We all love the look of brand new, soft, clean fluff in our mail box, right? It can sometimes be so difficult to keep it looking that fresh and new, especially after several months of repeated use. I've found several things to do to keep my 15 month old cloth diaper stash looking white and bright. First of all, I try and rinse off the diapers immediately after a diaper change. Second, I don't let the dirty diapers sit in the pail for more than 3 days. Then, in addition to my normal wash routine, I try and strip them using OxiClean (regular, not the "free" or baby versions) every three weeks or so. This not only helps keep buildup to a minimum, it also helps whiten the inserts as well as the liner of my pocket diapers.
During the summer, I also have another trick that works wonders...the sun. I love hanging my diapers out on the line to dry in the sunshine - they bleach naturally and any left over stink that has built up usually just disappears. Since line drying tends to make the diapers and inserts a bit rough and "crunchy", I toss them in the dryer for a few minutes to fluff before I fold/stuff them for use again. I've noticed my hemp inserts in particular get extra crunchy, so I usually just fold and squish it in my hands before tossing it in the dryer. The inserts don't come into contact with my son's skin therefore I'm not too worried if it isn't as soft as if I had dried it in the dryer to begin with. By following this routine, I not only have extra clean looking diapers, I also save some money by not running the dryer as much in the summer time.
-- By Katrina W.
Disclaimer: Some manufactures do not approve the use of OxiClean with their products. Please be sure to check with your diaper manufacturer regarding approved detergents, additives, etc.