When I first started using cloth diapers, I searched and searched the internet for information on how to wash and dry cloth diapers. I do plan on using them once I have another baby, so I want them to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, a lot of websites I found recommended “Charlie’s Soap” to wash cloth diapers in. Of course I went and bought a ton of Charlie’s Soap and refused to wash my diapers with anything else. Until they started smelling like poop and ammonia, that is. I’ll spare you the details, but Charlie’s Soap is horrible stuff. I wouldn’t even wash my son’s clothes in it now that I know better. It makes a great tub cleaner, though!
So off I went to find a better wash routine. First I had to strip my diapers after 6 weeks of using Charlie’s Soap. To strip them I used bleach and GroVia Mighty Bubbles, which worked wonderfully. Then I decided to use Tide Original powder for my diapers. What a difference!! The diapers actually smell good and are way more absorbent (I had a ton of leak issues with Charlie’s Soap)!! Here is my wash routine:
– Light pre-wash/rinse with Tide at line 1 (This will get rid of all the poop!)
– Heavy wash with Tide at line 3
You always want to make sure you have enough diapers in your washer so that it looks like a diaper stew, not soup. If you do not have enough diapers to wash, throw in a towel. Also, if you have hard water, you will want to add Borax to your washes.
Since I want my diapers to last for a long time, I hang dry them. I also hang dry them horizontally so that the elastics don’t give out. I purchased this drying rack for $30 and it fit perfectly in my laundry room. It is so worth it because your diapers will last and you will not need to spend more money on diapers (unless you want to, of course). I do throw any inserts and cloth wipes in to the dryer, though. Also, sometimes a diaper may dry a little crunchy so I throw those in to the dryer for 10 minutes on a low heat setting (I have only had this problem with BumGenius Elementals). Washing and drying cloth diapers is extremely easy. I wash every three days and have 34 diapers that I rotate between. All of my diapers are either All In One’s or pockets, and they dry really fast. I have never had any issues with running out of diapers.
**If you do not know whether or not you have hard water, you can get a free test strip from Calgon or Morton Salt.
Hope this helps!