I remember when I first bought my cloth diapers I was so nervous to wash them for the first time. I put it off for as long as possible because I was afraid I was going to somehow ruin them! That’s quite a silly thought, because I don’t even think it’s possible to ruin cloth diapers- at least not on the first wash- but I know it’s a common concern for many new cloth diaper users!
I want to share with you my step by step washing routine. There is no right or wrong way to wash diapers. This, of course, is just one way to do it as there are a multitude of ways that work. This is what works for me!
First, all dirty diapers go into a trash can lined with a normal trash bag. The trash can is in our hall bathroom which is right across from Lucas’ bedroom. (I change his diapers in his bedroom.) We used to have the dirty diapers in his room but because the lid on the trash can isn’t tight enough it was starting to smell his room a little. So, all diapers go in here.
I shake out the inserts and throw everything in. Once it gets full- I wash! I do two loads in the washing machine. The first load is on cold- small load. I add a tiny bit of Purex Free & Clear detergent. I’ve learned that if I don’t do a cold wash first it won’t get all the stains out. The second load is on hot- small load. Again I add a little bit of detergent- a little more than the first load. I am not 100% happy with this current routine so I’m thinking about trying a new way. Our washing machine is a little funky right now- it won’t let me do just a cold rinse without leaking out the bottom, (yeah, I know, it’s sort of broken… or something.) so I am stuck doing two full washes. I am also thinking about trying a new kind of detergent to see if I like something better. This works for now though.
Then to dry! I throw my inserts into the dryer on medium heat for about 20 minutes. If I could give my #1 cloth diapering tip it would be to hang your diaper covers. I believe the dryer really really wears on your cloth diapers especially with velcro. I have been using my Bum Genius for less than 4 months and then velcro is already extremely frayed. It’s quite the bummer so I’m doing everything I can to keep them lasting as long as possible. One of those ways is to hang my diapers outside! This can only be done about 3 months out of the year where I live so if outside isn’t “available” because of rain or cold I will just lay my diapers on the kitchen table to dry over night.
That’s it! Who said you need to hire a diaper service?? I would love to hear your washing routine tips. Is your washing routine simpler than mine or do you have another step you do? Especially for all the new moms who are considering cloth, tell us- what works for you?