Thursday, August 30, 2012

Keepin' It Simple, A Cloth Diaper Wash Routine.

When it comes to washing cloth diapers, there's a lot that you can over think. From the detergent, how much to use, stripping, additives, water type, etc., it can get pretty confusing and overwhelming! For consistently clean and smell free diapers, it's best to keep it simple. A basic wash routine will save time.....and your sanity!
  • Pick a detergent and stick with it: Problems often arise when people constantly switch detergents. Regardless of whether you use a detergent made for cloth diapers or a mainstream store bought brand, you'll have better luck if you just use one. This happens to me all the time. I decide to try a different detergent and then I end up with stinky diapers. I really should take my own advice!
  • Use the recommended amount of detergent: If you're using a detergent made for cloth diapers, use the amount they recommend. It's recommended because it's been tested. Trust them. If you don't think you're diapers are coming clean enough with the recommended amount, contact the company for help, they'll help you determine if you need more or less depending on your water type (see below). They're the experts! If you're using a mainstream detergent, use 1/4 of what's recommended for a large load. This usually ends up being to about the first line on the scoop.
  • Know your water type: You either have soft, normal, or hard water. Hard water seems to be the trickiest to work with. You can contact your town's water board or municipal building to find out. There's records available, you just need to do a little searching. I was able to find mine on my township's website. Soft water tends to need less detergent and hard water tends to need a little more. Just be sure to speak with the makers of your detergent as this may be different depending on what you're using and they might recommend something different.
  • Follow this wash sequence: RINSE (cold), WASH (hot) with detergent, RINSE (cold). That's it. Keep it simple. No need to rinse a million times. Once is enough.
  • If it's nice and warm outside, hang your diapers out to dry. They'll last longer that way. If it's cold and rainy, throw your inserts and cotton items in the dryer, and hang your PUL items on a rack inside. It is okay to throw everything in the dryer, you're diapers' elastic will just wear out sooner.
That's the basics! Stripping diapers is a topic for another post as it's not a simple topic! Hopefully by sticking to a simple wash routine, you'll never even need to think about it! Happy washing!

What's your CD wash routine? Do you keep it simple or do you have a complex process?

Bio: Jenny is the writer behind the blog, According to Jenny, where she shares her thoughts on being a semi-crunchy mama of 2! She lives in beautiful Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 kids, Grady-born in 2010, and Haley-born in 2012. She's an avid baby-wearer and cloth diaper addict. You'll find a little bit of everything over on the blog-reviews and giveaways, too!


Julie said...

Great tips! I have actually changed up my routine to be (cold)Rinse, (cold) Wash with detergent, and then (hot) Rinse. I did this because of staining problems and it seems to work well. Plus, the temperature of the washing machine usually doesn't get hot enough to kill germs. Thanks!

Kristin756 said...

I think after 10 months I finally have it down! I had to figure out how to "trick" my HE front-loader. I do: cold rinse-no spin 1 Tbsp Funk Rock, wash care with soak (hot water) 1.5 Tbsp Hard Rock, speed wash (warm), cold rinse/extra rinse. Phew!! The whole process is about 2.5 hours. Then line dry. One of the brightsides of living in sunny AZ!


Kim said...

Great routine & advice -- this is pretty much exactly what i do! All over the internet i read about crazy washing routines and how it's so complicated and takes so long -- but i find that the simpler i keep it, the better my diapers stay!

Mama Bucks said...

I have just finally picked a detergent to stick with--Tide. I am sick of farting around with different kinds. I also do rinse, wash on hot, rinse. I have hard water thus the variety of detergents being used, but I am stickin with Tide for sure. Easy!

Tracey @ Dont Mess with Mama said...

Great tips. I'm just starting out in cloth diapering so I need to keep it as simple as possible.

Amy said...

LOL, I was just thinking about switching detergents from another post I read. Now I'm conflicted. There certainly is a lot to over think. :O)

Just Add Cloth said...

Even with our super hard water and need for extra detergent, I still do not have a complicated routine.

Regan said...

Nice post! I have the same routine as you though I am also guilty of trying new detergents fairly often. I recently moved to a hard water area AND bought an HE top loader so I switched detergents (again, but for good this time. I swear!) and I use different settings on the machine but the basic routine is still the same.

Margaux at YoungNesters said...

Wonderful tips. I think many people expect it to be much more involved. Wish I would have read this when we were just starting out. Had to figure all of that stuff out on my own hehe.

MommyFerg02 said...

I am so bad about trying new detergents all the time! Good advice!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the read. my husband and I are going to begin to have children, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about cloth vs disposable. this makes it sound not too bad to tackle as a first time mom!

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