Spoonful Test Blog

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I like big butts: You're putting that poop WHERE?

Now that we've talked about the fun part of cloth diapering (the diapers), let's talk about the not-so-fun part.  Washing them.

The poopy diapers.

In your beautiful, sparkling washing machine.

I KNOW.  It seems weird.  But I promise it's not!

First of all, let's talk about storing dirty diapers.  What I do won't necessarily work for you, and what you do may not work for me.  But we're still going to talk about it.

When I was pregnant with Gibson I did massive amounts of research regarding how to store dirty diapers.  They make pails specifically for cloth diapers, but they seemed awfully expensive for basically just a trash can, so I looked into other options.  We ended up with an 8-gallon step can and some Planet Wise pail liners (you can buy them here).  Easy and inexpensive!  We also bought a few wet bags.  This one is my favorite; I can keep clean diapers in the outside pocket and put dirty ones in the actual wet bag.  These keep bodily fluids (and solids) from getting on things in your diaper bag.  Nice!

I should mention that we always spray off poopy diapers before putting them in the diaper pail.  Unless your baby is exclusively breastfed, the poop needs to be rinsed off before being washed.

At first, we kept the lid on the dirty diaper pail...I mean, you need the lid to keep smells from getting out, right?  WRONG.  Keeping the lid on actually created more nasty smells...when all that urine is kept in a pail with no oxygen, ammonia is created and it smells awful.  So now we keep the pail open on top and we get far fewer smells.  Thank goodness!

So now the pail is full, and it's time to wash your diapers!  Again, there are many different ways to wash diapers.  Not every process works for every person, but this is just an explanation of my process.

I take the pail liner out of the diaper pail and lug it down the stairs to my laundry room.  I then empty the liner into the washer, making sure to balance the load (otherwise my washer HATES ME), and I throw the pail liner in on top.  It's a good idea to have two pail liners so you can always have one clean.

I start with a cold rinse with no detergent.  This helps get the yuckies off the diapers.  After that is finished, I do a warm or hot wash (depending on what I feel like doing) with original Tide powder.  I used to use cloth diaper specific detergents, and they never worked for me; I had awful ammonia smell, and it just didn't seem like they were getting clean.  Since switching to real detergent everything is hunky dory!  When choosing a detergent, you really just need to find something without any synthetic fabric softeners.  Whatever works for your clothes will generally work for your diapers.

When washing my diapers, I use the same amount of detergent and water that I would for a similar-sized load of clothing.  Many cloth diaper manufacturers will recommend that you use something like two tablespoons of cloth diaper-safe detergents ONLY.  But that definitely didn't get my diapers clean.  If I got poop on my normal clothes I would use more than two tablespoons of detergent to clean them, so I'm definitely going to use more than that on my diapers!  It works for me, but some people have success using very little detergent.  Again, whatever works for you is fine!

After I wash the diapers, I rinse them one more time just to make sure there's not a ton of detergent left to irritate Gibson's sensitive tushie.  Then it's time to dry!  I generally line dry all my covers and pocket diapers and put the inserts in the dryer.  Some people dry everything in the dryer, and some people line dry everything.  If you're going to throw your covers, pocket diapers, and AIO diapers in the dryer, though, make sure you don't stretch the elastic while it's hot.  Just wait until it's cool and it should be fine!

So there you go!  My wash routine!  I do a bleach soak every once in awhile to get rid of yuckies, but it's not something I do every time I wash my diapers.  You can use bleach on the PUL fabric of the covers, pockets, and AIO diapers and it will not fade it or anything.  If you have stains on your diapers, the best way to get rid of them is to put them in the sun while they're damp.

Oh, and my washing machine does not smell like poop in the slightest, I promise.  And neither do the clothes I wash in the washing machine.  Or the diapers.  Nothing in my house smells like poop!

...except the dog's mouth.  But we won't get into that.
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