Monday, January 14, 2013

Cloth Diapers: Cleaning

We love cloth diapering. Neither Scott nor I can imagine otherwise. We have our routines and it is all pretty straight-forward. We wash a load of diapers everyday. Actually, there seems to always be a load of diapers "in process" in the washer or dryer. For each load, we do a rinse cycle, followed by full wash/rinse cycle with detergent, followed by a rinse cycle. Diapers are washed on "hot" and our cloth wipes are washed too. For the dirty diapers, we also have a sprayer on the side of the toilet that works like a charm! For us, the expense of disposables along with the amount of trash we would have going out of our house, would be more of an inconvenience than the situation we have now. We definitely wouldn't be able to get away with taking our trash to the curb only twice a month like we do now!

Over time, cloth diapers can get a "build up" on them, which often comes from the detergent (hence, the added rinse cycles in attempt to avoid this). We are recently experiencing this for the first time, because Althea has been in this diaper size longer than any other size. The build up results in stinky diapers! Sometimes we expect a poo in the diaper and change Althea to realize that the stink is coming from urine on top of this detergent build up (glamourous, I know). There are a variety of ways to "strip" diapers. It isn't unheard of to use bleach as a way to strip, but we aren't going there! I can't imagine using bleach on anything that is going to touch my babe's precious skin. Adding vinegar to the wash cycle is said to work also, but we've tried that on several occasions without much luck. Using Biokleen Bac-Out is another method. We use Biokleen as a stain remover and it is the best there is, in my opinion, so I can imagine that it might be effective to strip diapers. A friend adds vinegar to every wash cycle, to avoid the ultimate stink. We might try that now the that diapers are stripped.

Boiling your prefolds is a surefire way to get them completely clean. I did this for the first time this weekend, and while tedious, it worked just as I had hoped! No more smell. 3-4 diapers in a pot, boil each pot for 15-20 minutes or longer, change out or add fresh water, and repeat! Highly recommend for any other cloth diaperers out there.


  1. We def have a stink build up, but I think I am too lazy to boil all of our prefolds. I always find that it helps during summer months, when I can hang them outside to dry.... but alas, here in Oregon, those sunny (warm) days are still far away!!

  2. You might find the need to clean out your washer also...not for the dirty diaper smell but washers get musty smelling and that goes on your towels, clothes, etc. Vinegar is one way and there are products on the market for this. :)