Are you looking to destroy that investment you made in cute, functional, eco-friendly cloth diapers?!
Of course not, but if you wanted some good ideas on how to do it, here they are!!!
- Too much bleach. YES, you can add bleach to your wash. I add it to my rinse cycle, just a bit, directly on the diapers (not in the dispenser) every few washes, but too much is, well… too much.
- Diaper cream. any of those pasty white creams are a no-go. They will plaster your diapers, don’t come out in the laundry and will ruin the absorbency. Plenty of diaper creams out there are made for cloth diapers– those are your friend- check the packaging info, talk with your local store, or check with your diaper manufacturer. As far as creams go, anything to treat yeast infections can also be hard to get out of diapers, so definitely be careful with that. Also note that many rashes are not from cloth diapers- in fact there are no chemicals in cloth, so if you’ve ruled out your detergent- take a look at any new foods, teething or medications your child may be taking.
- Overheat them. Washing your diapers on any water temperature above warm, like the sanitize setting, or drying them on high heat is a sure way to destroy your cloth diapers! To keep them in tip-top shape, wash them in nothing more than warm (or hot, if you must) and try drying for longer on a lower heat, or line dry them inside. To get the benefits of the sun’s bleaching and freshening power, totally line dry outside, but bring them inside when they’re dry! If you leave them outside in the sun, just like direct heat from the washer or dryer, you will end up wearing out the elastics long before their time. Line drying is awesome, but lay them flat so your diapers aren’t weighed down by the water and stretching out the elasticity.
- Use the wrong things to “strip” diapers. You definitely do not need to strip your diapers if you’re using the proper cleaning routine (check out THIS video), but there are items specific to helping release the build up in diapers. I personally love RLR and Grovia Mighty Bubbles. Please, don’t use cascade or Dawn… these things are made for dishes. They are too harsh for clothes and can effectively cancel the warranty on your washing machine! Keep your routine simple with a rinse, wash, rinse and dry routine. Which, with enough detergent, done every 2 days, should be just right. Don’t go experimenting with a million things on your diapers- you’re also experimenting with your baby’s skin! TLC and consistency will go a long way to keeping your diapers perfect for all of your babies… and to sell at later date, too!
- Fabric softener. Fabric softener is actually chock full of chemicals, so probably not the best thing for you anyway (and it can make you super itchy with all the fragrance)… but it’s also a known culprit to making anything absorbent, not- towels and cloth diapers alike. If you’ve ever used a really soft fluffy towel that doesn’t dry you but pushes the water across your skin, chances are it’s due to fabric softener. It will do the same thing to your cloth diapers, rendering them totally useless. Make sure you check your detergent for fabric softeners! As a side note, there are some “natural” softeners… I have never tried them, but I’ve been told they’re OK to use. As a rule, I just steer clear and use Woolzies!
- Washing your diapers in unconventional places. What does this mean? The dishwasher, boiling hot water, or microwaving your diapers to sanitize them are all awful ideas. So… just no. I don’t care what YouTube told you.
- Detergents. Not using detergent- or too many rinses. Water is not enough to clean your diapers. Please. Please, use detergent with a cleaning agent. If your diapers are not clean they will, of course, stink and eventually there’s no coming back if you let it go, but worse, ammonia build up can cause ammonia burns on your babe. With that, once you rinse/wash/rinse, you should be done! Too many rinses, especially if you have hard water, just gives your diapers more opportunity to have build-up. There are natural washes, too… but many just contain soap, not detergent, which just builds up on your diapers. The right detergent in the correct amount, and friction with enough water are what will get your diapers clean. Watch your machine- there should be enough water for the diapers to move against each other – too little and the water won’t move through them and you’ll get residue, and not too much that they aren’t rubbing against each other (the agitation helps in the cleaning process). Once you find your clean, stick to it!
- Fish tank ammonia remover. I want to repeat that: Fish tank ammonia remover. PLEASE DON’T USE AMMONIA REMOVER FOR FISH TANKS. Let’s be obvious: your baby isn’t a fish. (MIND BLOWN?) There are enough things out there to help with ammonia. Please, don’t use mystery cleaners like this.
- Enzymes + essential oils. These can be OK in small doses, but aren’t necessary and can cause more harm than good to your cloth diapers, over time. Just avoid them and keep a good, basic cleaning routine.
- Not reading about your specific diapers. Bamboo, rayon, microfiber… they all have their own nuances. Get to know them to make sure you’re treating your stash right!
11. Wax. “Asking for a friend..” Why would wax be in your diapers? Some children (mine represent the some)
ingest crayons. Fun fact- you will see them again just as they were swallowed! Make sure any remnants
from wax items consumed are tossed before washing! This also applies to Playdoh, and other art supplies
that are both fun to work with AND eat! Just make sure solids are good and gone before you wash- a
sprayer may be a good investment, but I’ve found BioLiners to be perfect for us.
For everything I mentioned above in a helpful “how to”: How to Wash Cloth Diapers.
My favorite cloth diapers/Grovia.