Thursday, December 30, 2010
Another day, another load...of diapers.
It seems as if Miss Sixta is going through a lot more diapers these days. I would say even more than when she was a newborn. Therefore, we are seeing a heavier dirty duds bag. I have been noticing the amount of posts on my fave cloth diapering forum about wash routines. Do you strip your diapers? When do I strip my diapers? Should I use all natural detergents? Is Tide really the answer? Cold prerinse or warm prerinse? Double rinses or just one good rinse? The questions are never ending! And, for someone who is new to cloth, that can be quite overwhelming.
Ahhh...the subject of detergent. I am going to just go out on a limb and say, "Use whatever works for you and your baby!" While water type does matter, the detergent you use can make all the difference in having a clean, fresh diaper. Or, the wrong choice can end up in rashes or a funky smelling diaper! RnG is a good choice, as is Tiny Bubbles for those who like a more cloth diaper safe option. Also, included in this are Country Save, Allen's, and Bum Genius. If you have major stink issues, you may find that Tide HE powder works very well. Believe it or not, I found out that our previous dd's rash was caused by inadequate rinsing. And, then we found that her diaper stinkies (the dreaded ammonia stench) was actually caused by TOO LITTLE detergent! Again, revert to my previous advice and use what works!
Cleaning additives should be covered as well. Vinegar is an iffy choice when it comes to protecting your PUL. However, many attest to its wonder, and how their covers, etc. are never affected. And, it does soften up those prefolds, bamboo, and hemp!! Bleach is an obvious 'uh-uh' for TPU and PUL right? Well, yes and no. The fine folks down at Bum Genius actually recommend a tiny bit of bleach on their dipes, and I can tell you personally, that they are right! We have yet to have issues with our BumGenius products when I follow their routine and tips. That being said, the TPU waterproofing on other diaper products (think GroVia) is more delicate and therefore, bleaching should be avoided. Baking soda? Ummm...I've used this in the past on our prefolds, and only on our prefolds. I had diaper rash on my baby thereafter. This was the only new addition to our routine, so I cannot say that it didn't cause the rash. Personally, I avoid it.
This is how we run a diaper load on our top-loading HE machine:
1.) run washer on warm (yes, you read right-I will get to this in a minute) with required amount of detergent(again, I will get to this, short cycle. We like Tide HE, Purex HE liquid, RnG, Tiny Bubbles, and Purex HE powder. The latter is less than $3 and works well!
2.) run washer on hot (Our GroVia stuff, Softbums shells, and certain pockets, get washed together up until this point, and then I pull them out and do a small wash on WARM just for them.)with a bit more detergent (like a fourth of the orginal amount). Cycle should be set to long, and with a double rinse.
Now, if I feel that the diapers were extra yucky that load, I will run an extra rinse, just to make sure that my OCD tendencies are satisfied-lol. Okay, so you are saying "but why warm?!?! Doesn't cold prerinses/washes prevent stains?" Well, I was doing prerinses/washes with cold. But, then I found, quite by accident, that the warm prewash removed stains better for us and my diapers got so much cleaner.
Again, this is just personal preference, and what works for us. If cold is your cup of tea, then continue with a smile:) If you like Tide or Baking Soda, then proceed! Please take into account your water type. Hard water needs more cleaning 'oomph' while soft water needs more rinsing. This is especially good to know, when you are finding repelling issues.
As for the TPU issue, here's the scoop. The GroVia people, who use this lovely pul-type fabric, recommend washing their products on warm, and so I do. Why? Because, I do not like voiding warranties on my products. That way, if my lovely aio's or our shells spring a leak, then I can honestly say, that I washed according to directions. I really do think TPU is great, and so I treat it a bit better than say, a typical PUL cover. And, may I just say, that GroVia has awesome customer service! Softbums, with their fleecy inner goodness also get washed in warm. While, this is a really hardy cover, I baby them as well. I think of Softbums and GroVia products as fluffy investments. They are worth the little bit of extra TLC I give them. Everything else can stand the vigors of hot washes, according to their respective manufacturers.
Now for stripping. Okay, this is a reality, nowadays, with the introduction of microfiber, fleece, etc. We do occasionally get problems . In which case, we yank out our handy-dandy Dawn soap, and swirl it around the tub (thanks CaraLin for this tip!), wash on hot a couple of times, and 'Voila!' Really clean fluff! I've only had to do it twice with Baby Sixta's diapers. Her Softbums Pods really needed a good soaking, and the end result was a cleaner and even more absorbent diaper.
So, the debates will continue, and the questions will still surface. Relax! I hope you find what works for you. If you are lost and still having trouble, there are loads of info on wash routines, on any of the links I have posted on this blogsite. So, until next time! Happy washing!! BWL
Where to find some of the more natural and approved for cloth detergents:
Rocking Green: www.rockinggreensoap.com
Tiny Bubbles: www.gro-via.com
BumGenius Diaper Detergent: www.cottonbabies.com
Posted by BWL at 11:11 AM