Caring for Cloth Diapers
A big part of our mission is to empower families to tackle cloth diapering just like our great-grandmothers did. If they could wash diapers by hand, surely you can figure it out too. There are so many ways to wash cloth diapers, and even to troubleshoot any issues that may arise (hard water, wrong detergent, etc.)
We'll answer all of the trouble shooting questions too, but lets break it down with just the basics first.
Do I need a special detergent?
No! There are so many detergents out there that will effectively clean your cloth diapers. Here is what you'll want to look for when choosing a detergent that's right for you:
- Detergent must be clean rinsing (no optical brighteners, fabric softeners, and avoid fragrance). A clean rinsing detergent will prevent build up on your diapers, which will prevent ammonia issues.
- It must be appropriate for your washing machine (HE detergent for HE machines)
- We highly recommend checking out the Detergent Index from Fluff Love University.
Once you've got the right detergent, you're ready to wash! Here's just how simple a cloth diaper wash routine can be:
- Remove solids from dirty diapers by plopping into toilet, or using a diaper sprayer.
- Add diaper laundry to washer, use one scoop of detergent, and set it to run the shortest cycle on your machine. This "pre-wash" agitates the diapers and rinses out all of the impurities, so that the water in your main wash won't be soiled. (You can't clean with dirty water!)
- Once the pre-wash is complete, pull diapers from the side of the drum, add 2 scoops of detergent, and run a heavy duty cycle (or the longest cycle on your machine)
THAT'S IT! You just washed your cloth diapers!
Things to Avoid
- Soaking- Soaking your dirty diapers before wash day will weaken the fibers and cause your diapers to break down prematurely.
- Sanitize Setting- This setting on your washer is too hot and not necessary
- Diaper Creams and Ointments that are petroleum based can cause your diapers to repel instead of absorb! Always opt for a rash treatment that is free from petroleum.
Let's Talk About Stains
Listen, poop happens, and sometimes your diapers will feature some "diaper art". Most stains can be removed by setting damp diapers (after they've finished the wash cycle) out in the sunshine to dry. Lemon juice will aid this process and is a natural alternative to bleach.
Stains can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from diet and biochemistry, to just having dirty diapers sit for too long between washes.
For more in depth troubleshooting, FAQs, or resources about cloth diapering, visit Fluff Love University