Caring for your diapers in your home is not as hard as you may think. As long as you follow a few rules they are no more difficult to care for then the rest of your child's clothes. Your diapers can provide years of use with very little effort.
How do I wash cloth diapers?
Washing is what scares many people away from cloth diapers, but in reality it is quite simple as long as you use the right soap and the right routine. Our tried and true wash routine is: prewash on cold, wash on hot using a cloth diaper safe soap, do a second rinse on warm/cold (to get rid of any soap residue), then, hang to dry (if it's nice enough out) or put them in the dryer. If you are using prefolds, or fitteds don’t dry the covers. They tend to last longer if you don't put them in the dryer. Avoiding the dryer also uses less energy.
What do I do with the solids?
Where ever possible solids should be flushed down the toilet. Liners can be used to catch solids for easy disposal. To reduce staining and smell you can use a diaper sprayer to remove any remaining solids (they don't have to be perfect). Diaper sprayers attach to your toilet and allow you to spray the solids directly into the bowl for a no fuss clean-up. We do not recommend cleaning in your bathtub since germs can stick around for bath time.
How often should I wash my diapers?
You generally want to wash them every 2 days or so, otherwise they will start to smell and stains will become more difficult to remove. The odd 3 day long weekend excursion is not going to destroy your diapers, just make sure to remove the solids and get a good diaper bag or the drive home might be a bit smelly.
What soap should I use?
This has been asked by every cloth diaper owner, and in some respects there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Remember what works for your friend in one town might not work for you in your town. The key here is making sure your soap matches your water. Boutique brand cloth diaper detergent works well in soft water but might not clean your diapers in hard water. Detergents need a little extra kick to work in hard water otherwise the minerals from your water will end up clogging up your diaper. A clogged diaper loses softness and absorption and must be stripped to return functionality. If you have to use CLR around your sink and drains to remove water stains then boutique brands likely are not for you.
The absolute worst thing you can do is use too little detergent. As long as you are using a high quality detergent it will be adequately rinsed during the wash cycle and will not cause rashes or irritation, even if you can see some small amount of suds left over after the rinse. Unlike washing your child's clothes, diapers need deep cleaning to prevent them from getting smelly or causing irritation. We always recommend using the amount suggested by the manufacturer, they have done the test and understand what is required to make their product work properly. It goes without saying you should use detergents that are baby and earth friendly, just make sure it has adequate cleaning power.
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