Written by Girl Birthday Gift
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Cloth diapering can be intimidating and even scary when thinking about all that is involved when you don't have the first clue on how to do it. I wrote about our routine here and here, and thought I'd give an in-depth process of how to store and wash cloth diapers. After all, that was the part I had approximately 436,012 questions about! Isn't that the part that makes everyone cringe? As in, "You mean I actually have to scrub out POOP?" Yes, that part. It really isn't as bad as it seems — I promise, cross my heart.
We have always stored our soiled diapers in a Diaper Genie. I am a freak about smelly diapers, and lemme tell ya, hot temperatures and urine-soaked, poopy cloth diapers don't make for the greatest aromatherapy. The open pail method definitely is not my thing, because barnyard-animal-waste-smell is not my thing. Truly, cloth diapers can get fuuuuunky, and I found that keeping them in an enclosed bag and pail works marvelously for keeping the smell nonexistent. (Many people do not opt for this method because they feel that the ammonia smell and buildup increases by not letting them air out, but I never have those issues as a result from keeping them enclosed since we wash them every other day.)
Washing cloth diapers every other day is the essential step here. If you do not wash them every other day, then they may start building up with gunk and other undesirable smells. The Diaper Genie makes it a sanitary and breezy process since you simply pull the full bag from the Diaper Genie and dump them into the washer. Here is a step-by-step guide on how we clean our cloth diapers.
1. Urine-only diapers and inserts get rinsed with cold water and thrown into the pail. Fecal matter is discarded and dunked in the toilet to remove majority of the waste, and then placed in the pail.
2. To wash, dump the entire Diaper Genie bag of soiled diapers into the washer as mentioned above. Run them on a cold rinse prewash. This usually takes about 20 minutes, and gets rid of surface waste.
3. Once the prewash is complete, add cloth diaper-safe laundry detergent. Regular laundry detergents are not good for the diapers and can cause skin irritation for your little one. (An ideal cloth diaper detergent is one without dyes, bleaches, whiteners, perfumes, brighteners and other enhancers.) You do not need a large amount. By nature, you want to dump the entire bottle in to get rid of that stink, but that is the worst thing for your cloth diapers. If there is too much detergent, it will hide in the fibers of the diapers and that is when you will get an ammonia, yucky build up. I prefer to use this detergent, which works in high efficiency and non-high efficiency washing machines alike. Run the diapers for a full cycle in hot water.
4. Once the wash cycle is complete, run it one more time on a hot water rinse and spin cycle only, to make sure all of the detergent is out.
5. Place the diapers and inserts in the dryer on low heat to tumble dry.
See how simple that is? It really is much easier than it seems, so don't let the idea of extra laundry scare you away from cloth diapering. You're already doing loads per day with a baby, so what's one more, right?
Also, if you do have ammonia-smelling diapers, you need to strip them, which means that you use about 1/4 cup of bleach to wash them in place of detergent in your washing cycle as outlined above. No, it does not bleach out the color of your pocket diapers (which I suggest using), and you will have fresh smelling diapers afterward.
Chances are you have a Diaper Genie if you use disposables, and now know it works for cloth diapering as well! That being said, you can receive a $25 Spa Finder Wellness gift card after purchasing 3 or more varieties of Diaper Genie at Target and by saving your Target receipt and going to this website. You simply take a picture of your receipt and text or email it to the information provided to redeem your gift card. It goes through July 31, while supplies last, so make sure to go stock up. After all that poo scrubbing, this mama is going to get a massage! ;)
Please, please feel free to email me or comment with any questions regarding cloth diapering, and I wish you a happy and successful cloth diapering journey, my fellow mamas!
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