June 6, 2011

Tips for Washing Cloth Diapers and Wipes!

Guest Post by Samantha

With two young boys (one ALMOST potty-trained, thank goodness!), I’m definitely in the business of keeping life simple! That’s why I’ve whittled my laundering process for my cloth diapers and wipes down quite a bit. Washing cloth diapers and wipes may seem intimidating, but once you have a routine, it becomes second nature.

Planetwise Hanging Wet/Dry bag
First, find a spot to store diapers in between washings. I USED to just hang rinsed diapers and inserts over our shower bar, but realized that the smell (and sight) overwhelmed me. I then was able to find a large enough wet bag that accommodates my diapers between washes.

The print is cute enough to leave out and about, but it stores my diapers (zippered) neatly. It also makes transport to the washing machine easy. The smell is contained and the bag does not soak in the wetness since it’s a wetbag. Other options include diaper pail, diaper pail with liner, laundry line outside, or just a bucket. It depends on your needs and where you are able to store them. In between washes, I simply rinse the diapers (poopy diapers get rinsed well into the toilet) and store in my bag. I did not buy a diaper sprayer simply because I looked to keep costs low and felt the shake method worked fairly well for me. 

For the actual washing process, I keep my steps simple. I dump all of that load’s diapers in (separating inserts, pockets, liners, etc.). I fill the machine with cold water and allow the diapers to rinse without detergent. My washer has an option that allows me to do this. If yours does not, I recommend running a complete wash with no detergent to “rinse” the diapers. I like to use a full load of water because I have quite a few diapers to do once it’s time to wash them. 
Diapers in and ready to go!
After that initial rinse or soak, I do a hot water wash with two tablespoons of my favorite cloth diaper detergent. My current favorite is EcoSprout – they have great scents, wash the diapers well and it’s earth friendly! I highly recommend it, but you can also very successfully use Allens Naturally, Country Save, Rockin Green or another cloth diaper safe laundry detergent from your favorite cloth diaper retailer.

Once the hot water wash is complete, I rinse my diapers twice without detergent to ensure all the excess has been removed. Finally, I place all inserts and dryer-safe diapers in the dryer on low heat. The rest are either hung on my laundry line or inside on a towel rack if the weather is not cooperating.

Occasionally, I find the need to soak my diapers and usually soak them overnight in a washer full of hot water with three tablespoons of cloth diaper safe detergent. In the morning, I run a full wash and one rinse to ensure they are squeaky clean! Over time, you’ll develop a routine that works for your household. I have a large enough stash now that I only have to wash diapers three times or so per week. The last step is my favorite – folding and stuffing all that beautiful fluff!

By: Samantha Schultz
I am a mostly SAHM of two boys, Charlie (28 months) and Jack (5 months). I enjoy making the most of my family scrapbook online at The Peanuts Gang (www.thepeanutsgang.com) and sharing our adventures with the world!