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This Adventure, Our Life: The Dreaded Laundry of Cloth Diapers

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Dreaded Laundry of Cloth Diapers

I will be doing a series of blog post over the next week or so to talk about cloth diapers (we will be taking about cloth diapering on the go, cloth diapering in your home, laundry, and tips and tricks from others- If you already cloth diaper or have just began the process and would like to be featured on this series with your ideas and suggestions or your experiences, please email me).  I am doing this series not to impose exactly what I do on everyone, but more or less to show people that it may be something they want to at least read about or look into.  I love cloth diapering, that is obvious, but my real mission is to introduce it to everyone who may or may not be thinking about it (and those of you who are already doing it- great job, share away on any tips or tricks you have!!).    There are certainly no right or wrong answers in cloth diapering, what works for one person does not work for another necessarily, so remember this... 

Please feel free to post questions, comments, or email me.  I will try to answer, or find a place to direct you to.  I am compiling a list of cloth diaper references, so check back for an updated list...

Here is a great post that was written by The Cloth Diaper Whisperer today that sums up things to consider before beginning your cloth diapering adventure, click HERE

For this post I am going to talk and illustrate the dreaded laundry of cloth diapering.  How bad is it?  Where do I start and what do I do?  I am going to tell you what works for me.  I will also tell you about how they recommend you doing washing.  This post will be more about the process from changing table to laundry and how to keep it under control and not out of control.  Of course this is all relative to you, and what works for your family.

To start with:  1.  A happy baby, ready to be changed:

2.  Remove the Diaper,  if this is a poop diaper you will need to rinse it, put it aside to take and rinse with the diaper sprayer in the toilet: Click HERE to see this.  You will want to rinse off as much as you can get off.  I do not think I need to go into detail on this one.  Some people swish it in the toilet.  I do not know, choose what works in your home.
If EBF, then you can just plop it in the wet bag.   Remove the inserts make sure all velcro tabs are attached back to themselves, if you have snaps you are done!

3.  Then put diaper into Wet bag.  Some people use a plastic hamper.  I prefer the wet bag because you can wash it, it has a waterproof lining, you can hang it, and air it out.  I have two of them (always one in her room and one hanging up to air out in the garage and get rid of any stink).  I love the Planet Wise wet bags.  Click here to see them.  I leave mine unzipped, I have never had any issues with stink in her room (she does have pretty bad diapers, one of my friends whom has a toddler informed me that I have a lot to look forward to when Bailey is eating solids because her diapers are bad now!).  I think when you try to zipper them up they actually stink worse.  There are many great bags out there in all different price ranges.

4.  After that or before that choose a new diaper (I store mine ALL ready to go, because I am lazy like that) and put the new one on your baby!!  Usually when I am changing her all she wants to do is practice her moves- you know 4 month old moves like rolling over and such...So I set the soiled diaper aside and change her right away.  It just seems to work like that.  As you can see I have laundry to do, these two pictures tattle tell on me...

There, a happy cloth diapered baby (with really not many more steps than a disposable.)  Oh yes, and most importantly we play, because heck, who doesn't like playing on the changing table.  Bailey loves her changing table (well of course the playing part).

Okay, the laundry part...

1.  We do laundry every 2 days (it really depends on your rotation!  We have well, I do not know how many cloth diapers... some people do laundry every day, every 2 days, or more.)  I have heard the more you go past 2 days the more stink you have...  So basically I know when the wet bag is full, it is laundry time for us.  So join me at the washing machine, with your wet bag of course.

2.  Dump the contents of your wet bag into the washer, and as my husband speed racer pointed out "you do not even have to touch it if you have the wet bag".  Yes, very good point.  Okay so on to lovely diaper photos.

3.  CD’s are very picky on how they are washed, you can RUIN the absorbancy by washing them wrong, with too much detergent or the wrong type of detergent.   We put all the soiled diaper outers and inners in the washer, we use Planet or 7th generation detergent (the 7th Generation can be purchased at Target, the Planet I get at Whole Foods)  We use 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup (WE have a front loader, if you have a different type it is ¼ of the manufacturer’s recommended amount of additive free detergent)  .  NOTHING ELSE (no softner).  We set our washer on HOT, with a pre-wash and extra rinse (this is a MUST).  

