Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Let's Talk... Cloth Diaper Laundry!

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I created my local cloth diapering Facebook community back in August 2011.  The group has swelled to over 600 members and has proven to be a great resource for our local cloth diapering mommas.  I, along with my fellow Admins, have been working on a blog site for our group where we feature cloth diaper tips, tricks and other resources.  One of the pages I've been working on is about cloth diaper laundry.  Anyhow, I wanted to share the page content and hope you will find the information helpful!

Cloth Diaper Wash Routines and Detergent
Each cloth diaper manufacturer has different recommendations for washing and caring for their specific cloth diaper. So, it's very important to carefully read the tags on your cloth diapers. You can also visit the manufacturer's web site for washing instructions. As a general rule though, the below is a pretty standard wash routine to follow.

So, your first question is probably this...
 "how do I wash my cloth diapers?"

  • If the diaper has hook & loop (Velcro™ like closures on cloth diapers, similar to disposable diaper closures), then secure the laundry tabs before putting diapers in wash.
  • Pre-wash the diapers in cold water to remove waste and help fight stains.
  • Wash hot with cloth diaper safe detergent to clean your diapers.
  • Follow with a second rinse to thoroughly rinse detergent out of diapers.
  • Line-dry diaper covers and shells. Tumble dry inserts, fitted, prefolds and flats. Note: Do not use fabric softener sheets as these can ruin your diapers.

Washing cloth diapers isn't as difficult as non-fluffy converts tend to think. In fact, the wash routine should be simple and shouldn't take up hours and hours of your time.

That said, here are some helpful laundry tips:

  • Wash dirty diapers every other day. This will help fight against stains setting in and will also keep mold and mildew at bay.
  • Remove all solid waste before storing diapers in a wet bag or diaper pail. Simply flush any solid waste down the toilet. You also might want to consider purchasing a diaper sprayer to spray off any residual waste in the toilet.
  • To remove any lingering stains, simply lay clean/wet diapers in the sun. The sun is amazing at getting rid of stains!
  • Manufacturers all have recommendations on the water temperature for the water when you wash your cloth diapers. Water that is too hot can damage the PUL (also knows as polyurethane laminate, which forms the water-proof barrier on the diaper cover). Before washing your cloth diapers with PUL, contact the diaper manufacturer about the appropriate water temperature to use.
  • Many cloth diaper manufacturers recommend washing diapers with hook and loop closures separately from heavy cotton or hemp diapers, such as cotton prefolds, flats and fitted. Washing your hook and look closure diapers separately will help keep the closures looking fresh and like-new. 
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Now, let's talk cloth diaper detergent. When selecting a detergent for washing your cloth diapers, you should always use a detergent
Pure soap, perfumes, dyes, whiteners, optical brighteners, fabric softeners, enzymes, borax and other fabric enhancers.

The previously mentioned additives can ruin the functionality of your cloth diapers, cause them to leak and/or could cause your baby to have diaper rash. It's also important to remember that just because a laundry detergent works well for your baby's clothes, does not mean it will work well for his/her cloth diapers.
There are now many choices for cloth diaper safe detergents. Like selecting the perfect cloth diaper for your little one takes trying out a few different brands and styles, selecting the right cloth diaper detergent can also take a few tries to find the perfect one.

Some popular cloth diaper safe detergents are:

bumGenius Laundry Detergent
Country Save
Ecos Free and Clear
Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper Detergent
Eco Sprout
Thirsties Super Wash
GroVia Tiny Bubbles
Ruby Moon
Charlie's Soap
Eco Nuts

Several of the above cloth diaper safe detergents are available at our local, brick and mortar cloth diaper stores or can be purchased online by your favorite retalier.
Do you have any helpful cloth diaper laundry tips?

Happy Blogging!
Toni The Chic Momma

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1 comment:

  1. Great post! I am getting used to cloth diapering (even the sprayer.) I tried a lot of detergents and I really like eco sprout detergent out of all of them.


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