How to cloth diaper: Wash Routines and Issues

Baby E is 6 months old, and we have been using cloth diapers for about 5 months. The Engineer and I both love cloth diapering, but we have had our share of issues with them. I want to share with you my tips of how we worked through the issues and still love the cloth! If you are thinking about cloth diapering, I will share the resources I find the most helpful in this series of blog posts.

There are many issues that can come up with cloth diapering, and they may seem overwhelming. The key is identifying the problem and finding the solution. There is always a solution! We had a washing machine problem that came up first. We had been cloth diapering for about 3 months before we had any issues at all. All of a sudden, my washer would stop spinning and say it was imbalanced. (We have a front loader LG machine). We would restart and the same issue would come up. So I began asking around my favorite mom groups, my book club ladies (most of them cloth their babies) and Fluff Love on Facebook. I received a lot of support and help from both groups. The solution: add small towels to my second wash load. So, I began adding my kitchen towels to my second wash and my issue was resolved!

Another issue we have had is E’s wet diapers smell like ammonia. There’s a lot of science-y stuff that explains why, which you can find here. I just wanted to know how to get rid of it! We realized that we weren’t using quite enough detergent, and that we have somewhat hard water. So we have added some detergent to the routine and I have purchased some Calgon water softener to help with our hard water issues. Hard water can leave a residue on diapers (clothes, too) and can make diapers stinky. Some detergents cannot work as well in hard water because they are working to soften the water instead of cleaning the diapers. I use Seventh Generation 4x Geranium and Vanilla and sometimes I use BioKleen or the Kirkland Environmentally Responsible (which I use on my regular laundry). There are lots of different approved detergents for cloth diapers, these are just the ones I use. You can find a detergent list on Fluff Love. The solution: add a water softener, add a little more detergent, and do an extra rinse/spin to make sure all the detergent has been washed out. I am finally getting the results by adding these steps to my routine.

When we had the stinky problems, I looked into stripping my diapers. There are a lot of opinions about this out there, but I just had to get my diapers clean. I found a product from Biokleen called Bac-Out. It has plant based enzymes that break down the stink and gets rid of it. I washed my diapers twice on quick cycle in hot water with a few squirts of Bac-Out, then washed them in a regular cycle with detergent, like normal. Y’all. My diapers don’t smell like anything. They smell like they are new again! They are white, clean, stain free and not stinky! I am so thankful! The solution: Get rid of the stink with Bac-Out!!

Useful products for cloth diapers:

I always use these wool dryer balls in my dryer with all of my clothes, but especially with cloth diapers.

I use a diaper sprayer on my toilet to wash away the waste and flush it.

I have 2 wet bags that stay in my diaper bag for easy diapering on the go. I wash these with my diaper laundry.

I have one large hanging wet bag where I store the dirty diapers. I wash my diapers every 3 days.

Dry your diapers in the sun! It will get rid of stains and disinfect your diapers, making them smell fresh and look white again.

And my biggest piece of advice: Give yourself time to figure it all out. I read so much while I was pregnant and still didn’t know how it was going to work until E was born and we were actually using the diapers. It has taken a good 5 months of use for me to get my routine down and experiment with trial and error. Once you have your routine, you are good to go! I am always here to help and answer any questions you may have.

There’s a lot more to say about cloth diapering, so if you have any specific questions about it, leave a comment and let me know! I will try to research and find a solution!

Do you use Vitacost? I love buying my natural products from them, including laundry detergent. They often have sales on the products I already use and they usually have free shipping. Use my referral link and we both get $10!

**Affiliate and referral links posted. Opinions are my own.

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