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Caring For You Diaper

Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Guide

Our Cloth Diaper FAQ and Guide have more information!

The First Step--

You have just received your new diapers and accessories. What next? All new diapers, liners, and doublers need to be washed at least once before using in order to remove any sizing or finishes, which may irritate your baby's skin and keep the diaper from absorbing wetness.

Unbleached cotton and cotton blends need to be washed and dried at least 3 to 4 times before using because the natural cotton oils are still present. These unbleached fabrics will actually repel liquid before the first washing like "water off a duck's back". Several washings will remove those oils from the cotton and leave your diapers soft and absorbent.

Soaking or Not Soaking--

We are frequently asked about whether adding a soaking solution to the diaper pail is necessary. Basically, this is a matter of personal preference. Some parents prefer to use a "wet pail" method and soak diapers in the pail before washing. Others prefer a "dry pail" method, placing wet and rinsed soiled diapers in the diaper pail without water.

Rinsing Soiled Diapers--

Okay, let's face it. This job is the least favorite part of using cloth diapers, yet it's necessary. So, how do you rinse poopy diapers? Some parents choose to "swish" the diaper in the toilet to remove most of the mess, and then rinse the rest off in the sink under running water, rubbing the fabric together in a scrubbing action. Some shake the excess off in the toilet and then throw the diaper in the pail, planning to let the washer remove the rest on washday.

Treating Stains on Diapers & Covers--

Stains happen, especially with diapering. Rubbing the stained area with a bar of "white" hand soap like Ivory can do wonders on diapers and covers, even wool! Rub the soap on, rub the fabric together gently in the stained area and rinse thoroughly with water.

Washing Wet & Soiled Diapers--

Another frequently asked question is "How do you wash the diapers?" There are a variety of ways to launder diapers. The method we recommend is four-fold (1) Pre-wash or rinse diapers, liners, and wipes in the washer on COLD. This helps prevent stains from setting. (2) Wash on the longest cycle in your choice of WARM or HOT water with half a cup of baking soda, and a mild all-purpose detergent using about HALF of the recommended amount of detergent. (3) Rinse a second time adding about 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse water. (4) Dry on a regular or permanent press cycle in the dryer or hang to dry in the sunshine.

Caring for Diaper Covers--

Ideally, a soiled diaper cover should be rinsed as soon as possible to prevent staining. The washing instructions for different covers vary. It is best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for each cover. Most non-wool covers can be washed in warm with other laundry. Line drying is best and will extend the life of most diaper covers.

What to Avoid--

Any chlorine bleaches, detergents that contain bleach alternatives, borax, fabric softeners, pure soap products like Ivory Snow, and harsh detergents like Tide.

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