Saturday, January 23, 2010

How Do You Wash Cloth Diapers?

Washing cloth diapers is very simple. The easiest thing to do is follow the directions from the manufacturer. Or if you have a mix of different ones, there are just a couple of simple rules to follow:

  • Use the right detergent: Nothing fancy, just do not use detergent that contains any dyes, perfumes, whitening enzymes... has a great chart that tells you which detergents are bad, good, and great. I use Purex Free and Clear, not the best but not the worst.
  • Cold rinse: Hopefully you have a wet bag that you can just throw into the washer with everything else, including your diapers, cloth wipes, and any covers you may be using. Start by rinsing the dipes on cold.
  • Wash on hot: Use about 1/2 of the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent. I know it sounds gross, but believe me, you do not want detergent residue on your diapers. It makes them smelly and less absorbent. The diapers do come out very clean with just 1/2. If you have an HE machine, please use HE compatible detergent. Pinstripesandpolkadots also has choices for HE machines as well.
  • Rinse on warm or cold: I usually add an extra rinse cycle at the end of the wash, just to make sure that the detergent has rinsed out of the diapers.
  • Dry: You can line dry or dry in the dryer on medium heat. Sometimes high heat can hurt elastic if your diapers contain elastic. DO NOT add a dryer sheet or any kind of fabric softener. This will cause your diapers to fail. Drying on the line is nice in the summer time, but it can make your diapers stiff. You can throw them in the dryer to fluff to and soften them.

You may have some diapers that stain. Check this out: if you lay them in the sunshine for a bit, the stains will come completely out!!! I thought that was the coolest thing ever when I first tried it!

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