It’s the question every cloth diapering mama wants to know…
How do you wash these things?!?
I’m going to tell you right now, there are a million and one ways to do this and every cloth diapering mama out there has her own groove. This is mine.
You’ll remember from my video that I have a poopy pail and a not-so-poopy pail. I dump both of those into the washer, along with the liners, spray out the pails with antibacterial spray and wipe clean with paper towels. From there, washing goes like this:
Rinse, highest setting, Heavy duty, COLD
Long wash, highest setting, Heavy duty, HOT, with approx. 2 TBSP detergent
Rinse, highest setting, Normal, COLD
And lately, because I think it needs it, another
Rinse, on appropriate setting for # of dipes, Normal, COLD
Now, the method behind the madness (this is the place where you can stop reading if all you care about is the HOW and don’t need to know the WHY. )
Your first rinse is to obviously rinse out the leftover poo and such from the diapers. You set it on the highest setting to give it the largest amount of agitating room.
Your wash is hot because hot cleans better. You only use a small amount of detergent because diapers that don’t get the detergent fully rinsed out of them smell. BAD.
Let me stop here for just a second and tell you a story…
When I first started cloth diapering, I lived in a house where the hot water going into the washer was broken. I washed diapers in COLD. And it worked! However, I think the success of this was due largely, in part, to my DRYING routine. (more on that later!)
Next, is another rinse in cold and yes, on the highest setting. Your goal here is to thoroughly rinse out the detergent.
If you’ve been noticing a smell or rashes, this is where you should choose to do yet another rinse. This time you can lower the water setting if need be to accommodate the number of diapers, rather than keep it on the highest setting.
From there, you can line dry or machine dry. I’ll explain my drying routine in the next post.
Oh, and a quick caveat…
If you are using wool covers/longies/shorties/skirties, these washing instructions ARE NOT FOR YOU! I’m not much of a wool gal, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for that information.
And, if you feel like something is really wrong with your diapers smell-wise or leak-wise, check out my friend, Lauren’s post on stripping diapers.
Helpful post on detergents: Diaper Jungle Detergent Chart