Monday, August 24, 2009

Soak, Wash, Rinse, Spin. . . Repeat, Dry, Stuff. . . Repeat. . . Repeat

Washing cloth diapers was the furthest thing from my mind a year and a half ago. But thanks to a friends enthusiasm about using cloth, I tried and I am now the proud owner of a large stash of cloth diapers or nappies as they are frequently called around here. I am an addict. I love using cloth, but I have to say that finding the perfect wash routine has been an interesting journey. I still don't know that it's perfect and I am sure between now and the end of our cloth diapering journey this routine will be tweaked time and time again.

I have to say that when I started I totally needed a cloth diapering for dummies book because I was absolutely clueless! Now, I probably still need the book, but I like to think I know a little more today. Our current stash consists of, well, all pockets except one fitted and one cover. You can see where our heart is in nappies. Though I just recently won this fitted we are using and I have to say, IT'S AWESOME. But that's a post that's already been.

The Load
Daniel is carrying a full load. Off to the changing table we go. Hose him down, nice clean nappy, nice clean baby. I peer into the wet bag and I am reminded that today, yes today, would be wash day. I take the inserts out when they come off the baby. I don't like the idea of going through 15-20 uggie nappies to pull them out later. Guess I am strange like that. I also shake of any solids right then, flush them buh-bye. I try to wash in the morning after I change the over night diaper. This puts drying in the afternoon when the sun is nice and bright on my patio. Oh, but drying is in a different section.

The Water and The Soap~~Two Things You Shouldn't Leave Out
Wash #1

Because Hubs is a little put off (and I have to admit so am I) with soaking the poo type diapers in a tub of water, I dump the contents of my wet bag into the washing machine, cloth wipes included, the whole shebang, you might say. I set it on cold water on the longest, slowest (Gentle) cycle I have, this acts as my soaking time and first wash. I set it on the largest water setting for this wash. Throw in dose of Tiny Bubbles. I use the recommended amount for cloth diapers, which is usually a fourth of the recommended amount on the box.

Its Getting Hot In Here~~Wash #2
Now that the pee and poo have been rung out of your diapers and swished out to sea, you need to get those diapers clean, clean! A hot, heavy cycle is next for us. I change the water setting down to large (no need to use more water than necessary) and my temperature to the HOT/COLD setting. I throw in a little detergent, a little less than the first time.

To Rinse or To Wash. . . This is the Question
Wash, uh rinse, uh let's just say Step #3

Here's where things get interesting, kinda. This is the point of the washing that I have to make a decision. Because Daniel's bum is a little sensitive I have to really watch the soap build up rash thing, so I have to decide if I want the diapers to run through another complete HOT/COLD cycle, or if I can just set it on rinse (I only have a cold option for rinse, hmpf, pout) and hope that the diapers are soap free. How do you make this decision, you ask??? I keep a lookout at his bum situation. If his bum is looking kinda red, then I decide that they need an actual wash, with NO soap, in essence a really good rinsing in HOT water. So I start a light wash cycle on HOT/COLD. If his bum is looking ok, I decide to do that second HOT wash next time. Either way, the nappies get a good rinse.

Rack 'Em Up
Drying Time

I LOVE! sun drying my nappies (I also enjoy calling them nappies and no I am not from Europe). I would say line dry, but since I live in apartment and have no where for a "line" I use a drying rack on my patio. It works great! I sun dry the pockets and the cover every time, unless rain prevents it. The inserts, doublers and the fitted diaper only get sunned every other wash, I like to fluff them up in the dryer. I usually dry on normal heat for about 50 minutes and if they need more drying I add them to the rack.

Clean Fluff, YAY!
I am done with the wash, now onto the stuffins' of the matter. I always try and usually do, stuff the pockets right away. I also create two or three, what we call, "night time nappies" right then. Nighttime nappy=bumGenius with insert and a doubler laid on the inside. I get everything stuffed and put into their appropriate basket (yes they have specific baskets, no snickering) and I am ready to go. The cloth wipes are folded and put away too. During the wash routine, our second wet bag is called in for duty.

What is your laundry routine? Come and join the party on the Cloth Diaper Carnival and link up below!!

Now that my laundry is done (ha!), I think I'll go put my feet up and eat some bon-bons.

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Mrs Lemon said...

yay! clean diapers! I have two orange, two yellow, and a white bg that I pre-stuff for nighttime or long naptime as well. I also take the inserts out as they come off the baby, because ew.EW.

AMother'sEarth said...

I was really looking to see if you were in/from England before you said you weren't LOL. I'm all for calling em nappies too. LOL

Denise said...

I always take the inserts out too, except for the Smartipants...they wash out on their own everytime, so cool!

It sounds like you use a lot of soap, you might find your son doesn't get red as often if you only put soap in one wash cycle instead of two. said...

I like the term nappies myself!

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forever folding laundry said...

I've never cloth-diapered, although I am intrigued by the whole process. Is it tough when you have to change a diaper & you're out of the house? How much do you estimate you have to expend up front on the diapers? I'm totally clueless, as well. I'd definitely need the Diapering for Dummies book. :)


Boy Mom said...

Through with that phase of life but you almost make it sound fun!

Anonymous said...

I loved this. I'm a cloth diapering momma, and though I'm on to my 2nd cloth diapered baby, I've never dealt with the solid food poops (my first CDed baby was a foster baby). I love the tips for cold gentle cycle with soap first, and then the hot water wash.

I'm a huge fan of sunning my diapers, they still all look new even after 7 months of use. I'm not a fan of pocket diapers, always used covers, but I may have to try out pockets for overnight now that LO is sleeping 10+ hours straight every night. Thankfully he doesn't pee too heavily yet!