Cloth Diapers: Pt III: Washing

There are so many ways to store and clean dirty diapers, but this is the way I found simplest and best for me.

I already have a Diaper Genie in the nursery for disposable diapers and I really didn’t want a second can sitting around.  I made these hanging wet bags that match Liam’s room decor:

They are lined in waterproof PUL and I blogged about making them here.

The smaller one is a travel bag and the larger is for the nursery.  Zipping them shut seems to keep the smell out of the room, but if I start to smell anything (sometimes I get lazy about zipping it shut), I move the bag to the doorknob outside the room.

Wet inserts go right into the bag, poopie ones get swished in the toilet first.  I just carry the bag with me to the bathroom, so I am not carrying a sopping wet insert through the house.  Liam comes along and waves bye-bye as I flush the toilet.

You can also purchase a diaper sprayer that attaches right to your toilet, so you don’t have to dunk the diaper.  They cost about $40 and are very easy to set up.

Soiled liners, gPants and cloth wipes also go in the bag.

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Every 3 days I take the bags to the laundry room, dump them out into the washer and then throw the bags in also.  All diaper components, wipes and the wet bags get washed together.

I have front loading HE washer/dryers and I do a quick wash on cold with no detergent to wash off any remaining poop.  Then I do an extended wash (whitest whites) in hot water with an extra rinse.  I use about 2 tablespoons on detergent (a little goes a long way).  The detergent I use is called Crunchy Clean, but you can find a chart of suitable detergents here.  You want to make sure you use something approved for cloth diapers, so your diapers don’t lose their absorbency. You can also add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to help disinfect.

I have used Country Save Detergent and Crunchy Clean and I have never had an issue with stink, or absorbency, so I haven’t had a need to strip my diapers.  If you are having issues due to detergent build-up, there are various ways to strip any residue left on your diapers.  The easiest way is to wash diapers as you normally would and then wash them again on hot with a tiny squirt of Dawn dish soap.

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Once everything is washed, I move all inserts, wipes and gPants to the dryer and dry them on hot. the plastic liners and wet bags are hung to dry.

If any inserts or liners are stained, I lay them out in the sun to dry and they amazingly turn white again! You can also put a little lemon juice on them to help with whitening.  I am really hoping for a rare sunny day here soon, because Liam’s inserts are getting quite dingy looking.

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It sounds like a long, involved process, but I probably spend 10 minutes every three days putting the diapers in the wash, moving them to the dryer and then putting them back in the drawer.

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