Continuing with this cloth diaper series, this is another post I had on my daycare blog. This post gives a few cleaning options as well as a resource you can use to help solve smell and leaking issues. The resource is also great for additional information about cloth diapering.
We use cloth diapers. I wasn’t very sure about the process in the beginning but I’ve ended up really loving the cloth diapers. I wish I could say we use them over night but that just didn’t work for us so we only use them during the day.
One of the biggest questions I had about using cloth diapers when I started was how the heck do you clean and care for them! You don’t throw them away and surely you don’t put the poo directly in the washing machine. How do you wash them anyway? And how do you dry them!?
Armed with all these questions, I did a ton of research. I’ve tried a few different washing routines and I think I’ve found the one that works the best…for us.
I’ll share the two different soaps I’ve used to 0wash our diapers. After the soaps, I’ll share my full washing process. But that will be in another post. This one was becoming massive.
Be forewarned. I have pictures of the cleaning process. It can be pretty yucky.
Option 1: Make your own Laundry Detergent
As I said, I did a lot of research. I found that most standard laundry detergents at Wal-Mart can cause a film to develop on the diapers. This film reduces the absorbancy of the diaper. It’s not a bad option when you’re just starting out but you’ll probably need to strip/clean the diapers after a few months.
I found a fantastic recipe by How Does She I really love on Pinterest and saved it to my DIY-Cleaning page. I use it not only on the cloth diapers but on my clothes and the baby’s clothes. I have pretty sensitive skin and haven’t seen any issues so far. A newborn’s skin is extremely sensitive as well and I didn’t see any issues with her, either.
It took forever for me to find Zote soap. I finally found it at Wal-Mart in the laundry aisle (of all places!) when I made my second batch. Since I couldn’t find Zote soap for the first batch, I just got a 3-pack of Dove soap.
I make my detergent with the Purex Crystals. They smell great and don’t cost too much. Plus, I don’t have to wait for them to ship.
For the first batch, I tried the microwave dry out method for the soap. It worked but it’s extremely messy. The soap ended up EVERYWHERE and was a little difficult to clean up. I still had to crumble it. Just a side note, crumbling the soap only works once it’s cooled off.
For the second batch, I just did the cheese grater. It is WAY faster, easier to do and easier to clean up than the microwave process. Just sayin’.
She has a great recipe and I haven’t made any modifications or tweaks so check out her post.
Option 2: Wash Berries
One weekend, my mom and sister were shopping at Sam’s Club. They said there was a table setup with these Magic Wash Berries. They have Wool Dryer Balls too, which they bought. Knowing that I’m a fan of natural and organic and they both wanted something that was natural and would help reduce dog odar, they deciduooiop[
ed to purchase some for all three of us.
When my mom dropped off the package, I thought “What the heck are these? Is my mom crazy?”
I read the box and set them on the shelf. They sat there for about a month before I re-read the box again.
My mom and sister had both been using the berries through this time and were really liking them. At this point, my cloth diapers were having a bit of an absorbancy and smell issue.
The box clearly says these berries are great for cloth diapering. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try their process.
So far, I’m really liking these wash berries. I don’t use the wool balls on the cloth diapers but they’ve been great for all our other laundry. They have significantly reduced static electricity and made the drying process go faster. I’ve noticed that we’ve had less lint in our lint catching space as well.
These are my two favorite detergents both for cloth diapering and for our standard laundry.
If you need some more information on washing and care, solving smell and leaking issues, Fluff Love University is a fantastic resource. I used their website many times through our cloth diapering journey.
What are your favorite detergents?