Thursday, March 22, 2012

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5 Steps to Successful Diaper Sprayer Use

The #1 question I am typically asked about cloth diapering is, "What do you do with the poop?" My answer is, "It goes in the toilet, where poop is supposed to go," followed by a giddy explanation of my beloved diaper sprayer. If you have never tried a sprayer or have been frustrated by using one, here are some tips that have worked well for me and will hopefully work for you.

1. Put the toilet seat up. This may seem pretty intuitive, but several times I have been in too much of a hurry to bother and ended up with not only a wet seat but a wet floor. Take the time to put it up. Trust me.

2. Shake out what you can first. Remove inserts as desired or needed. I rinse my inserts separately, but I know many people don't. Drape or hold the diaper over the side of the seat with as much diaper in the bowl as possible, dirtier side pointing down.


3. Position your sprayer about an inch from the diaper, aiming the flow downward at an angle, not pointed directly at the diaper. This way, debris will naturally fall downwards towards the bowl instead of fly everywhere around over your bathroom.


4. Control the flow. Just because the water can come out of the sprayer at Mach 3 does not mean it should. A steady, strong flow, hold the super high pressure, will suffice to remove most of the poop. We're cleaning diapers here not stripping paint. For stubborn spots, instead of increasing the flow, which can cause nasty splatter, bring the nozzle a little closer to the diaper. Be careful not to touch the sprayer directly to the diaper unless you intend to wipe it off after use. Curious little hands might touch it later, and you don't want residual diaper germs hanging around.


5. Remember, the diapers are going to be laundered sooner rather than later. They don't have to be spotless. Remove what you reasonably can, and let the washing machine do the rest. If you are uncomfortable with placing even slightly soiled diapers in your machine, I suggest flushing after completing these steps, then either repeating with some manual (read: use your hands) scrapping or switching to the dunk and swish method.

Final tips:
- With AIOs that have flaps, keep them folded for the initial spraying. After the bulk of the mess has been removed, unfold the flaps for a final rinse as needed.
- Position pocket diapers that have one opening with the pocket opening down in the bowl so the diaper doesn't fill with water, or you may end up with a water balloon instead of a diaper.
- Large pre-folds may have to be held high above the bowl to prevent sloshing around in dirty water, but the same techniques apply.


Happy spraying!

Kelly is a stay at home mom of a 3 year old and 1 year old, and when she is not running around like a chicken with its head cut off, she enjoys knitting, relaxing in the hot-tub, and shopping...for cloth diapers.

4 comments:

Carolyn said...

What sprayer is that in the picture? It looks more like an electric toothbrush than the sprayers I've seen before :)

Christine Roosa said...

Good pictures!

The bowl on my toilet is so shallow that it is inevitable that I get water everywhere. I've switched to using a 5 gal Home Depot bucket. I sit on the toilet for a better (more comfortable) position. And I lay the diaper directly against the wall of the bucket. It gives the diaper a "back" and makes the spraying more effective.

I also use flannel liners with every diaper because spraying with elastic and bunched up fabric sucks. A liner is easier to spray and tends to get cleaner. It's also cheaper to replace if daycare lady tosses it.

Jo Jo and Bella said...

I love this explanation and your pictures. Of course, I also LOVE my diaper sprayer. My life was much harder when I couldn't use it for a couple of days. If you have low flush toilets it's definitely necessary!

Heather Selby said...

Great tips! Thank you!