Sunday, September 11, 2011

cloth diapers and detergent

I really should specify, cloth diapers and NO detergent!

Detergent is bad for cloth diapers. Most detergents and we all use for our regular clothes is just plain bad! As over user americans, we use too much of everything, laundry detergent included.

Cloth diapers and detergent don't get along. Inserts, prefolds, and doublers all fall victim to the grossness. Build up of detergent on your diapers will lead to what we cloth users like to call STINK! Boy is it stinky! Even these "clean" diapers smell. If you take a whiff of your "clean" diapers and they smell. Thats bad! You likely have a build up of detergent and you will need to strip them. Detergent build up WILL cause a rash on your baby's bum. In order to resolve the rash you will need to get rid of the build up. DO NOT USE RASH CREAM WITH CLOTH DIAPERS, unless you use a throw away liner or seperate liner you use just for cream use. Rash cream will ruin your diapers and lead to leakage. Just ask my hubs ;)

There are a couple of ways diapers get build up.
1) Too much detergent. You should only be using cloth safe detergent. Period. Many people make this mistake and it will ruin your diapers. Modern detergent has agents that are built to break down, soil, protiens, etc. Cloth safe detergents can be found even at your local grocery store. Make sure you choose something that is dye and fragrance free with no "get clean" additives like oxi clean or ingredients that will break down "dirt." Simple is better here. Only use 1-2 table spoons per load.

2) Not enough water. I made this mistake in the beginning. I figured since I was only running a small load I would use a small amount of water. That only lasted a couple weeks until I noticed the tell tale ammonia lingering. Also, don't fill it more than half way. Run a FULL water cycle with an EXTRA rinse. There is some debate about water temperature, but I like Hot. That extra rinse is crucial.

3) Night time diapers and diapers that are sitting too long. Whew! Pee-ew! those suckers are just plain hard to get fresh the longer they sit. That is why I like to wash every other day, NO MATTER WHAT! Even if I have to throw in the baby blankies (which get stinky fast too with all their love) or a few dirty baby clothes to feel justified with the water use.

How to resolve the stink.

1) Try running your diapers and inserts in a load set the water on HIGH, set it on HOT, run an EXTRA rinse with NO detergent. Watch them agitate. If there are any soap bubbles you have detergent build up. If you notice grimy dingy water, you probably have soil build up. I know this goes against every bone of frugal money saving, green water saving in your body, but run the washer until you see CLEAN water.

2) If you still have stinky diapers after the above step. You will need to strip your diapers. There are a couple of ways to do this.

a) put your diapers and/or inserts in the hottest water you can get from your tap with a COUPLE (2-4) drops of original BLUE dawn dish soap, in a bucket, bathtub, or pot. Do NOT put them in your washer. I know you're thinking, but you just said soap is bad. When you have detergent build up, you need to get it out. Think of those cute but sad Dawn commercials with the oil covered critters. Dawn gets rid of the grime. Let them sit for a while, a couple hours is a good place to start. Next, rinse and rinse, and rinse some more! I think doing this by hand is best that way you can make sure you wont flood your house with bubbles from your washer. Once you get all the dish soap out, you can then rinse in the washer. Make sure there are no more bubbles before you bring them out and declare them "clean." If the stink still persists...
b) Boil the inserts. This can ONLY be done with the inserts, prefolds, or doublers. You cannot boil diapers with laminate, it will ruin them. I have not done this myself yet. I have stinky inserts that I just done use, and have other new ones I do use currently. I have heard that this is pretty gross and super stinky. You may want to turn on a fan and open the doors. Reports are, that you need to boil them for at least 15 minutes, stirring constantly. I suggest rinsing them REALLY well in the bath tub and smelling them. IF they still stink. Do it again. Then run them in the washer.

Not only is stink, well, stinky, but it can lead to rash on your baby's bum. Remember, NEVER use rash cream with your cloth diapers unless you are using a liner.


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