Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Washing Instructions

I said I would share my tried and true cloth diaper washing method, right? Here's the thing, what works for me might not work for you. There can be a lot of trial and error finding that perfect balance to get your cloth diapers clean and smelling fresh...and there's LOTS of opinions out there on the subject. (You also need to take into account manufacture's instructions for warranties if you feel you might ever need to return any of your diapers). But here's my favorite washing routine:

  • I put ALL my cloth diaper laundry (including prefolds, covers, pocket diapers, inserts, AIO's, and our diaper pail liner) into a cold/heavy stains soak overnight with 1/4 to 1/2 a scoop (the small scoop) of Oxiclean Free. We have an HE top loading washer which is pretty much awesome by the way (I've heard that soaks aren't quite as easy in front loaders?).
  • In the morning after that soak has drained I add the HE amount of Ecos liquid detergent (which is sold at Costco for a steal) and run a hot/heavy stains/extra rinse/maximum spin cycle.
  • I hang-dry my covers and dry the rest on regular (that is our HE dryer's highest heat setting) for an hour (I have to manually select a timed cycle because the sensor cycles don't seem to work very efficiently with the diapers for some reason). I really want to invest in some of these to make the drying portion of my washing routine even more energy efficient, and when the weather is sunny in the summer (not too many of those days here in Oregon), I hope to line dry instead of using the dryer (sun bleaching is great for getting out stains).

Some more tips:
  • There is no need to rinse or scrape poo when babies are breastfed only (but if you happen to have a diaper sprayer and like to pre-rinse your dipes, go for it). Once you start solids that is a WHOLE other story and is deserving of another post (stayed tuned to find out what made me seriously question cloth diapering).
  • ALWAYS use natural detergents. I use Ecos which I mentioned but cheat with Oxiclean Free because it is almost natural (it is free of perfume, dyes, and chlorine).
  • NEVER use fabric softeners as they can coat your diapers with a liquid-repelling residue. I've also read you should never use vinegar or baking soda (normally awesome, earth-friendly laundry boosters) because they can throw off the pH levels of your diapers. I don't know what that means exactly, but it's not something I want to mess with.
So what's your best cloth diaper washing method? Do you have a diaper sprayer and what do you think about it?

1 comment:

  1. That's so great! Please let me know if you ever have ANY questions, I'd love to help :)