Saturday, February 13, 2010

Washing Cloth Diapers

The first diapers I bought were Mother-ease. The directions say pre-rinse with warm water and detergent. Use the detergent you use for the rest of your laundry (without bleach). Wash diapers in full cycle at highest water level using hot water and household detergent without bleach. Should you have a tough stain you can use a detergent such as Biz with non- chlorine bleach. Use cleaning agents like this only on an as required basis. Add a final cup of vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your wash to prevent diaper rash.
Recently I purchased BumGenius diapers. The directions say to use a specific detergent or it may ruin the diapers. Wash cold with correct detergent. Wash hot with correct detergent. Follow with a second rinse to remove detergent residue. Use only detergent and water. Once per month use up to 1/4 cup bleach in the hot wash cycle. Always use additive free detergent (no perfumes, dyes, whiteners, brighteners, softeners, enzymes, or other fabric enhancers). Do not use laundry additives including vinegar, baking soda, and fabric softeners.
The whole time I have used cloth diapers I have washed on hot and done 2 rinses. The first cycle I used a small amount of fragrance free detergent and baking soda. The second cycle I added vinegar. I have always figured it was better to do too many rinses than not enough.
I want to wash all my diapers together. With only one in diapers now, I don't want to do more than one load of diapers every few days. So which way is correct to wash the diapers if I want to wash them all at once? Using baking soda and vinegar or not? My cousin sent me directions of how she washed her diapers, but that made another way to wash them different than either Mother-ease or BumGenius recommended. If you wash cloth diapers, please leave a comment and let me know how you would recommend I do it. I'm currently planning on keeping my original system of detergent, baking soda, and vinegar because I have mostly Mother-ease and just a few BumGenius-unless you leave comments that recommend that I don't.
Also, the whole reason we are using cloth diapers is because Lamb 3 was allergic to disposables and is very sensitive. I have noticed a difference when I forgot to put vinegar in the last rinse on Lamb 3. I think Lamb 3 needs the vinegar or he will get worse diaper rash and he is too sensitive to not use it.


Anonymous said...

I would stick with your baking soda and vinegar routine. They are relatively mild ingredients. I can't imagine how they can harm a cloth diaper. I also think they are important for thorough cleaning and rinsing of cloth diapers.

Lisa in Arvada, CO

Dakotapam said...

I do hot wash, and additional rinse. I use unbleached prefolds and some bum genius. I use a squirt of Ecostore laundry detergent... I am so happy with this rinses so clean. With Owen I used ALL Free and Clear on the reccomendation of never completely rinsed from the diapers and caused rashes. I had to use a lot of vinegar. SO far with the Ecostore detergent I don't have to add anything. I use about a tablespoon per load, which makes it affordable since it is $11 for a quart. If I did not do sooooo much laundry I would switch to this for everyhting...but that is not in the budget...I used Target brand detergent for everything else!

Melrose said...

I have been using cloth for 4 years including: Fuzzi Bunz, Motherease, and Little Beetle Organic. I have had huge laundry frustrations with all three until I discovered Soap Nuts through my step mom. You put 3 or 4 nuts in a provided cotton bag and throw them in. The nuts contain saponin that when wet with warm water is released into the machine. Saponin is what is extracted to make detergent. Anyhow, this find took away all laundry frustration as soap nuts take away all chemical residue that detergent leaves. diapers come out clean, fresh smelling, residue free every time. We now use them on all of our laundry (plus since each little baggie made can be used several times, they are sooo cheap). I buy mine from but if you google it there are tons of places that sell them. A 64 oz bag (lasts my family of 5 for 6-8 MONTHS costs 48.85).