One of the things that scared me the most before starting Wink in cloth diapers was trying to wrap my head around how to wash the darned things. I had read so many different washing routines. “Use bleach once a month.” “Never use bleach!” “Don’t mix natural and synthetic fabrics in the wash.” “Rinse diapers before washing.” “Don’t rinse before washing.” My head was spinning!
My first time washing them was a disaster. I was prepping them before we started using them, and clearly had no flipping idea what I was doing. They came out hard and crunchy, and my inserts were all pink! (If you have any red dyed prefolds, wash them separately….Actually, no. Just throw that crap away. Ain’t nobody got time for fussy diaper washin’.) I asked a seasoned cloth diapering veteran friend of mine what to do about the stiffness. Could it be our hard water? Detergent buildup? She suggested adding a squirt of Dawn dish detergent to every load. That, paired with an extra rinse or two did the trick. My diapers came out nice and fluffy!
Since having hard water and being new to fluff can be a daunting process, I thought I’d share my cloth diaper routine with you.
First, I store our dirty diapers dry, in a covered diaper pail lined with a Planet Wise wet bag. If storing dirty diapers in a pail sounds off-putting to you, let me reassure you. You cannot smell them at all…until you open the lid. I do that as quickly as possible. Phew! But when the lid is closed, you’d never know there were poopy diapers in that room.
When it comes time to wash, I grab the wet bag and dump it, and its contents right in the wash. Trust me. You’re going to want to wash that wet bag.
After tossing it all in the wash, I set the machine to rinse. (I do not rinse my diapers before washing because Wink is exclusively breastfed. EBF poo is water soluble, and is therefore washing machine safe. It just disappears!) Then, they are washed in hot water with Ruby Moon Cloth Diaper Detergent and a squirt around the basin with Dawn Original. Then, they get rinsed once more to remove any excess detergent that might be hanging on in there.
After washing, it’s off to the dryer for the inserts! I dry them on regular heat. After those are done, I dry the shells and wet bag on no heat or low heat, if I’m feeling adventurous. I haven’t had any delaminate just yet. So, I’m assuming low heat is okay. YMMV
When everything is all dry and snuggly warm, I stuff the inserts in the shells. Pretty straight forward, but here’s a picture if you’re into that sort of thing.
Those haven’t been stuffed yet, but you’ll figure it out. You’re smart.
Here they are all pretty in this drawer waiting to be pooped in!
So that’s the diaper routine, but I thought I’d also share my favorite part of this whole thing: the wipes! I don’t know why they make me so happy. They just do, okai?!
For our wet wipes, I use baby washcloths sprayed as needed with a homemade wipe solution made of 2 c. water, 1/4 c. baby wash, and 1/4 c. baby oil. It works great, and smells amazing! I store the dry wipes in a recycled wet wipe container. I’ve even folded them so the next one pops out just like the real thing. I made an attempt at photographing that folding technique, but setting up indoor step-by-step photos at night with a crying baby is a challenge. Use your brains here, and try to figure out what’s going on in these pictures. You can also feel free to ask questions if you’re stumped.
Again, I store those bad boys dry so they don’t get moldy. I keep a squirt bottle with my wipe solution handy, and just spray each cloth as it’s needed.
All in all, it might sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. The most time consuming part is the washing and drying, and that’s pretty hands-off. Not too bad, eh?
So what do you think? Do you use cloth diapers? Thinking about starting? What’s your diaper routine like?