I would like to introduce you all to Terra, our new Cloth Diaper Addiction blog contributor. If you look back to our last Monday Mommy you can find more information about her! I asked her to share with us her ideas for washing cloth diapers.
When we first started cloth diapering in December of 2007, the most overwhelming part was washing. Not the actual ACT of washing, but HOW to wash, and with what. One website would tell me to do it this way, another would tell me a different way, a third would say these detergents only and a fourth would say don’t put those detergents near your diapers - I was at such a loss! I would spend hour after frustrating hour reading and comparing websites trying to figure out what exactly I was (or wasn’t!) supposed to be doing to my precious fluff. After a few months of trial and error, and many leaks later, my mantra became: my diapers are virtually indestructible. Just about any issue can be fixed by stripping them.
A few months later, I ventured into the world of cloth diaper detergent. The frustration returned when one detergent would have my diapers smelling like new, but leaking at my child’s first pee, or the diapers would be totally leak free, but leave rashes on my poor baby’s bottom. I wanted to pull out my hair! That was until I discovered Rockin’ Green Hard Rock soap. We don’t live in a hard water area (according to the map on her website), but it is the only detergent that meets my requirements:
1. No rashes on baby's bottom
2. No leaks with the diapers
3. Clean smelling diapers.
We tried Soft Rock and Classic Rock as well, (since technically we aren’t in the Hard Water Zone) but neither worked for us. However, just to prove that what works for one, doesn’t work for another: I have a friend right down the street and Hard Rock doesn’t work for her diapers at all and she has to use another formula.
Once we got our diapers meeting my expectations above, my next issue to tackle was stains. Was I ever excited to learn about what sunshine could do! I was already line drying our diapers as I was able, but I found that strategically placing stained diapers in the direct light of the sun meant no more stains! It seemed too good to be true.
To test our diapers even more, we got a stomach bug in our home and the stains on our diapers were too much for the sun alone. I ran back to the Internet, and I found a trick that I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of before: Sunshine and lemon juice (remember pouring it on your head to get highlights in your hair? Wait, tell me I’m not alone!) I broke out the lemon juice, poured some on my diapers and within hours, the stains were gone! So nice to not have to use chemicals on my diapers to remove the stains!
So, when it comes to washing, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for washing as to avoid negating a warranty on your diapers. After you’ve done that, experiment until you get your diapers clean. It might mean trying different detergents, different temperature settings, different wash settings or a combination of all the above. Or, you might get lucky and get it right the first time!