The biggest learning curve for me as a cloth diapering newbie was how to clean up all the mess my little one made. There were lots of trial and error, but I think I finally got the hang of it. I know many parents are put off by the output of their offsprings, but for some reason; the baby daddy and I didn’t seem to mind scraping off poo off of the cloth. We even felt cheerio about it. Of course, there was the occasional face when things got out of hand. We even attempted to cloth diaper without having our own washer and dryer. However, we got to really know the coin laundry attendant REAL well. So without adieu, here’s the simple way to clean cloth diapers.
To cloth diaper full time, I recommend anywhere from 24 to 36 diapers. The 24 if you want to wash every other day; 36 if you don’t have your own washer (could do without the dryer if you utilize the clothes line) or wash every 2 to 3 days. It does take time to build up your stash so in the meantime you might want to consider chlorine free diapers like 7th Generation or even Gdiapers (didn’t work out for me but seems to be favorite among many green moms).
There is NO NEED TO — USE WET PAILS. I repeat, NO WET PAILS. It’s a drowning hazard and the modern washing machine has gotten so good, there’s no need to dunk or let the diaper sit in poopy water. Either use a dry pail, nylon bag, or throw them in the washer. When the diaper bag, pail, or washer is full.. here’s a quick and simple way to wash cloth diapers.
- Soak the diapers in COLD Water. This is what gets the messes off. I like to add a bit of Bac-out for sanitary purposes. You can soak it overnight or just use the presoak setting if you are in a hurry
- Next, use HOT water and add washing powder, I LOVE LOVE Charlie’s Soap but I also use Ecover’s Delicate Wash too. You can add a downy ball with Vinegar if you feel that the diaper is a bit smelly.
- Dry them either in a dryer or in a clothes hanger. If it gets too crunchy, you can throw them in the dryer for about five minutes to fluff them up. The sun gets the stain out so apply liberal amounts of sunshine.
- The Hot water will set in the stains so make sure you presoak or pre-rinse with COLD first
- Some mothers like to do the extra rinse in the second wash. I don’t do it and my diapers come out fine
- If you want your diapers to last longer, don’t heat dry.
- If you decide to use Ecover; I highly recommend Bac-Out in the pre-soak. Charlie’s seemed to be fine on its own but it’s harder to find.
- Cloth Diapering Mamas, If you want to add in an extra tip; please feel free in the comments.
[This post was written by Susie Kim.]
Nice job breaking it down to the basics!
I TOTALLY agree about the wet pail, and the cold soak – we run a cold rinse cycle with our washer first.
Some people might find it odd, but if your little one’s exclusively breastfed, you don’t need to do any rinsing or scraping – just toss everything in the wash (granted, this may be best for folks doing their own laundry at home, lol).
Once things change in consistency, I highly recommend a sprayer that attaches to your toilet’s water line – you can just spray everything into the toilet (where waste truly belongs).
also as disposables go i like the nature babycare brand available at diapers.com.
Danny B says
The wet pail is superior to this method. It being a drowning hazard is BS. Simply keep it out of reach, or in a room where Little Ones don’t enter. Wash out the dirty diaper in a utility sink, and toss it in the wet pail that is full of water and Oxy-clean. Then launder as needed. Very good results for little effort.
green blog says
Well eventually all of us will get used to it. It’s the merit of being a parent. Anyway, thanks for the wonderful tips. I’m sure it will help a lot of newbie including myself.
As my baby is transitioning into solids I realized disposable liners are a good idea. I can just flush or throw them out, avoiding the whole scraping or spraying of diapers.