Friday, April 5, 2013

Cloth Diapering Friday: My Routine

I keep the wet bag in our bathroom because it is easier to just clean the mess up, toss poo in the toliet, fasten the snaps or velcros together, turn it inside out, and toss it in the wet bag. On the washing day, I bring the wet bag with me to the basement. Easy Peasy!

I have the washing routine down. I ran into a bit of problem in the very beginning of washing my cloth diapers! You see, I have a washing machine that is a top-loader, but it has functions that a front-loader washing machine has to save water. I was unable to get the washing, and rinsing settings set up right. I was unable to have hot wash, and cold wash combination set up on my washing machine. Ack! With a lot of asking around among cloth diapering community, and parents; I learned it was okay to use warm wash, and cold rinse combination. Whew. Then I hit yet another snag with my lovely washing machine. It did not come with a pre-washing cycle feature, but I learned a trick. I simply bypassed the washing part setting, and go straight to just rinsing cycle in cold water before turning on my washing machine. It worked just fine that way, and I had no issue with my diapers ever since. It was a bit of a learning experience for me!

My routine looks very much like this: 

1) Throw in a dirty diaper in the wet bag. If it has a lot of runny poop, then I just spray it off until it is soaking wet, and throw it that way in the wet bag until the washing day. If it is just pee on it then just toss it in the bag. However, if it is a pocket diaper, I make sure that I remove the insert first then separate it from the cover and toss them in the wet bag. That way, I won't accidentally forget the insert in the pocket diaper when I wash it!

*I always make sure that my snaps or velcros are closed, and turned inside out before I throw it in the wet bag. It makes my washing day so much easier because I don't have to reach in and pull out a dirty diaper to do that. I just dump everything out in the washing machine along with the wet bag. 

2) Throw in less than 18 cloth diapers at time, and the wet bag. Too much diapers thrown in the mix will not do the trick as effectively as throwing in fewer diapers because you want diapers to be able to spin around freely in order to rub against each other. This will help the poop stain and all that icky stuff to come out in the pre-wash cycle. 

3) I have to bypass the washing part, and just go straight to cold rinse for the diapers. I don't add detergent to this step. Let it rinse and spin. After pre-rinsing is done, I do warm wash-cold rinse combination with 3-4 TBSP of Hard Rock Detergent powder. 

4) If everything smells clean and nice then I toss inserts in the dryer machine to be tumbled on low, and hang up my covers in the direct sunlight. You can dry your covers on low cycle, but this may reduce the life of your cloth diapers. If not then I do step 3 again in order to have my diapers to smell fresh!

5) I hang my diapers on the drying rack when it is cold outside. When it is warm and beautiful outside then I hang them on the cloth line, and let the sun do its job! 

I recently learned something about cloth diapering. You should NOT use dryer sheets. Ever. Even with your regular clothes. It leaves behind a film of fatty component (Beef Tallow) on the dryer drum, and it can really affect the inserts. It may cause the insert to repel urine, and cause leaks!

Here's a few facts that you may not know about dryer sheets:

1. Dryer sheets cause a coating on clothing and therefore will cancel out the fire retardation of clothing.
2. Dryer sheets are not recyclable nor reusable – the only option is to send them to the landfill.
3. That lovely scent they leave on your clothes? It’s tough to part with the idea of the “fresh laundry” smell, but consider this: that scent is thanks to “fragrance,” a blanket term for synthetic chemicals that have been linked to a whole host of issues, from asthma, to skin irritation and headaches, to brain damage in developing fetuses and much more. Fragrance also contributes to indoor air pollution, and contains toluene.

Whoa, right? In the place of using dryer sheets, you can use dryer balls! If you still insists on using dryer sheets with your regular laundry, then try looking for dryer cloths or natural dryer sheets such as Method, or  if you feel that it is not worth to be cautious about then you can wipe down the drum inside your dryer, and throw in towels without dryer sheet then let them tumble the whole cycle before throwing in your cloth diaper covers and inserts to be dried.

1 comment :

  1. Hi Ashley,

    I really admire your personal and engaging voice. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such great advice and stories on your blog for busy mothers and parents of young children! It's great to see how parents deal with cloth diapers. Thank you for sharing.

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