We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t – you will: You visit family for the weekend and your 7 month old goes through three days worth of diapers in roughly 5 ½ hours.
Or, you’re at a friend’s house for dinner when the weather turns bad, leaving you and your cranky newborn with nothing but a bag full of wet prefolds.
Or, as was my case, a day trip to your hometown 3 hours away turns into a to-night stay (as it turns out, even a woman whose children are well into their 20s is able to accommodate a baby in their home!).
So what do you do? The thought of running out spending unnecessary money on disposables and forcing your baby’s pampered bottom to endure hours – or days – away from its precious fluff is unbearable! There simply is no choice: you must wash your diapers. And you must wash them now.
The first thing to keep in mind when washing diapers in a strange place is the ever-important detergent (after getting permission of course). Gently ask your host what kind of laundry detergent is used in the machine to wash the family’s clothes. Hopefully it’s on the The List!
If not, I recommend the following:
: Check labels on any detergents or cleaners your host may have. Be sure there are no non cloth diaper
friendly ingredients. If so, run a rinse cycle with a cloth diaper
friendly detergent (or wash a load of towels) BEFORE putting your diapers in the wash! This will help remove the residue from the “bad” detergent this is lurking in the washing machine’s crevices.
Worse case scenario? If you have no other detergent available simply ask for some vinegar or baking soda. The water in the wash will work to get all the “yucky” out while the baking soda or vinegar will remove the smell.
Don’t: Wash your diapers with detergents that contain the following – Pure Soap, Enzymes, Fragrances, Dyes, Brighteners, and Fabric Softeners. Not exactly easy, is it?
TIP: Put a small amount of your usual detergent in a resealable, airtight container in your diaper bag! PLEASE be certain that it is sealed tightly and not accessible by your child!
Having this with you at all times will greatly reduce the woes of washing at someone else’s home. I now keep a tupperware container of Charlie’s Soap
with me always.
Once you’re done washing, a whole new problem comes up – drying! Of course line drying in the sun is recommended, but obviously this isn’t always feasible. However, if you insist on not using the machine and there isn’t clothesline available to you, there’s always my tried-and-true method… there’s a shower curtain isn’t there?
Washing your cloth diapers at someone else’s house really isn’t something to be afraid of. However, I will just have to take this moment to brag a little bit. I do all my diaper washing by hand, which makes it loads (pun intended) easier on-the-go. Sure it’s time consuming but once you get your hands wet (I’m on a roll!), it’s a breeze!
But I do admit during my stay away from home, my diapers took advantage of the luxury of a washing machine. Which brings me to my final bits of advice:
Do: Check the washing machine after you finish.
Don’t: Leave your super-soft bamboo fitted just sitting there in the washer, all alone, with no baby butt to fluff up ever again…. sigh.
— By Christine D.