Friday, December 28, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Chronicles: Getting Out the Nasties

Cam's diapers got a bad case of the nasties!  Every time they got wet, they would smell was gross.  I started doing some research and asked my cloth diapering friends for advice.  What I determined is that a) I wasn't using the best detergent to wash the diapers, b) I was using too much of it, and c) I'm using a front load high-efficiency washer that doesn't use enough water to fully rinse all of the detergent out.  I've been using All Free and Clear, but have since switched to Rockin Green which is specially formulated for use on cloth diapers, so I know I'm using the good stuff.  When I first started using cloth I read that you should use 1/4 the amount of recommended detergent per load of diapers.  Well, that's what I did...however, I realized that a normal "load" for a full-time cloth diaper-er is about 20 diapers, and I only have 10 or 11.  So, I'm pretty sure I had gotten a build up of detergent on my diapers that trapped smellies, and I found out that the only solution is to strip them.

How do you strip cloth diapers?  Well, I'm glad you asked :} First, you get on YouTube and you watch a bunch of how-to videos until you find one that seems reasonably do-able...I used this one, and I'm super sorry to the girl who made the other video I watched about boiling inserts, but I can't find it right now.  Then, well, you just follow the directions...

Anyway, there are so many different ways people strip their diapers, but I decided the method I would use for my diaper inserts was boiling.  I boiled them on the stove in batches (about 5 at a time for the size pot I had).  Fill the pot about half full and boil them for about 15 minutes, emptying and refilling the pot after each batch.  I read online that you shouldn't boil anything with waterproof lining or snaps because they could get damaged and shorten the life of your diapers, so I chose the soaking method for all my covers.  I filled the laundry sink with hot water and added probably about a teaspoon of blue Dawn and swished it around.  I let them soak for about 2 hours, then rang out everything and rinsed them in cold water and rang them out again.   Then I threw all of the boiled inserts and covers into the wash and put them through two cold rinse cycles.  And that's it.  The whole process took about 2 1/2 hours.  I didn't use detergent on them after they had boiled and soaked because they started out clean.  They're not quite dry yet, but when I took them out of the washing machine, they had no smell whatsoever!  So, now I feel like I'm getting a fresh start.  I hopefully won't have to strip them for a while (I've heard about every 3 months is common), and when I do, I will just soak everything (diapers and inserts) in some of the Rockin Green detergent for a couple of hours and that will be it. 

Boiling the inserts

Diaper covers soaking

So, now that I've probably bored you to tears, I will leave you with this...

  We're just lucky I guess ;}

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