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Cloth Diaper Care Flowchart

Is there an alternative to stripping?

The best alternative is catching it before it is a problem.  If you feel you need to strip your diapers it is likely that you first need to adjust your washing procedure (and make sure not to use zinc based bum creams!).  Simply adjusting your wash procedure may be enough to fix the problem without resorting to stripping.  Note that the 'proper' process for normal cleaning WILL be different for different areas of the country, different diaper materials etc. due to different water. 

Does it damage my diapers?

Usually the damage done is minimal compared to the gain you get by removing the deposits.  Don't expect to be covered under any manufacturer warranty after stripping though because the chemicals used do have negative effects on the fabric, stitching, and PUL depending on what materials they are, and what chemical and concentration you use to strip.  Do your best to avoid getting here by using a good wash routine and check your specific diapers manufacturer’s recommendations before starting.

Is it dangerous?

Potentially.  Many mothers have used many different processes to strip their diapers and the overwhelming majority of the time there is no issue.  However, if something goes wrong it can harm your baby and your diapers.  There are more than enough horror stories to warrant some concern.  The primary risk is leaving chemicals on your diapers.  Always remember to rinse, rinse, rinse after using any stripping method.