Again, there are SOO many types of detergents.  I try to choose some with less chemicals.  There are other great ones, Charlie's Soap, Tiny Bubbles, Allen's Natural, Rockin' Green, and so many others.  There are many places that sell a sampler pack so you can try them out.  I started with 7th Generation and Planet.  They have worked for us perfect.  

Oh yes, the following are the manufacturer directions...I told you I am lazy, but I thought I would add them just in case: TOO MUCH TIME and I am inpatient and do not have time to wash 2 loads, then dry...ugghh... wash cold with ¼ of the manufacturer’s recommended amount of additive free detergent. Wash hot with the same amount of detergent. Double rinse. Line dry covers, dry inserts on normal heat.

4.  We then hang up my wet bag and take the one from the last week and put it in Bailey's room.  We wash them with our "colors" load like once a week or once every two weeks.

5.  For drying we are lucky to live in Southern California where the sun is shinning most of the time.  The sunshine is more than great for cloth diapers, it bleaches any stains out and is FREE.  So this is how our laundry dries:

But, we also wash laundry a lot at night, so this is what we do:
Hang up all the liners on an inside drying rack (mine is a pole we mounted above the washer and dryer.  Any drying area will work (the shower, the bathtub curtain hanger, where ever you can hang something).  

If you must put them in the dryer:  we put them on a medium hot dry, NO DRYER SHEETS. We really do try to hang all the outers (occasionally when I am tired or in a hurry I dry them, yes like tonight!)


Tony, Bailey, and I then re-stuff them (this is the most tedious part for us...)  We sit in front of the TV and do it :) while Bailey is doing her tummy time!  I feel the key is having them ready at all times.  Oh yes, and recently we have started to night diaper (we have always used cloth diapers at night, but wetting has increased)... so we over stuff them.  We only use the couple blue ones we have for this, so for us BLUE= NIGHTTIME.    

See Bailey thinks it is great having people to stuff her diapers for her!  Washing cloth diapers is not that bad after all!!

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At March 17, 2010 at 6:07 AM , Blogger Jenn said...

Thanks for the awesome breakdown Cindy!! I was juggling with the idea to cloth diaper my son when he was a newborn but I was intimidated. I'm sure had I seen a post like this I would have taken the plunge ;) Hopefully it will help someone else out there who is also debating it!

At March 17, 2010 at 7:38 AM , Blogger Cindy said...

Hello Jenn, this is my exact reason for posting this information :) I know everyone will develop "their" way but this is a possible start. Thanks for reading!!

At March 17, 2010 at 2:42 PM , Anonymous Cynde Kasperovich said...

Great job, Cindy! Don't forget that the Nature Bright and Fresh Laundry Concentrate from your local Shaklee distributor are mcuh better for the environment, your baby's bottom, your health, your pocketbook, as well as more effective, than Seventh Generation and Planet!

At March 17, 2010 at 4:27 PM , Blogger My Life As Mom said...

Cindy, I love it! I am new to cloth diapering (as you know) but I wanted to say, please email me to be featured. I'd love to show everyone what it's like to be a exclusive disposable diaper'er turn cloth diaper'er. It's much easier than I thought... however when I've been changing the monkey, I keep forgetting to remove the inserts and just chuck the diaper in the wet bag. Oops.

At March 17, 2010 at 5:11 PM , Blogger Pam said...

Awesome post! I wish a million times I had used cloth diapers. Your baby is so pretty.

At March 17, 2010 at 5:13 PM , Blogger Cindy said...

Stephanie- I will email you and we will set something up!! Yeah I have done that also, or rolled it up like I do when I am out, or left velcro tabs undone (and they ball up)! It happens when we have our minds on the cute babies!!

At March 17, 2010 at 5:15 PM , Blogger Cindy said...

Thank you Pam! I love her to pieces :)

At March 18, 2010 at 2:28 PM , Blogger Kenzington Kollections said...

Very detailed Cindy...I am proud of you! :)

At April 20, 2010 at 4:16 AM , Blogger Raising Z said...

I just started w/ CDs a month ago and actually wrote about it today on my blog. I have enjoyed your series. Thanks!


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