November 16, 2009

Stripping Diapers

Cloth diapering in northern Canada is about the same as cloth diapering anywhere else, with one notable exception: line drying is not an option 5 months out of the year. We just don’t get any direct sunlight, so even when the temperatures are conducive to line drying, the sun isn’t strong enough to deodourize or remove stains. Thus, when my dipes started to stink on a few days ago, I broke out the ole computer and looked up cures.

Today, I tried the Dawn Dishsoap method. IT WORKED!!! No more stinky diapers! And how did I do it? Well, it goes something like this:
  1. Wash diapers in HOT water with one to one-and-a-half tablespoons of original formula blue Dawn dishsoap.
  2. Rinse in HOT water 3-5 times. This is important, as you need to get ALL of the detergent out of the diapers (and it will also remove any previously accumulated buildup). To ensure that you’ve rinsed enough times, peek into the washer just as it’s finished agitating, but before it’s started the spin cycle. See lots of bubbles? Rinse again!

  3. Dry as usual. (Like many Canadians, I have a drying rack inside to combat the dry air in the house. Drying laundry indoors is WAY cheaper than a humidifier!)

Not only did this method get rid of the stinkies, but stripping your diapers can help if you’re finding that they don’t have quite as much absorbency as they once did.

**Note from Heather: this method of stripping is safe for all types of diapers and is recommended by many manufacturers, BumGenius and Knickernappies included. It does require the use of original blue Dawn dishsoap.

--Written by Alannah


When I stripped my diapers a few months ago, I did some research online that recommended against using Dawn in HE washing machines because it way too bubbly. So I stripped mine by hand (after washing them in the machine, of course). After rinsing in the sink, I put them back in the washing machine for a few rinses before drying them. I could see an immediate difference in the diapers.

Thank you so much! I need to strip and I've never done it before. I've read in places to also add bleach to this. Would you recommend it? Please email me at Thanks!