Sunday, June 14, 2009

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Wash Day: A peek into my personal diaper care routine

When I began cloth diapering, I pretty much came up with a "game plan" for how I was going to care for the diapers before they even arrived in the mail. I did my research and asked lots of questions so that I could gather up everything I would need to get the ball rolling upon their arrival. Country Save...check. Dawn & Bleach for stripping as needed...check. A plan for storing dirty duds...check.

I originally started out w/ Bum Genius One Size diapers (POCKETS). However, I recently acquired the Bum Genius Organic Diapers which are also One Size, but they are more like All in One (AIO) diapers because the insert is sewn in. Though I'm currently only using the All-in-ones now, I wanted to share my routine including both types of diapers because my routine is pretty much the same for both.

The system I came up with is what we have used since the beginning w/ only a few minor tweaks along the way. Upon removing the diaper from the baby's bum, here are the steps I follow...

PRE- WASH DAY
1.) We toss the Bummis BioSoft Flushable Liner into the toilet. (This brand will not hold up in the wash like other brands...but they are SO much softer).

2.) I rinse the wipes and squeeze them out.

3.) Then we remove the insert (POCKETS), rinse it under hot water for a short wile and then we roll it up, squeezing out the excess moisture along the way. (This is just my personal preference...to reduce the odor as well as reduce the ammonia gases that can build up between washes). If any poo got onto the pocket, I simply rinse it clean under the faucet. For the AIO, I just rinse the entire diaper, turn upside down and squeeze.


4.) Then, I toss everything into the washer. (This is what I use as my "wet bag"). Believe it or not...we almost never have odor issues in the laundry room.

5.) I return to the bathroom and quickly wipe the counters & sink down to sanitize them and then I wash my hands w/ an all natural antibacterial cleanser.

***If a barrier cloth was used due to ointment application, I rinse & squeeze it out and toss it into a small basket next to the washer so that I can wash them separately.***

This may seem like allot of steps but, in reality it takes about 3-4 min. tops. And, at this point you may wonder how I get laundry done w/ my washer tied up as a diaper pail. Basically, I do laundry every other day just like the diapers...I just do it after the diapers are done. There's really nothing to it.

WASH DAY
So, my diapers, doublers & wipes are already in the washer...ready to go. My wash routine is really simple...

1.) Cold Wash Cycle w/ Country Save

2.) Hot Wash Cycle w/ Country Save

3.) Cold Wash Cycle - Water Only.

*I discovered that my machines "rinse" cycle was only filling the machine w/ water, let set for about 5 min, drain and spin....I felt like the diapers needed to be agitated in the water to truly get rinsed, so I just run the full wash cycle.*

4.) For drying, I would hang the POCKETS on a drying rack and toss the inserts, wipes, AIO & doublers all into the dryer and set to the medium setting. ***I have heard of many people also air drying the AIO's but, from my research, I discovered that they fluff up and have more absorbency when tossed in the dryer...just like the inserts to the POCKETS.

ALL FLUFFED UP AND READY TO GO
Once everything is dry I wet the wipes and put them in the wipe warmer.

With the POCKETS, I would turn on a TV show or DVD while the baby was sleeping and stuff the diapers, place a flushable liner inside. With the AIO's I simply place a flushable liner inside and they are good to go! I love when my diapers are ready to grab and go.

And that's it...my routine from beginning to end. Many people have a routine that works wonderfully for them and their family and this is what works wonderfully for us.


- by Amanda G.

30 comments:

Under the Son said...

I just began cloth diapering and am still trying to find a good routine for washing. This post was great and very helpful. I like the idea of rinsing before putting in the hamper.

Upstatemomof3 said...

I really like the idea of rinsing the inserts. I may just have to add that to my routine.

Desiree Fawn said...

I tend to use our washer as a bit of a diaper pail sometimes. I'll tend to wash a load sooner if there's a rather big poop :)

KayStarGoesGREEN said...

Great Info! Thank you!

Keeping up with the Connors' said...

Great idea with the wipe warmer... always thought those were a waste...maybe not...

Cheryl said...

One quick correction to my post: I use HOT water in the rinse cycle...not sure why I typed 'cold'.

Happy Washing! :)

Amanda G.

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing your routine. I think I have changed routines as many if not more times than I have had kids. Right now with two in dipes, I have gone to washing every day. Pockets for my 20 mo. old one day and infant prefolds and wraps for my 3 wk old the other. I can't wait until they are both in pockets and hopefully can go back to washing every other day.

Jennifer said...

I so needed this post! I am glad to see someone else who doesn't mind touching the dirty diaper:) Thank you so much! This site is such a wonderful resource to all cloth diapering people!

Kristin said...

So helpful - thanks! I am definitely working on optimizing my wash routine and it helps to see what others do.

k.hofferberth at gmail dot com

A Psych Mommy said...

I haven't been washing my barrier liners separately when I use diaper rash creams--I wonder if that's why I have repelling issues--I'm not sure why I didn't think of this earlier!

srr said...

grab and go is nice for me too. folding my fluff is so relaxing for me. i never thought i would be saying that, but it is! i love it! and folding all the super colorful covers that i have makes me cheerful all day.

Cari C said...

