Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wash Routine

Different people have different wash routines and I get tired of looking through everyone's opinions online about what works and doesn't. This page is dedicated to telling you exactly what I do and why. This won't work for everyone. A lot depends on the water in your city - and water hardness/softness can vary even then.

What to do with Pee and Poo Diapers
When baby pees, the diaper and insert are thrown into a wet bag (inside a trash can with a lid). If he went poo, then I rinse the poo out with a diaper sprayer down the toilet (many times the poo just falls off into the toilet without the sprayer). That poo diaper goes into my wet bag also.

Wash Cycles
You must wash your diapers at least every 3 days.
First, I do a cold wash/cold rinse cycle.

  • This can be done with or without detergent. 
  • Using hot water will lock the smell and poo stains into your inserts. 
  • You want to dilute the pee out of your diapers. 
  • In the least do a cold soak.

I followup with a hot wash/warm rinse cycle.

  • Add detergent here. 
  • The hot water cleans your diapers. 
  • The warm water is great for washing away any extra stuck on messes.

Load Size
I don't overfill my washer. If I have a few diapers, I do a mini-load. If I have 3 days worth (which is still not too many because I only have one child in diapers), I do a medium load.

I use a homemade detergent (suitable for cloth diapers, not regular laundry). If you don't want to make your own, do some online searches - most detergents shouldn't be used on cloth diapers. See if your regular detergent can be found on this chart that gives a detailed rating for cloth diaper friendliness. I use the recipe found on this mama's blog.

Drying & Fabric Softeners
I dry on medium...and I put everything in there together (you should really hang dry your covers though because the elastic will break down over time). DO NOT use fabric softeners. Instead get wool dryer balls, tennis balls, some other natural alternative or nothing at all.

Common Issues:
We just started solids and this poo isn't just "falling off" into the toilet like I read it would.
This is referred to as peanut butter poo. Buy a spatula from the dollar store and keep it by your toilet brush. Yum. This stage will probably pass quickly and soon you'll be able to just give your diapers a little shake.

My diapers are giving baby bad diaper rash. I don't know if they're really getting clean.
Strip them first (wash a bunch of times in super hot water - the first time with detergent and about 6-10 more times without). Be sure that you have enough water in your washing machine (front loaders are notorious for not adding enough water because they are trying to be eco-friendly, you may need to do it manually if you can't change the setting on the machine). Also double check that no fabric softeners are being used.

Can I use cloth diapers even in the first day when dealing with meconium?
Yes! As a matter of fact, if you exclusively breastfeed (no formula, no food), then you don't even have to rinse your diapers before tossing them into the wash. Woohoo for you, Natural Mama!