One of the things I love the most about cloth diapering is the simplicity of it all. No harsh chemicals, no waste, no last-minute scrambles to the store for more diapers and wipes. Even the laundry routine is simple, repetitive and predictable. However, there are times when I run into little snafus with my routine. Whether human error, product error or just plain bad luck your diapers can start to give you trouble and these troubles can be very frustrating. Thus far I have encountered repelling, lingering smells, build-up and any combination of these three. Through trial and error I have found simple solutions that solve these issues quickly and easily.
Repelling: At one point I had an issue with my diapers repelling. I’m still not sure what the culprit was, but my diapers were leaking when they weren’t even really that full, a sure sign of repelling. I filled my kitchen sink with very hot water, 2-3 drops of Dawn* dish soap and my pocket diapers. I hand scrubbed them and rinsed like crazy. Once I really felt I had gotten the soap out almost entirely (dish soap can be very bad for your washing machine) I then put them through multiple rinse cycles in my washer.
Build Up: Now that I’m using Rockin’ Green (love it!) I really don’t think I will have to strip my diapers much, but in the past I have stripped them. To me, stripping sounds harsh, and maybe even a little risqué! Really it is just rinsing…A LOT…with hot water. The theory is that you should continue to rinse until you don’t see any suds in the water. I never really have a ton of suds with Rockin’ Green, but with prior detergents I saw a lot of suds coming out of my previously “clean” diapers so this step was necessary.
Stink/Stains: My mother taught me to never use the term hate, so I will say I loathe bleach. And it’s not the green side of me that ha…I mean, loathes it so much. I’ve actually found that it’s not as incredibly bad for the environment as one might think. The truth is I can be careless and sloppy at times and bleach is just too permanent a mistake for me! I always try stripping first and drying out in the sun to “bleach out” stains and freshen smelly diapers.
However, sometimes those micro-terry inserts can really hang onto smells and stains, especially the ones from the overnight diapers. When necessary I fill a sink with hot water and just a splash of bleach (see anyone who uses the term “splash” in association with bleach really shouldn’t be using it!) to freshen them up. Again, I rinse, rinse, rinse so there is no leftover bleach anywhere near my little girl.
During my trial (and errors) I have used some other suggestions involving additives like baking soda, vinegar and Bac-Out, but I haven’t found them to be that effective and/or I don’t want to worry about the potential side effects either to my daughter’s skin, my washing machine or my diapers. Thus far, my tried and true laundry routines, along with my “snafu solutions,” have kept my diapers in perfect working order.
-By Jennifer G.
NOTE: We do not recommend the use of Dawn dishwashing liquid to strip your diapers unless you know the problem is due to an oily or waxy buildup (and these recommendations are very few and far between and only on a case-by-case basis. Dawn dishwashing liquid can damage your washing machine! So, if your worse case scenario warrants the use of Dawn then you must hand-wash/scrub the diapers in a sink or basin and rinse thoroughly before running the diapers in your washing machine.