Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How to wash Cloth Diapers

The following is my method for handling soiled cloth diapers.

Wet ones and wipes go directly into a dry pail which sits on top of my dryer, with no lid on it. You can use a lid if you wish to, but I find the diapers build up an amonia smell if they are left in a closed container.

I wash diapers when the dry pail is full. This can be once a day, or every other day. I never let the diapers go more than 2 days without washing.

Rinse any stool in the toilet, and place your dirty diapers in a dry pail. Should odors build up, sprinkle a little baking soda on top of each diaper you place in the pail.

When it is time to wash the diapers, I fill the washer with cold water, and add about 1/4 cup of bleach - yes, bleach. I know bleach has been rumored to ruin cloth diapers, but I would rather have a ruined diaper than have bacteria growing on my baby's diapers. (If you use cute prints, remember that bleach can fade colors). There is another choice fro killing bacteria in diapers, which I have not tried yet - called BacOut.

Once the washer is full, I add my diapers. Utilize a rinse cycle followed by a regular wash cycle to ensure the diapers come clean. Adding 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser or downy ball during the final rinse will help soften your diapers and further prevent odors. Vinegar also has some antibacterial properties. Tumble or line dry.

Do NOT use fabric softener as this will leave a waterproof residue on your diapers, decreasing absorption.

*I have used bleach on my diapers for over a year now, with some of the original PUL covers still in rotation, and have not noticed any breakdown in the covers or diapers*

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