I have bum genius diapers, which we have happily been using for the last 17 months. They're springing leaks now. Do I need to do something to the diapers? Strip them or something, whatever that is? Or is that my LO's bladder is bigger? Any words of advice?
Help! Cloth diapers no longer absorbing
Are they the pocket diapers or all-in-one? Is there a removable insert? If so, is it soaked when it leaks? If yes, you need more absorbency or to change more often. If not, the suedecloth layer is repelling and you need to strip the dipes. It all depends on the cause. How often do you change?
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No, not soaked when it leaks. I change every couple of hours or more if needed. I'm using Bum Genius pocket diapers and have been reading about washing them. Apparently the "free and clear" type of detergent builds up a residue? That is what I have been using. I've washed them (without any detergent or anything) 5 times now in hot water. They still need to dry, so I don't know yet if that will help.
If it does help, I'm not sure what I should be washing them in. With my first child, a long time ago, I washed everything with Ivory Snow and occasionally boiled the diapers and there was never a problem, but those were just flat pieces of cotton, nothing fancy like the diapers they have now.
Sounds like the microsuede (inner) layer is repelling since the inserts are not soaked. To strip, you can wash in very hot water with some Dawn dishsoap, then do lots of rinses till you don't see any suds in the water anymore. That is a good thing to check once in a while anyway during the rinse part of the wash, just to make sure you are rinsing all the detergent away completely. If you have a front-loader then I'm not sure if you can use Dawn, you'd have to look into that (you don't need a lot though).
I use a free-and-clear detergent and frankly lots of other people do as well so I wouldn't say that is necessarily the issue. It does depend on whether you have hard or soft water though, how much of the detergent you use, if it rinses off completely, front vs. top loader, etc. You can try doing a warm instead of a cold rinse after washing (many machines will automatically rinse with just cold) as that may rinse it off better. Some people simply find they need to strip their diapers once in a while too and don't make other changes (depends how often the problem happens, if it's frequent this would not be good obviously).