Thanks for the info! I'm always looking for tips to make laundry easier. I think I'll start rinsing my diapers too. I just have a small open trash bin in the laundry room where I put the diapers that I change on that level of the house. You are right about the lack of smell! It is my zippered wet bag that knocks me over when I unzip it and the ammonia is released!
Are there any tips from mamas with HE washers?? I could really use some!

Staci @ teaching money to kids said...

I was totally about to ask for a more specific washing routine. And you have answered my question. I had been wondering what to do with rinsed diapers. I will have to see if just throwing them straight into the machine will work for us. 'Cause that is a great idea!

Thrifty Mama B said...

Thanks for the routine sharing. I need to get some liners but hubby seems to think they are a waste of $... can someone send me some links to some good info on some good liners? Oh and we use both pockets and AIOs but we own more pockets.

Heather M said...

This is a good routine... I've Just started Cloth Diapering (Like 2 weeks ago) Even though my daughter is 2, I want to CD the next one so I wanted a Jump start and get a feel for them now. Well we only have 4 diapers so we can't use them all the time right now. But we're trying to build up our stash more! I like the idea of rinsing the Inserts. That's a great idea and it probably would reduce the ammonia gases! I also like just putting them in the washer until they're ready to be washed! I've just been using a plastic bag! Thanks for showing us your routine!!

Serena said...

Cari C:

I've found through extensive laundry experiments that the routine that works best for HE machines (as well as top loading machines too) is the following:

cold water wash, short cycle - w/1 tablespoon OxiClean (or detergent)
hot water wash, heavy duty cycle - w/1 tablespoon detergent (I use Country Save)
additional rinse, warm water if possible

I also opt to add a heaping tablespoon of baking soda along with the OxiClean (in the cold water wash) as this helps combat some of the odors. If your machine has an "additional water" or "more water" feature then be sure to utilize this feature for optimal results!

I hope this helps!

-Serena

Amanda said...

@ A Psych Mommy...yes washing your barrier cloths w/ the diapers will allow all of those oils from the cream/ointment to transfer to the diapers during wash which is most likely why your having repelling issues.

Start washing them separately and strip your diapers....hopefully they will stop repelling for you.

Amanda G.

Carisa said...

Thanks for sharing your routine, I am new to cloth and love seeing how others handle it. I have that exact purple basket for my daughter in our laundry room!!!

:) Carisa

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

Great post. I am always looking for ways to tweak my wash routine. Thanks!!

Serena said...

Thrifty Mama B: Disposable liners are a little costly, especially if you're using them for every diaper change.

You can opt to buy reusable/washable liners - that way you're not throwing your money away. The raw silk liners are great but they do have to be hand washed and don't cover the entire width of the diaper area. Here's a link for those.

The Bummis Bio-Soft liners are the softest available but they are the most expensive.

The ImseVimse Rice Paper liners are the best value... they are a bit rough feeling, but the best part is these liners can actually withstand a few wash cycles therefore, you can reuse them (pee only liners - the poo soiled ones would need to be tossed).

Alternatively you can make your own by cutting up super thin fleece (microfleece works best) - this would be the most economical solution and you can wash/reuse. =)

I hope this helps!
-Serena

coconuts said...

I do the same things with the rinsing and tossing in the washer. I do not have a wet bag and that makes the most sense.

Jenney said...

Wow, I am glad that works for you...we have many less steps and still clean diapers. I think though that it may depend on what diapers you are using. Thanks for posting!

Anna said...

What a great routine. I think I might have to add the step of rinsing inserts to my routine.

Lynn said...

Interesting. I like the idea of rinsing poopy inserts. *ponders*

aithyne at gmail dot com

angelina said...

i love that orange!

Sara in Seattle said...

I love seeing that multicolored stack of diaper shells :)

lusea said...

If you have a second to answer a question...I also have the aio bum genius diapers, do you hang/air dry them for enviromental reason's or because the diapers shouldn't go in the dryer?

I only have 20 diapers so if I do not dry them right away I would run out.. (how long does it take for them to air dry for you?)

but you got me wondering If I am somehow ruining the diapers..

Thanks
Lusea

Hannah said...

I'm going to have to suggest that "washer as wet bag" idea to my friend. She lives in a small space and has a tight budget so it might help her on both those fronts.

MaryAnne said...

I've used my washer as a wet bag also, and never had odor issues.

Amanda said...

Hi Lusea,

Actually, I said I hang dry the pockets but I generally put the AIO's in the dryer. (I have heard of moms air drying the AIO'S but, it takes a very long time to fully dry they really fluff up better when tossed in the dryer.) The downside is that heat can take a toll on the elastic over time.

We just moved & they provide the washer and dryer here so we put ours in storage. Unfortunately, the dryer where we live now takes 2 full medium heat cycles to get my diapers dry (where as before it only took one). That's an awful lot of drying time! So, I wash my diapers at night after DD is off to bed & I hang dry the AIO's over night by flipping the sewn in insert around to the outside of the diaper & hang them in the drying rack (if you can do this outside during the day...even better! I can't where I live) and then I run them on 1 medium cycle in the morning to finish drying them and fluff them up.

If you don't have a large enough stash to wait for air drying I would recommend adding a couple of covers & a dozen prefolds or flats to your stash as an inexpensive way to reduce the constant wear and tear on your nicer diapers.

I hope that helps and clears things up for you. :)

Amanda G.