Wash Routine and Detergent

Image Credit
Each cloth diaper manufacturer has different recommendations for washing and caring for their specific cloth diaper.  So, it's very important to carefully read the tags on your cloth diapers.  You can also visit the manufacturer's web site for washing instructions.  As a general rule though, the below is a pretty standard wash routine to follow.

So, your first question is probably this, "how do I wash my cloth diapers?"
  • If the diaper has hook & loop (Velcro™ like closures on cloth diapers, similar to disposable diaper closures), then secure the laundry tabs before putting diapers in wash.
  • Pre-wash the diapers in cold water to remove waste and help fight stains.
  • Wash hot with cloth diaper safe detergent to clean your diapers.
  • Follow with a second rinse to thoroughly rinse detergent out of diapers.
  • Line-dry diaper covers and shells.  Tumble dry inserts, fitted, pre-folds and flats.  Note: Do not use fabric softener sheets as these can ruin your diapers.

Washing cloth diapers isn't as difficult as non-fluffy converts tend to think.  In fact, the wash routine should be simple and shouldn't take up hours and hours of your time.

That said, here are some helpful laundry tips:
  • How Often Do I Wash Diapers? Wash dirty diapers every other day.  This will help fight against stains setting in and will also keep mold and mildew at bay.
  • Storing Dirty Diapers: Remove all solid waste before storing diapers in a wet bag or diaper pail.  Simply flush any solid waste down the toilet.  You also might want to consider purchasing a diaper sprayer to spray off any residual waste in the toilet.
  • Stains: To remove any lingering stains, simply lay clean/wet diapers in the sun.  The sun is amazing at getting rid of stains!
  • Water Temperature: Manufacturers all have recommendations on the water temperature for the water when you wash your cloth diapers.  Water that is too hot can damage the PUL (also knows as polyurethane laminate, which forms the water-proof barrier on the diaper cover).  Before washing your cloth diapers with PUL, contact the diaper manufacturer about the appropriate water temperature to use.
  • Washing Hook and Loop Diapers: Many cloth diaper manufacturers recommend washing diapers with hook and loop closures separately from heavy cotton or hemp diapers, such as cotton pre-folds, flats and fitted.  Washing your hook and look closure diapers separately will help keep the closures looking fresh and like-new.  
  •  Sanitizing: Some manufacturers recommend using up to 1/4 cup bleach in the hot wash cycle each month to help sanitize diapers and to help fight odors.  Before using bleach on any of your diapers (covers and inserts), please contact the diaper manufacturer and/or read the care instructions on your diaper's label.
  • Prepping New Diapers: Most diapers, inserts and covers can be prepped with simply one wash with cloth diaper safe detergent.  If you have diapers and/or inserts made from hemp and other natural fibers, you will need to wash those items separately from your other diapering products for the first 3-5 washes.  After pre-washing, your hemp and other natural fiber cloth diapering products will be fine to wash with your other cloth diaper laundry.  It usually takes anywhere from 8-10 washes for hemp and other natural fiber cloth diapers to reach their maximum absorbency.

Image Credit
Now, let's talk cloth diaper detergent.  When selecting a detergent for washing your cloth diapers, you should always use a detergent 
Pure soap, perfumes, dyes, whiteners, optical brighteners, fabric softeners, enzymes, borax and other fabric enhancers

The previously mentioned additives can ruin the functionality of your cloth diapers, cause your diapers  them to repel, cause them to leak and/or could cause your baby to have diaper rash.  It's also important to remember that just because a laundry detergent works well for your baby's clothes, does not mean it will work well for his/her cloth diapers.

There are now many choices for cloth diaper safe detergents.  Like selecting the perfect cloth diaper for your little one takes trying out a few different brands and styles, selecting the right cloth diaper detergent can also take a few tries to find the perfect one.

Some popular cloth diaper safe detergents are:

bumGenius Laundry Detergent
Country Save
Ecos Free and Clear
Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper Detergent
Eco Sprout
Thirsties Super Wash
GroVia Tiny Bubbles
Ruby Moon
Charlie's Soap
Eco Nuts
Several of the above cloth diaper safe detergents are available at our local, brick and mortar cloth diaper stores or can be purchased online by your favorite retailer.  Also, many cloth diaper detergent manufacturers sell sample sizes for you to try before committing to buying a larger size.

~ Toni ~

No comments:

Post a Comment