|Don't you like my makeshift clothes line? :o)|
This of course made me think about washing diapers. Personally I have found washing diapers to be one of the hardest parts of cloth diapering. Not because I have any problem with the poop or the laundry but because it can be soooo difficult to find a washing routine that works. There is no one way to wash diapers. The best method for you will depend on the type of water that you have, the type of washer that you have, and the type of diapers that you have. Not to mention factoring in how often you wash, what kind of detergent to use, whether to soak or not, whether to bleach or not, stripping, and the list goes on.
I *think* that I have a good system now. Granted I thought this several times before and had to switch it up. But for the last few months things seem to be going well. Along the way I found a lot of advice from other mommy bloggers about what worked for them, so I wanted to post what has finally worked for me. Hopefully this will help someone else figure out their perfect routine!
Some of the basics about my stash and washing routine:
- The majority of my stash is made up of pocket diapers with pul covers and bamboo inserts.
- I have a top loading washer.
- I wash less frequently than many other mommies. Typically once every four days.
- We have a well with hard water, however it does go through a large filtration system.
Regardless of what is in the diaper (whether it is wet or dirty) I always give it a good rinse with the diaper sprayer and ring it out (sometimes it is easier to do this in the sink if the diaper is just wet). Typically I will do this at least twice before putting the diaper into the dry pail.
When it is time to wash, everything goes into the washer. (If I have been using any type of diaper cream, I will wash all inserts and wipes separately). I set the washer to the largest load size in order to get as much water as possible. I do a full soak (~45 min. on my machine) in warm water. During this soak I will add Bac-Out (I don't have a real measure for how much I use. Basically I squeeze the bottle and do three rounds about the washer.) to help remove any organic stains. Following the soak I do a full 16 min. cycle wash in hot water with a cold rinse. During the wash cycle I use ~ 1oz. of Country Save powdered detergent. I then run a second cold rinse.
Typically all inserts and wipes go in the dryer while all pockets go on the line (in the basement if its yucky out and outside if the weather permits).
As for some of the other sticky questions... I do not like to use bleach. I have bleached my pockets and inserts one time in an attempt to get rid of some ammonia stink. Fortunately with my new routine I have not found a need to do this again. I have also not stripped my diapers. I probably should give that a try. When I do, I will be sure to let you know how it goes. And as far as stains, I stick to the sun and a little lemon juice!
I tried several detergents and a variety of washing sequences to get to this point. So don't be afraid to try something new if you aren't satisfied with your current washing routine. And don't worry if this routine doesn't work for you. Everyone needs to figure it out for themselves. But once you do - you'll love your fluff that much more!