  The basics of caring for cloth diaper laundry could seem like a no brainer for some but since there are always newbies in need of tips and tricks, I figured we'd quickly go over some of the basics which help keep your diapers cleaner and make them easier to launder.
  • Consider using a Biodegradable Liner.  Bio Liners give the poop something to stick to and can easily be pulled off and tossed into the toilet.  The less poop that's stuck onto the diaper the less staining you'll have and your diapers will be easier to wash.
  • Flush the poop!  This might seem obvious but really not everyone may think of it.  Before you put the cloth diaper into your wetbag, pail liner or washing machine, try to either scrape off or spray off as much of the soiled matter into the toilet.  With breastfeeding poop this could be optional since bf poop dissolves fairly easily in the washer.
  • Wash as often as you can.  I recommend to not wait more than 36 hours or approximately 18 cloth diapers.  You wouldn't leave wet towels or wet soiled clothing in the clothes basket for 3-5 days so why would you do it with cloth diapers?  The longer  you wait the greater risk you run of mold, mildew and....bugs!
  • Rinse first!  Throw your diaper laundry in the washer and run a rinse, if a top-loader then leave the lid up and let them soak for about 20 minutes, then complete the rinse.  You want to make sure they're nice and rinsed and as much debris as possible has been rinsed away.
  • Use a cloth diaper safe detergent and hot wash cycle.  We recommend you check out our Cloth Diaper Care page or consult Pinstripes and Polka Dots Cloth Diaper Detergent Chart.
  • Extra Rinse Cycle?  It's up to you whether you think you need an extra rinse cycle.  If you suspect you've not thoroughly rinsed all the detergent from your diapers you can add that extra rinse just for peace of mind.
  • Line Drying.  Line dry if you can to preserve the life of your diapers.  Plus, a little UV helps rid your diapers of unsightly staining.  Don't leave them out to bake in the sun, take them in when they're dry.
  • Machine Drying.  Leave your diapering items in the dryer just as long as needed.  If you're drying a mixed load, take your cloth diaper pockets and covers out after about 15 minutes and then let the rest of your load dry.  The longer and more frequently you use the machine dryer the more wear and tear you'll have.
Well folks, that's the quick and dirty list of tips on how to properly and efficiently wash your cloth diapers!  Do you have any extra tips you think I've missed?  Feel free to comment.


Eco-Mom said...

Great tips, thanks Julie! We use cloth liners now and love them. I wish I had hotter water in this apartment, this barely hot water we have now (our hot water heater is under lock and key by the management) just doesn't quite cut it. I strip now a lot more than I used to!

Mama said...

Thanks for the great tips! :-) Now your newest follower! Your diapers look amazing!

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