Thursday, November 3, 2011

Washing cloth diapers

   Welcome to part three of my series on cloth diapering. Today I will be talking about washing cloth diapers. You can read about buying and using the diapers in part one and part two.
   As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have 24 cloth diapers, which allows me to wash diapers 2-3 times a week, and have diapers to use in between washings. My son is 15 months old, so he can go longer between diaper changes. Newborns should be changed often, so you may have to wash more frequently with a younger baby.
   I have BumGenius and Fuzzibunz diapers, and they are very simple to use. Every couple of days I carry the diapers and inserts in the diaper pail liner I made down to the washing machine and dump them in. I add about 1/2 a scoop of Charlie's Soap to the load and wash once on cold, then I wash the diapers a second time on hot.
   You can use many different kinds of laundry detergent, but you should buy a detergent that is considered safe for cloth diapers. Some things to look for are: no enzymes (then can irritate the baby's skin and cause a rash), no dyes or fragrances, and low/no-sudsing.
   BumGenius and Fuzzibunz recommend adding bleach to your washing routine about once a month or so. I prefer not to use bleach, so I will do that occasionally if I think it is warranted, but I usually rely on the sun to bleach the diapers and inserts.

   After the diapers are done being washed (sometimes I run them through another hot cycle without detergent if they still smell) I hang them up to dry, either on the line outside, or the drying rack downstairs. I prefer to hang the diapers outside, because the sun helps bleach them, and they smell fresher. However, if it is raining I will hang them on the rack in the basement. I occasionally dry them in the dryer if I am short on time. The dryer makes them soft & fluffy, but it will wear them out much faster. BumGenius actually recommends drying diapers in the dryer occasionally, to help the PUL to stay waterproof and tight.
   I hope I remembered to say everything. Washing diapers is very easy, and probably only takes me 5-10 minutes, every couple of days. The diapers may be a little bit stained (see above picture :), but the sun can help to whiten them, or you can use chlorine bleach on the diapers. I am glad that I chose to do cloth diapers with Titus, and I hope the information I have shared will encourage others to look into cloth too!

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