New to cloth diapering for my 11 month old (I know, late to the game!) and I have a lot of questions that I can't seem to find answers to...
I got him some Mama Koala pocket inserts (microfiber with that PLU water resistent stuff) and they're been pretty easy so far. I don't know the best/ fastest/ cleanest way to wash them. I've gone to fluffloveuniversity.com and googled a bunch and checked the Amazon reviews but I'm still wondering...
Do you do a load of diapers every single day? I don't want to do that!
Do you leave them in a wet bag then deal with them after a few days?
Do you always have to pre-wash? Can you do this in a sink?
Can you wash them with other laundry?
Do I have to test my water and worry about hard/soft water? I think our water is very hard!
What's the long-term care of synthetic microfiber diapers?
persimmon / 1270 posts
Mostly you just have to find what works for you.
We have bum genius 4.0 and cotton prefolds and have soft water and a front loading washer. I wash chunks out in the toilet and store in a pail with a wet bag for 3-4 days. Wash plan is pre wash on quick wash cold with extra water and half the soap (Kirkland free and clear) then wash hot with extra water. I hang dry.
I traveled somewhere with hard water and it was really hard to clean the micro fiber.
Sometimes my nanny washes the diapers and I don't think she does the pre wash cold cycle Ave they turn out fine but I wouldn't do that every time. Now that I have an infant the pre wash is more important for yellow baby poop.
I think diaper washing is not as big a deal as people make it out to be...
nectarine / 2433 posts
@maddyz: Yeah, the flufflove website says you don't need any of this vinegar / baking soda stuff and even pre-washing often isn't necessary.
Are the inserts supposed to come out relatively clean? They look.. um... really stained....
persimmon / 1270 posts
Mime come out clean. I do unsruff then before I wash because the don't come apart on their own in my washer.
My hard water experience left diapers stained and smelling...
grapefruit / 4361 posts
Do you do a load of diapers every single day? No, I do a load every 2 days or so.
Do you leave them in a wet bag then deal with them after a few days? I put them in an pail liner, in a open-air container.
Do you always have to pre-wash? Can you do this in a sink? I use viva paper towels as liners, toss those in the trash, so I do not scrape or spray or dunk etc.
Can you wash them with other laundry? Sometimes but I don't love the idea.
Do I have to test my water and worry about hard/soft water? Yes. Hard water requires borax. Testing tour water is easy with pool strips from Amazon.
I'll finish my post later!
nectarine / 2047 posts
I also have bumgenius 4.0s. I spray the poop in the toilet and then store diapers and cloth wipes I n a wet bag in a diaper pail until I'm ready to wash. I wash on Wednesdays and Sundays and have 24 diapers for my 13 month old. I use country save powder. One scoop in warm quick wash (prewash) and 1.5 scoops + 2 scoops borax (for hard water) in the main wash on the hot heavy white cycle. I hang dry the pockets and dry the inserts and my cloth wipes in the dryer on low. I don't wash anything else with my diapers. We have had zero stink/stain issues but again, you have to find what works for you
ETA: I wash the small wet bags that I send to daycare with the diapers but I don't wash the pail liners because I had issues with some diapers not coming clean because they would get wrapped up in the pail liner during the cycle.
honeydew / 7622 posts
I wash every 2-3 days about every 15 diapers. I do not pre rinse. I just shake out poo before putting it in the wet bag. My washing machine has a heavy setting with stain care and a double rinse. It is a 2 hour cycle. I just use liquid tide. We use disposables for naps and overnight and usually out of the house.
pear / 1648 posts
We graduated out of diapers this summer (CD'ed for almost 2 years) but I washed very similarly to @DesertDreams88: I used Persil but other detergents are generally fine, as long as they're strong enough and you use the recommended amount. If I didn't have enough diapers for a full load, I would do the prewash with diapers only and add clothes to the main wash, since they're already much cleaner (generally just baby clothes - don't add anything too big or it might not agitate properly).
