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It may seem gross to wash cloth diapers, but the benefits make it worth it.
About 3,3 million tons of disposable diapers are in landfills nationwide each year. One diaper is estimated to decompose within a dump in up to 500 years. Every diaper thrown in the trash can cause the environment to be contaminated with hazardous chemicals and toxic gases for 500 years.
Cloth diapers can make a big difference. You make a difference.
Let go of all your squeamish feelings by following the tips and advice below. It’s perfectly safe to wash the one stain-free white shirt in the same machine as your baby’s dirty diapers. We guarantee your clothes, sheets, and towels will no longer smell like poo.
Before washing cloth diapers
First things first. The recommended washing instructions are on the product’s packaging or the company website. Most cloth diaper manufacturers provide detailed instructions that must be followed to qualify for any warranties.
It’s also important to consider how you will store dirty diapers before washing them. You can use liners in other laundry pails or containers designed for cloth diapering. A waterproof and zippered wet bag is handy when you’re on the go.
You may be worried about the odor (because who wouldn’t?). There are diaper deodorizers that reduce the smell.
Shop for diaper pails, can liners, wet bags, and deodorizers online.
Step 1: Remove all solid waste
The poop of a baby who is exclusively breastfed is water-soluble and doesn’t need to be removed. It’s okay for some moms to throw the soiled diapers in their pail or bag.
If your baby is formula-fed or has had solids added to their diet, you must drop, scrape or spray any solid poop into the toilet before storing it with other dirty diapers.
Some parents spray the diaper in the toilet bowl with a diaper spritzer (which attaches to the toilet like a mini-showerhead). Others swish it around. It is possible to use a spray bottle filled with tap water. Be sure to spray until all poop has been removed.
Step 2: Place the dirty diaper in a bag or pail until you are ready to wash it
You already know how to store all diapers between washes and have removed the poop using a toilet bowl or water sprayer.
When you wash the dirty diapers, you should make sure that the diapers are still damp. They should be so wet they’re almost dripping. The diaper must remain damp until you wash it. This will ensure your baby’s poop comes out quickly and without stains.
No need to prepare the diapers before putting them in the pail.
Run your dirty clothes through a second warm or hot cycle
Use a warm or boiling cycle with a cloth-friendly detergent to clean your diapers. Add a small amount of baking soda to your detergent to boost it. Baking soda can also neutralize acidic smells and remove protein stains.
Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to your wash cycle to help whiten the fabric.
This was helpful. Could you do it? The more water that runs through the diaper, the better. More water will result in a cleaner diaper and is less likely to stain or leave a residue.
Bleach can void any warranties from the manufacturer. Bleach can damage fabrics if it is used too frequently. Vinegar has a natural cleaning acid and, like bleach, is often added to loads of laundry for the benefit of soft, new fabrics. However, the cleaning acids in vinegar are powerful, so only the smallest amount should be used.
Avoid using fabric softeners, including Dreft and other well-known baby products. Fabric softeners can coat cloth diapers, cause a buildup and reduce fabric absorbency.
The cloth diapers can be dried on the line or in the air
Drying cloth diapers outside in the sunlight is best on a line. It’s only sometimes possible to return to pioneering days, but it is ideal. Your baby’s bottom will feel fresh and clean as the sun kills bacteria. The sun also helps to reduce stains.
You can use a clothesline inside to dry diapers if you cannot line-dry them outside. Line drying won’t give you the same fresh, sunny scent, but it will still have its benefits. Cloth diapers will last longer. Hang the diapers so that the weight of wetness does not compromise the elastic.
Some cloth diapers can be dried on low heat but will wear out faster. A dryer can also damage waterproof linings, Velcro, snaps, and buttons.
Check the instructions for drying on the brand or product’s website before you put your cloth diapers into the dryer. Remember that dryers with higher heat settings can cause fabrics to lose their softness.
Stripping cloth diapers
It is a type of washing treatment that removes buildup from the fabric. Yes, you will need to strip cloth diapers at some point.
Stripping diapers will help restore them to their original condition if you don’t feel your detergent is working. You may need to strip if the diapers smell immediately after washing or strongly after a pee. You may need to strip if your baby’s diaper leaks and you have already checked that the fit is good.
The diapers should be stripped to remove residue from hard water minerals and leftover detergent. This can cause more suds in the wash cycle and stop the diapers from rubbing correctly. Also, stripping helps to prevent soiled baby clothes and possible baby rashes.
Use a detergent that is designed to strip diapers in the washing machine. (Or a few drops of original blue Dawn dishwashing soap) Add no other detergents or extras.
Repeat this treatment three times if the smell or rash persists. The diapers should be dried. You can repeat this process every month.
You don’t have to do anything complicated — no pre-washing or soaking is required. All you need is clean diapers, suitable laundry treatments, and patience.
If you think that the problem is detergent, and have soft water, wash the diapers in boiling water without adding any detergent or additive. Only use hot water with clean diapers, and rinse until no suds are visible in the wash water.