Wednesday, February 8, 2012

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The In’s and Out’s of Cloth Diaper Maintenance and Storage

The way we store and launder our cloth diapers has morphed a bit since starting to cloth diaper our daughter almost a year ago, but it has mostly stayed the same. It is convenient, easy, and makes the most sense for the set up of our laundry room and our daughter’s bedroom. The saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and I tend to agree. Our routine has not changed much in the last year, although I have fiddled with a few things as there is always room for improvement.

While I was pregnant, and for the first few months of cloth diapering our daughter, I searched several mommy blogs and YouTube vlogs to see how other mamas stored and laundered their cloth diapers. I took tips and tricks from many sources to come up with what would work for us. Here is how we maintain and store our diapers. Hopefully there are a few things you can take from it that may work for you.

My in-laws were able to repaint the changing table that my husband used when he was a baby. We liked the idea of having some hand me down furniture and some new furniture in my daughter’s room, and the changing table was a perfect piece to update as a hand me down. The changing pad I received fits perfectly on top and there are two full shelves of storage underneath. Next to the changing pad there is about three inches of extra space where I keep miscellaneous diaper rash remedies, lotions, etc. I got four short storage boxes from Target and put two on each shelf. On the middle shelf, one of the boxes holds our Flip covers, fleece liners, and cloth wipes. The other box holds two rows of diapers (pockets and AIO’s). There is space in between the two boxes where I keep a container of disposable wipes as well. One box on the bottom shelf holds Flip inserts and birds eye cotton flats. The other box holds a third row of diapers and extra microfiber and hemp inserts. So far, this set up has worked perfectly and holds all of the cloth diapers we have with no problem.

I have a 3M hook attached to the side of the changing table where we hang our large Fuzzibunz wet bag that we actually use as a laundry hamper for my daughter’s clothes. On the other side of the changing table is a small trash can with a lid for any disposable wipes we may use.

Once my daughter’s diaper is changed, the dirty diaper (both wet and poopy) gets brought to the bathroom. Wet diapers get rinsed out in the bathtub and then stored in the large Planetwise wet bag hanging from the towel rack. Poopy diapers get sprayed with our bumGenius diaper sprayer and then stored in the large wet bag. We have two large Planetwise wet bags so that when one is being laundered, the other is ready to use.

Every other day, or when the wet bag is full (whichever comes first), I take the wet bag from the bathroom to the laundry room (conveniently all on the same floor) and empty the contents of the bag into our non-HE top loader. Although this style of washing machine is not as environmentally friendly as its HE counterparts, it works very well for cloth diaper laundry because I can set it to use a lot of water during each cycle.

When we started cloth diapering, I used Rockin’Green Bare Naked Babies powder detergent. After about 6 months, I started to experience some stink issues. I read that many people experienced this with Rockin’Green for one reason or another, so I decided to try Ruby Moon detergent. It worked, but not as well as I had hoped. I was originally cautious about trying Charlie’s soap after reading about negative reactions some babies had to it, but my friend was using it and loving it, so I decided to give it a try. We have been using Charlie’s soap for about 3 months and I couldn’t be happier with how clean my diapers come out. (I even used it one day on our towels, and for the first time they did not smell musty when they came out of the dryer!)

To launder our diapers, I follow the “normal” routine:

1. Normal wash cycle on cold with no detergent to get any extra particles off of the diapers.
2. Heavy wash cycle on hot/cold with 1 scoop Charlie’s soap to clean the diapers.
3. Normal wash cycle on warm with no detergent to make sure all soap is rinsed completely from the diapers.
4. Hang up covers and shells on a drying rack. Throw inserts and AIO’s in the dryer on medium heat.

Aside from a few tweaks to detergent and water temperature, our cloth diaper maintenance and storage has gone smoothly for almost a year. I don’t foresee us changing anything major about our routine in the near future. I’m sure I will read about a wonderful detergent and give it a try at some point, and I know I will buy more diapers to add to our stash soon. This routine works for us, and we couldn’t be happier with cloth diapering our beautiful daughter!

Bio: Michelle is a part-time stay at home mom to a beautiful 11 month old girl. When she isn’t day dreaming about cloth diapers, she can be found playing with her daughter and wonderful husband.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Awesome - I'm trying to get an idea of how to set things up, and your post was really helpful for ideas!