ETA: I did dry diapers, inserts, and wet bags/pail liners in dryer on medium heat - no issues.
grapefruit / 4361 posts
http://www.clothdiapersct.com/how-to-wash-cloth-diapers.html and the attached photo is why I always do a pre wash.
We do this:
Quick wash cold water 1/2 cup Foca
Standard wash hot water 1 cup Foca 1/2 cup of borax
The amount of detergent and borax is dependent on your laundry sizes and hard water levels.
squash / 13199 posts
@pachamama: we had diaper pail. and did laundry every few days. we kept them dry in between . where possible we would air dry rather than put them in the dryer
we didnt pre was and we didnt wash with other laundry
pear / 1697 posts
We use mostly microfiber inserts and the big lesson we learned was that we need to wash them on our washer's bulky setting to have a wet enough wash to properly get the microfiber ones all the way clean and non-stinky. Before we learned this we just used the "normal" setting and our cotton and hemp inserts came out fine, but our microfiber ones reeked of ammonia as soon as they got wet.
We do also do a pre-wash with what our machine calls "rinse and spin" which just gets most of the poo and a wee out before the real wash.
If I need to combine the diaper laundry with other items that wash best on bulky I use the quick wash setting as my pre-wash instead. Don't know if it actually makes a difference, but, it makes me feel better.
persimmon / 1310 posts
I use mostly bumgenius Freetimes, which are microfiber. I do a quick wash with half detergent then a heavy wash with full detergent (I use Tide original powder, as I think it's the faintest smelling full-strength detergent).
Since we have a front loader, it is important to fill it to 3/4 full to get good agitation, so I have to bulk up the heavy wash. I add anything that can handle a heavy wash, like kitchen towels.
For poop, we plop it into the toilet then I apply liquid detergent over any poop marks (I just squirt it on with a squeeze bottle). I used to soak them in the utility sink with borax or biz, but I found the detergent method to be cleaner. Either way, we have zero stains. You don't have to do these things; I just have a personal preference for nice white diapers.
persimmon / 1111 posts
I wash twice a week. I put all diapers in a pail lined with a wet bag except the poopy ones-- I spray or dunk them and leave them in a bucket in the bathroom. I take everything and throw it on a quick wash with like 1/4 of the soap and cold water. We use Purex Fred and clear. Then a hot heavy duty wash with soap. I throw any stained baby clothes in with the laundry.
I hang anything with PUL and dry the inserts with a few towels to speed up the process. During the summer I line dry everything. I got a $15 drying rack on Amazon and I have saved way more than that by line drying.
I have found the prewash with soap to be essential to prevent yeast rash.
I have no problem adding other clothes with the wash. I generally wash his clothes with the diapers. All of the blueberry stains come right out.
I use vinegar because our machine needs a vinegar rinse twice a week. It's my way of remembering.
Also, my machine is a front loader. I do almost the same routine in my mom's top loader.
I only get stains if I don't rinse a poop. If you don't want a diaper sprayer, just leave the diaper to chill in the toilet for 30 minutes. I personally love the diaper sprayer. It's so much easier to rinse vomit or food covered clothes
persimmon / 1093 posts
I wash every three days which is based on how many diapers we have and so we aren't doing diapers constantly. We store them in a wet bag (liner) in a trash can. You need to get the poop off the diapers. We have a diaper sprayer attached to the toilet and have a spray pal to get the poop off that doesn't just plop into the toilet. You absolutely need to do a pre-wash. That's just a short/quick wash cycle on your washer. This removes the worst of the gunk so the diapers get super clean in the main wash by having clean water to clean them. You can bulk the main wash load by adding items no larger than a swaddle blanket. I use our cleaning rags and dish towels. I line dry every thing in the summer but now that it is winter I dry the inserts in the dryer and hang the shells/AIO's in the laundry room. I use Tide original detergent.
hostess / papaya / 10540 posts
I didn't go that route, but found this post had some great tips: http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/08/the-much-requested-cloth-diaper-post/