Thursday, July 19, 2012

HE Washing Machine Tips and Tricks!

High efficiency (HE) washing machines, cloth diapers and the problems that can some times arise when you’re new to either seems to be a common theme in the cloth diapering world. I asked the fans of my Facebook page if there were any topics they’d like to see in a blog post and one of the suggestions was washing cloth diapers with an HE machine. I don’t have an HE machine so this is totally unfamiliar territory for me. I did some Google searches trying to find specific tips and tricks and it was surprisingly difficult to find. After feeling frustrated with my search results I consulted with my friend, another cloth diaperer, Rawney since she has an HE machine and is currently using cloth diapers on her second AND third children.

Rawney said that while HE machines are different from regular machines she hasn’t really changed her laundry routine much. Here are Rawney’s top three HE washing tips:

3. To soak diapers and since she doesn’t have a soaking cycle, she runs a normal cycle and then pauses the cycle allowing the diapers to soak.

2. Use the same amount of detergent for a non-HE washer. Rawney read something recently that using less detergent (as some suggest) is actually not necessary and it may actually be counter productive. It makes sense when you think about it – you need soap to clean the diapers so naturally using less soap wouldn’t work.

1. Add a towel to the wash so that more water is used in the cycle. The machine only uses as much water as what it thinks is necessary which is great because you save on water usage. It’s not so great for diaper washing though because the less water that’s used the more build up there will be on your diapers.

Do you have any HE washing tips you can share?
Elizabeth (aka Bert) is a stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for She Thinks Media. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Ben, her son Buggie, and daughter Lady Bug.  When she's not trying to convince Buggie to expand his interests beyond Thomas the Train or put his pants back on she's writing about her experiences as a mom on her blog, First Time Mom (FTM). After all, Bert maintains there's a first time for everything, even if you  have more than one child! 

3 comments:

Irene said...

Would adding a towel really work? Do you mean a wet towel, or just a plain towel? Do all HE machines "decide" how much water to add based on weight? Or do some simply depend on which cycle your choose?

If they use weight, then adding a dry towel wouldn't help much - in fact, it would probably make it worse, as a dry towel would soak up some of that precious water!

I've considered just throwing an extra bucket of water in there. Has anyone tried that?

We've had some issues with getting our diapers clean enough. We've added so much cycling and product that our complete wash/dry routine is now 4 1/2 hours, with five different steps:
1) Cold soak
2) White Whites cycle with Charlie's Soap and Borax
3) Remove covers/liner, hang to dry
4) Warm rinse with vinegar
5) Final rinse
6) Dry

Occasionally we do an abbreviated version, but then we start getting diaper rash again.

I'm going to start rinsing poopy diapers now that my six-month old is starting solids. Hopefully, this way, we can cut down on our routine.

Any tips out there? What's your routine? Which HE machine do you have?

Irene said...

Would adding a towel really work? Do you mean a wet towel, or just a plain towel? Do all HE machines "decide" how much water to add based on weight? Or do some simply depend on which cycle your choose?

If they use weight, then adding a dry towel wouldn't help much - in fact, it would probably make it worse, as a dry towel would soak up some of that precious water!

I've considered just throwing an extra bucket of water in there. Has anyone tried that?

We've had some issues with getting our diapers clean enough. We've added so much cycling and product that our complete wash/dry routine is now 4 1/2 hours, with five different steps:
1) Cold soak
2) White Whites cycle with Charlie's Soap and Borax
3) Remove covers/liner, hang to dry
4) Warm rinse with vinegar
5) Final rinse
6) Dry

Occasionally we do an abbreviated version, but then we start getting diaper rash again.

I'm going to start rinsing poopy diapers now that my six-month old is starting solids. Hopefully, this way, we can cut down on our routine.

Any tips out there? What's your routine? Which HE machine do you have?

Andrea said...

We have always had a longer routine with our HE. Yes, HEs save water by not using as much, but here is our routine: 1. Cold rinse (or quick wash), no spin. This allows them to soak up as much water as possible while soaking before the wash. 2. Heavy duty cycle, extra wash, extra rinse, no spin. No spin holds the same concept. 3. Normal wash, extra rinse, high spin. We have never had any issues and believe that the "no spin" is the trick in keeping enough water and weight in the drum. Good luck!

 
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