The Cloth Diapering Expert Series: How to Care for Cloth Diapers
Welcome back to the Cloth Diapering Expert Series! In this issue, I'm going to tell you how best to care for your new cloth! If you look after your cloth diapers properly, you should be able to cloth diaper more than one child with the same set - so caring is saving!
How to care for your Cloth Diapers
I've taught you how a cloth diaper works, the types of cloth diapers and the different fits that are available, but the question I get asked most often is: "How do I clean and care for my cloth diapers? Isn't it hard?"
The good news is it isn't hard at all! The better news is that it's all explained below.
Cleaning a Poopy Diaper
I know that most parents aren't worried about a pee-soaked diaper, they're easy to deal with. It's the poopy diapers that worry new moms and dads.
A poopy diaper needs to be rinsed out before it is stored in your diaper pail. This is the only uncomfortable part of using cloth diapers and can be a little unpleasant the first few times, but you'll get used to it. The easiest way to deal with a poopy diaper is to invest in a diaper sprayer. The sprayer attaches to your toilet and allows you to spray off the diaper, right into the toilet bowl and flush - no mess at all! They work really well and parents love them! Another option is using flushable diaper liners that can be laid inside the diaper and flushed after they have been soiled.
Washing cloth diapers is easy and really no different than anything else you put in your washing machine. With simple instructions, you will have no problems.
Here is the tried and tested, Mother-ease approved laundering routine:
- Wet cloth diapers go directly into your diaper pail, no rinsing is necessary. Soiled cloth diapers are rinsed in the toilet, then put into the diaper pail. Consider investing in a diaper sprayer to simplify the cleaning of soiled diapers.
- When the pail is full, dump the cloth diapers directly into the washing machine (top loading machine), or use our Breathable Mesh Diaper Pail Bag to toss your dirty diapers into the machine (front loading machine).
- Pre-rinse or do a short cycle with warm water and half an ounce of detergent. Use a good quality detergent (without bleach). Avoid the use of fabric softeners.
- Wash your cloth diapers in a full cycle, at the highest water level, using hot water and a good quality detergent (without bleach). Bleach is very harsh against your baby's skin and may damage your cloth diapers if used on a regular basis.
- Washed cloth diapers may either be line dried or dried in the dryer. We recommend line drying your waterproof covers.
Cloth Diaper Detergents
Cloth diapers must be washed in hot water with a good quality detergent. Many parents choose to use an eco detergent but you need to be very careful. Most eco detergents are acceptable for household laundry but not effective enough to launder bacteria-laden cloth diapers. It's best to choose a commercial big brand detergent or an eco detergent which you are certain will be effective. Be sure that the diapers you buy can be washed at a minimum of 140 F / 60 C, as hot water disinfects and sanitizes. Even better, wash your diapers in the sanitary cycle if your machine has the option and your diapers can handle it.
And that's how to care for cloth diapers! It doesn't sound so bad, does it? When you have a new baby your laundering routine will change quite dramatically anyway, so adding cloth diapers to the mix won't make as big an impact as you think.
Stay tuned for our last issue of the Expert Series, where I tell you what accessories are necessary and what ones aren't. Or, click here to subscribe to our blog notifications and have an alert sent straight to your inbox!
Next Issue: What you Need and What you Don't.