July 12, 2012

Using ONLY hot water to strip your cloth diapers.

A mama shares with you her tips for stripping your diapers using only hot water.

What’s up with some of the smells that seem to linger on your cloth diapers? Well, if the diaper begins to smell the minute it comes wet chances are pretty good that you might be dealing with detergent build up. Detergent build up can also cause repelling issues, which is what happens when you notice leaking from a proper fitting diaper.

To cure a detergent build up you should run a hot water only (meaning no detergent) cycle with your cloth diapers, inserts and wipes (if you use cloth wipes). Hot, hot and more hotness. To do this, while it isn’t completely necessary, you can move the temperature of your water heater up a notch a few hours beforehand. Another thing you can do if you have new front loading machine, is a sanitary cycle. Do not wash your diapers in the dishwasher; if one were to fall in the bottom of the machine it might cause a fire. Really, why even chance it?

Curious about this method of stripping and noticing that some of my inserts were getting kind of smelly, I decided to test it out. First, I thought about boiling some water, bringing it down (yes, my laundry room is in my basement) and adding it to the machine after it had cooled some. Then I realized that the likelihood of my clumsy self making it down the stairs, walking through our toy-laden recreation room and opening the kid-proof lock on our laundry room door was slim to none. I went the water heater route.

When the machine is agitating check to see if there are any soap suds; if there are scoop them up and take them out of the washing machine. The suds are the detergent build up in your diapers. I have to admit I was really excited to see how much detergent was built up in my diapers and inserts. Well, apparently Eco Sprout (the only detergent I use on my cloth diapers) really does do a good job (although I don’t know why I was surprised because I love and rave about Eco Sprout all the time) because I had no suds. If I had any suds, after the cycle had finished I would’ve run another one again and removed any existing suds during agitating. You’ll continue this until the water runs clear (like my picture). Then you’re done!

*It is also recommended that you check each manufacturers warranties before going this route.  Water temperature should never exceed 150 degrees and some mfg's recommend not exceeding 130 degrees.
Elizabeth (aka Bert) is a stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for She Thinks Media. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Ben, her son Buggie, and daughter Lady Bug.  When she's not trying to convince Buggie to expand his interests beyond Thomas the Train or put his pants back on she's writing about her experiences as a mom on her blog, First Time Mom (FTM). After all, Bert maintains there's a first time for everything, even if you  have more than one child! 


I have always heard that the sanitary cycle destroys diapers.

Meghan - Everything in moderation. Should you strip this way every single time you need to strip your diapers? No. You probably shouldn't need to strip your diapers that frequently anyways. If you're having to strip your diapers frequently b/c of detergent build up you should look into switching detergent.

Yes, ultimately it's wise to check with the warranty on your diapers and then if you'd like to keep it stay away from this method of stripping.

I boil water and pour it my bathtub. It only takes a large pot of boiling water and my diapers are perfect! It work so well, but if the fear of third degree burns is a bit much the dishwasher is amazing!