Feeling overwhelmed with all the advice out there on washing cloth diapers? Don't panic! Plain and simple here are the top 10 suggestions I give to people when asking me about their washing routine:
1. Do a pre-rinse cycle
Getting the poop and pee concentration down before doing your main wash will allow your detergent to work it's magic so everything comes out squeaky clean.
2. Do know your water type - generally speaking
No need to go over the top and buy water test strips - it's just laundry after all! But, if you have a general idea of your water type (think hard, middle of the road, and soft) this will help you select your detergent and amounts. Hard water means stronger detergent and a little more and soft water means milder detergents are okay and you can get away with a little less.
3. Do use warm water
A good rule of thumb - bodily fluids and solids come out best at the same temperature they went in.
4. Do the drying process that works best for you
Cloth diapers are more durable than you think. Putting them in the dryer at low-medium heat is okay. If hanging to dry is your style - go for it!
5. Do stains bother you?
Lemon juice is a fantastic stain remover! After the diaper is clean, sprinkle lemon juice where you can see stains and leave sit in the sun for a few hours (in front of a window in the winter will do just fine too). After a few hours the stains will disappear! Do a quick wash again and your stain free diapers will be as good as new.
6. Don't use fabric softeners
While fabric softeners make your laundry super soft, it coats your diapers in a thin layer that repels moisture - which is the exact opposite of what you want your diapers to do.
7. Don't use dryer sheets - I REPEAT! DON'T USE DRYER SHEETS!
While the thought of having your diapers smell of "springtime breeze" is alluring - dryer sheets have the same water repelling effect as liquid fabric softeners.
8. Don't over-do the bleach
Sometimes bleach is required to be introduced into the wash routine. It is a good idea if you are washing second hand diapers for the first time or if you have discovered your little one has a yeast infection in the diaper area. But, adding bleach into every load is not necessary and can be hard on waterproof PUL and elastics.
9. Don't use petroleum based or fish oil based diaper creams
Some rash creams don't wash out of fabric well. Make sure your cream is cloth diaper safe.
10. Don't be afraid to reach out to me for advice!
I am here to help - whether your bought your diapers from me, got them as hand-me-downs, or purchased somewhere else I am always happy to troubleshoot and walk you through your wash process. More times than not, a leaky or smelly diaper problem can be fixed with some tweaks to your washing routine.