Cloth Diapers and My Mama Hacks for Washing

Washing prefold cloth diapers or any other type diaper ain’t rocket science, friends, but there are some ways of doing it that will make them primo for your baby’s bum! I love cloth diapers and I’ll tell you why.

Today, we’re mostly going to focus on the washing technique of cloth diapers. I have prefold diapers and I’m going to be talking about how I wash them. I also want to explain briefly why I love cloth diapers so much. I’ll also share my favorite tools THAT i use with cloth diapering and the cleaning of cloth diapering. So, stay tuned.

Today is wash day. As I said, we are going to do a load of cloth diapers. I keep soiled diapers in the garage because they smell a bit. My wash cycle is about every three days because otherwise, they would really smell. Out in the garage, I have a tall plastic trash can with a lid. You’re going to want one with a lid because of the smell. Anyways, I keep the spoiled diapers in the garage. The first step for doing the diapers – take off the smelly lid.

To get the urine out, and any bits of food or left on poo, we’re going to start with a rinse cycle. We want to rinse that out before starting the soap cycle. I’m going to select the rinse and spin cycle on my washing machine and use cold water because there is no sense in using hot water yet since the only thing you’re doing is giving them a good rinse to remove the pee. With my machine set on cold and the spin speed on high, I’m going to turn on my cycle signal so it’s loud enough I won’t miss it. We’ll leave the diapers rinsing and be right back.

Okay, the first step in washing cloth diapers is complete. We set it on rinse and spin with no soap to remove the pee like I explained. The diapers are still in the machine, wet but not yet washed. We’re going to start the next step of washing diapers. I use Biokleen laundry detergent. It’s unscented, free and clear of dyes and fragrances. I like it because of those reasons. I also feel like it’s environmental friendly.

Do your own laundry soap research for cloth diapers to find what will work best for you. I can tell you, though, that you don’t want to use Tide. Nothing against Tide, it’s just not right for cloth diapers. Some of the chemicals in traditional laundry detergents can strip out all the good things in cloth diapers and make them less absorbent. You want to make sure whatever you use is safe for cloth diapers. I usually use a full cap of soap (like Biokleen) in my washing machine on a normal cycle. I do a normal casual cycle because our water gets super hot here.

I recommend doing two wash cycles. I guess if you only wanted to do only one wash cycle, you could use a heavy duty or the sanitary cycle. But I do two normal cycles. I’m going to set it on hot, so it’s uses the hot wash and cold rinse. And again, I’ve set the cycle signal on loud so I’ll be told, “Come fix me!” when they are all done.

Alright, everybody, we’ve got two steps down. We did a rinse cycle first, then two wash cycles for the diapers and now to check them and do the third and final step. I can see a little bit of soap left on the wet diapers, so we’re definitely going to want to do another cycle. I’m also going to give them a sniff to make sure they’re good. Okay, they smell pretty clean!

Part of the reason these diapers are so clean is that I use this awesome diaper sprayer. We’ve done a video including this diaper sprayer, and you can click here to see the part of the video where we talk about the sprayer. This video will show you what it is and how to use it, but basically, a diaper sprayer enables me to immediately rinse off poo from the soiled diaper. It helps remove a lot of the junk while it is still fresh, so the soiled diaper is not sitting in the diaper pail getting gross.

That’s part of the reason, but another reason is the rinse and a super hot wash cycle. Because the diapers aren’t super soiled, I’m not going to do another soap cycle, but I am going to do one more full normal cycle on hot, with no soap, just as a final rinse to make sure that we get out all the soap. If there is soap residue left it could cause irritation to little baby bottoms. Plus, you don’t want soap buildup in your cloth diapers because that can cause a problem that you’ll have to deal with later. So, one more hot cycle and then I’ll check back in with you guys. Look, there is some of the residual soap that we want to make sure we get rid of.

As I mentioned earlier, I love cloth diapers. Why? First, it’s environmental friendly. I’m not throwing soiled disposable diapers away. Don’t get me wrong, I do a mix of both. I do cloth diaper when we’re at home but I also use disposables, especially when we travel. So I’m not super militant about my cloth diapering because I totally get it. There are some days when it’s just easier to use disposables.

I’m not taking cloth diapers when we travel because that’s more than I want to deal with. However, when we’re at home and just chilling, which we are doing a lot of the time, I am totally all about cloth diapering. When my little gets wet, I want to change her. I feel bad, when there’s just a little bit of pee on it but I don’t want to leave a wet diaper on her. At the same time, it’s like I’m wasting a diaper and I feel bad wrapping up that diaper and throwing it in the trash. My happy spot is when we’re home, I cloth diaper. Also, I’ve probably got 50 or 60 cloth diapers so I’m good.  When we’re home, I wash every three days or so and it makes me feel good.

Economically, it makes a lot of sense for our family. We’re a single income family and I’m a stay-at-home mom. Any little bit I can save, I’m going to do it. I’ve done the math, washing cloth diapers is by far cheaper than buying disposable diapers as you would imagine, once you cough up the initial investment. Once you get past that, it’s super cheap. I think we figured it was under $1.00 to wash a load of diapers and that makes good economic sense to me.

So those are two huge reasons why I love cloth diapering, plus, there’s something really adorable about a big ol’ cloth diaper booty on a baby. I think it’s super cute.

Okay everybody. The third cycle is done, and I believe that’s all we’re going to do as far as washing goes. So, we did the rinse and we’ve done two wash cycles. The first wash cycle had soap, of course, the second one did not just to make sure we got all the soap out. So I am going to take them out. They smell good. They’re definitely clean. No soap residue, and now I’m going to throw them in the dryer. Actually, during the summer heat, I usually hang dry them outside. We have this amazing wooden collapsible drying rack. There is actually nothing better than drying them in the sunshine because A) the sun is bleaching them out naturally, and B) you’re not using any energy to dry them. However since we are having some kind of weird weather today, I am going to put these in the dryer.

When you dry them in the dryer, use a hot heat to make sure they get completely dry. You don’t want them put away with any moisture in them because of the possibility of mold. It’s not a great possibility, but you don’t want to mess around with that. So, in the dryer, they go. I will dry them probably for about 45-50 minutes and check to make sure that they are completely dry.

That’s it. Not too hard, right? Doesn’t look so bad? It’s actually not bad at all. You just pick a day when you’re going to be around for a couple hours and set a loud annoying timer so you’ll know when a cycle is done. Then you’re done and you have a big ol’ pile of fresh, clean, not chemically yucky, nothing. It’s a pile of clean cloth diapers that you just washed and you’re ready to put on your baby.

I hope you find this useful.  We have a YouTube Channel, called the KT Files, and we now have 60 videos on the mommy trail.  By the way, we have daily mommy content on my Facebook page, and I invite you to check that out as well.  Happy cloth diaper washing and cloth diapering. Bye!

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