Cloth Diaper Laundry Basics

thirsties-diapers.jpg.644x0_q100_crop-smartPerhaps you’re just thinking about cloth diapering for financial or green reasons, but you’re not sure about how to wash your cloth diapers.  Or perhaps you’re in the midst of cloth diaper baby land, and you’re looking for better ways to thoroughly wash your diapers.  Either way, here are some basic tips to keeping your cloth diapers clean and smelling fresh.

  • Use Charlie’s Soap Detergent. This detergent is one of the best laundry soaps for cloth diapers as it contains no enzymes, no brighteners, no dyes, no fragrances, and no softeners—all of which can mean death to an otherwise perfect cloth diaper. You’ll want to wash once with the detergent on a cold cycle, and then once without detergent on a hot cycle. 

  • Preserve your diapers using a laundry rack.  There are many varieties to choose from, but the concept is the same.  One of the most common cloth diaper frustrations is having the elastic wear out.  Replacing the elastic isn’t costly, but it is time consuming and if you make a mistake, you might ruin an entire diaper.  Such mistakes can be costly as cloth diapers average $18 per diaper, or more depending on your brand.
  • Dry your diapers outside.  The sun provides UV rays which act as a natural disinfectant as well as a natural bleach, getting out those tough stains.  Place your diapers color side down, leaving the inside portion of the diaper face up.  There is no need to use a pin with your diapers unless it is really windy outside.  Usually you can simply fold your diapers upside down on the clothes line, exposing the inner portion, to allow for the most efficient drying.
  • Consider investing in a portable washing machine.  The WonderWash will save water and time as it is designed for smaller loads.  Perfect for the cloth diapering parent, it allows you to wash your diapers daily to prevent them from becoming built up with the ammonia odor.  In addition, cloth diapers will pill less and decrease wear on the velcro and elastic when washed in smaller loads.

  • If line drying leaves your diapers more rough than your child likes, you can try adding just 1/2 cup of vinegar to your wash cycle.  The vinegar, which also helps to alleviate smells, will help your diapers feel softer after they are line dried.  In addition, if you dry them in the early morning or late in the afternoon when the sun isn’t directly shining overhead, they will dry softer.

Taking good care of your cloth diapers will extend their use, and ensure they are clean and healthy for your child.  If you’re unsure which clothes line would be best for you and your cloth diapering needs, please contact us today for all your options!

Posted by Tobin Dimmitt August 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM under Home Living Tips

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