BASIC LAUNDRY TIPS:
CLOTH DIAPER LAUNDRY TIPS & MYTHS:
Ok, so lately I see “new” cloth diaper makers popping up with all kinds of crazy rules to washing diapers.
LISTEN TO THOSE WHO’VE DIAPERED FOR YEARS, not fly-by-nights that are just starting off…
MYTH #1: One MYTH I’ve come across lately “put a wet towel in your HE washer to trick it into adding more water for your diaper load.”
Ok. Let’s take a step back and think about HOW these HE washers work (& I have the BIGGEST/FANCIEST one on the market.) A HE washer adds water & “weighs” the clothing up until it’s filled, NOT BEFORE it adds the water. You may notice, a little water going in and then it stops, possibly swishes, and then a little more water going in, etc etc up until its filled… So, all putting a soaked towel in your load does is washes a towel with your diapers…. and of course, most likely drips water from a heavy soaked towel across your floor.
MYTH #2: “DON’T USE BAKING SODA OR VINEGAR on diapers!”
If the place you got your diapers from told you this, by all means follow it, but my 1st thought when I see this is: “boy, those must be some flimsy diapers!” BOTH baking soda AND white vinegar have been used on cloth diapers for decades. Probably since washing machines were invented. I’ve come across companies stating this, and then they generally say “use THEIR detergent….. AND most of those “cloth diaper detergents” are made mostly of, guess what, BAKING SODA. LOL!
BOTH baking soda and white vinegar are FOOD SAFE… You cook with them; they are safe to eat. And those who call them “chemicals”, well, every ingredient used to cook with is technically a “chemical”…. (don’t believe me? Read The Magic School Bus Books)
& quite honestly, you can even DOUCHE with white vinegar….(it kills yeast) does that really sound like something harmful to your normal, everyday, cloth diapers?
THE KEY: DO NOT USE them together. It causes a GAS(works great for cleaning your drains BTW), that will get all foamy and not work as well. And don’t over do it. A tablespoon or 2 tops of baking soda in your detergent is plenty. (& again, if you are using a “cloth diaper” or “phosphate free” detergent, its most likely already in there.
Vinegar- add it to the fabric softener rinse cycle or dispenser. Again, it doesn’t take a lot. If you have “stink” issues, do a pre-wash, then dip the diaper in vinegar and toss back in the wash and wash as normal.
DO NOT SOAK YOUR DIAPERS IN ANYTHING FOR A LONG PERIOD. Anything wet is susceptible to mold/mildew. And some fabrics will just plain fall apart. (even in plain water)
To sum, BAKING SODA & White VINEGAR have always been my best friends! No stinky diapers, no ruined diapers. & I have really sensitive skin. I make my own detergent etc, and have to be careful with products I use because of this. Both are cheap, nontoxic, and have tons of uses. You will always find large amounts of both in my home at any given time.
TIP: DO STAY AWAY FROM BLEACH & FABRIC SOFTENERS. Bleach really is hard on all fabrics, and fabric softener repels. There are “scent crystals” out there now, but if you have sensitive skin, I’d stay away from those too.)
TIP: When “sunning” your diapers, do NOT leave them in the sun too long. You don’t want your fabrics to end up stiff. If there is no stretch to them, then they will wear out and likely even tear during use.
TIP: When “hang drying” your diapers, it is actually better to lay them flat, on something like a cookie cooling rack, than to literally hang them up. If you “hang” them when they are really wet, the weight/gravity of the water slowly “drips” toward the bottoms, pulling them “Down”, stretching the elastic& fabrics, which in turn causes extra unnecessary wear . (Same thing with your panties and bras.) Me, unless sunning, or unless something that’ll dry fast, like a PUL cover, I just toss them in the dryer… 😉
General Cloth Diaper Washing:
Shake Out Poo into trash or toilet(preferably immediately upon changing diaper). Remove any inserts.
Do a “Quick Wash” cycle to remove the main “ick”. No detergent needed. If you have stink issues, dip in white vinegar, wait a minute to soak in(but don’t leave them to soak), then toss directly in washer. (This is most likely the inserts.)
Do a “regular” cycle, with your detergent, up to 2TBS of baking soda, and WARM water. Use up to 1 cup of vinegar in the fabric softener cycle, or fill your fabric softener dispenser to the fill line.
If desired, do a 2nd “rinse/spin” cycle.
Dry as directed/preferred.