Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cloth diapers - washing routine.

In case you missed it, here is my post on what our cloth diaper stash is like.

I sometimes get asked by people who don't cloth diaper about my washing routine and when I explain it, they realize that it's not nearly as yucky as one would think. So, I thought I'd tell you about it.

Wipes: Since we use cloth diapers we also use cloth wipes when at home. I do not pack cloth wipes for when we're out because I use wipes for a lot more than just wiping bottoms. We use disposable wipes for cleaning the kids' hands and faces after they've eaten, cleaning hands after playgrounds, etc. So, I just keep disposable wipes in the diaper bag. But, this is what my wipe stash at home looks like (I made them all from flannel (monkey, giraffe and plain yellow) with microfiber terry on the reverse):I use soapy bottom wipe solution cubes from Sweet Sydney Bean. And I LOVE them! I made my wipes the correct size to fit in a standard wipe container and used an overedge stitch so the flannel doesn't fray.

Pail: I use a dry pail method and have a pail right next to Rachael's changing table in her bedroom upstairs and I also have one in the garage. I keep a wetbag (I have one from Petunias and one a friend made as a gift) in the diaper bag and whenever we are out and I have to change a diaper. The changing table is just out of view to the left and the red trash can is for the few disposables we use.

When Rachael was exclusively breastfed, no rinsing was required because breastmilk poop is completely water soluble. Now that she eats solids (mostly table food) that is not the case. There is a difference in how I get rid of the poop depending on what kind of diaper she is in.
* If she has on a prefold, I do actually rinse the diaper in the toilet. To do this I put on a pair of rubber cleaning gloves, rinse several times until all solids have been removed, then wring out the water and toss it into the pail. I then scrub my cleaning gloves with soap and HOT water!
*If she has on a pocket diaper (BumGenius, Mommy's Touch, Rumparooz) that has a micro fleece or suede cloth lining, then the poop can usually just be flicked off into the toilet (no rinsing) then tossed into the pail. It only sticks to this kind of fiber if it's runny...

Washing: I typically wash every 2-3 days. As I'm loading the washer I pull out all inserts from the pocket diapers. I also try to start my wash at night before I go to bed so they can soak over night.
* Fill machine with cold water, about 2 T. of Bac-Out, let agitate and then soak over night. (My machine doesn't have a soak cycle option, so I set it to a regular cycle then leave the lid open, it will stop and soak after it's finished agitating).
* In the morning I close the lid and let it drain and spin -which takes about 1 minute (since I don't have the soak option, I stand by my machine, it stops for about 5 seconds in between the spin and drawing for the rinse, so this is where I open it again). Then I reset the machine to start a new load on heavy duty with a hot wash/cold rinse.
* I put in 1/2 a scoop of BioKleen free and clear powder detergent with 1/2 a scoop of OxiClean and let it wash like normal. (I only use the BioKleen on my diapers because it's pretty expensive, so we use a different free and clear detergent for our clothing BUT the box of BioKleen that I have has lasted me a whole year!!)

Drying: Everything except my covers goes into the dryer. I dry on high heat with NO softeners. I hang the covers on clip hangers on the rod in my laundry room and they are typically dry in about 20 minutes.

The only other thing I do is when everything is dry and I'm folding it all to put away, I go ahead and stuff all of the pocket diapers. This saves a ton of time when you're trying to change a wiggly baby - just grab the diaper and fasten it on, no stuffing necessary.

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