If you’ve been following our series on Cloth Diapering, you already know why cloth is a great idea and what the different types of cloth diapers are. In this post, we’ll tackle the million-dollar question – how on earth do you you wash them, especially a poop-filled diaper?
Wash and Care Routine for Cloth diapers
All commercial cloth diapers come with pretty detailed wash instructions, even down to which detergent to use for washing them, and how to dry them. Typically you store your used diapers in a wet bag or a diaper pail and at end of every day or every other day, you can toss the diapers into the washing machine and wash them. If the idea of storing stinky diapers, or washing them in your machine puts you off, a simple rinse over the sink in the toilet should fix that for you. After the rinse, you can either store them (not for too long) or put them in the washing machine.
For a poop-filled diaper, there’s this simple trick that makes everything so easy: as soon as you have taken the diaper off, simply use a bidet/toilet spray to knock off all the poop right into the toilet bowl and flush. Then, rinse it over the wash basin/toilet sink, and you can wash the diaper in the machine with the rest of the diapers. Just make sure you don’t use any fabric softener or bleach while washing the diapers.
For drying the diapers, hanging them on a clothesline in the sun is the best way to ensure they’re odour-free, stain-free and smelling super-fresh! In the absence of that option, you can always line-dry them in the
shade or in a dryer, but at low or medium heat if needed. If you find that after several months of hassle-free usage, your cloth diapers are suddenly leaking, or they’re smelly even after a wash, they might have built-up detergent residue. In such cases, several rinses in plain water until the water has no soap bubbles on top might help. This can be followed by a normal wash. This step is called ‘Stripping’, and a lot of diaper manufacturers have specific instructions on this as well. As long as you follow the care instructions, good quality cloth diapers can last well over three years.
Cloth diapering FAQs
Let’s address some questions that pop-up frequently when it come to cloth diapers:
Isn’t cloth diapering expensive?
No, it’s not. If you compare the costs of spending on nearly 8000 diapers at Rs 10-11 a piece versus investing in 15-20 cloth diapers at Rs 800-1200 each, the savings are quite significant.
A lot of people recommend a ‘diaper stash’ of at least 30-40 diapers, and I’ve seen people with pictures of over a 100! How many do I really need?
I’m a big believer in not spending more than what’s necessary, so if you can help it, even 10-15 diapers are sufficient, of course, depending on how quickly you can wash and dry them. At any point of time, the most number of diapers I had for my daughter was 7, and even that was built up over six months. Of course, I don’t live in a house with carpeted flooring, we were quite happy to let her crawl everywhere diaper-free as well, and not keep her in diapers 24×7.
Don’t cloth diapers cause rashes?
As long as you’re washing them and drying them well and following the instructions from the manufacturer (eg: no fabric softener, no diaper rash creams etc.), there will be no rashes. With our cloth diapering journey, we’ve never had a single case of diaper rash, thankfully.
Great, I’m sold. What brand do I buy?
Wonderful! Now that you’re ready, you can take a look at what’s on our store, or do you research on brands available locally (manufactured locally too, preferably), read up reviews, see what fits your budget and make a decision.
Happy Cloth Diapering!