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Stripping issues

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all, we just welcomed our third baby last week (7 days old already! Crazy!) and I'm starting to think about cloth now.


My 2 year old has just recently potty learned (still sometimes in cloth overnight), and we'd be reusing the diapers we have for him. We have the Babyland pocket diapers- you know, those cheap ones from China. We've never had any serious issues with them, until I started making my own laundry detergent. Now pee puddles on top of the diaper and then leak out the legs- totally not useful at all. I made a new laundry detergent for cloth diapers, stripped the diapers, and started again. Still no improvement. Re-stripped and went back to my previous detergent that I've been using for years (shaklee) and it's not any better. Stripped twice more, no improvement.


Are these diapers just toast? I hate to have to buy more diapers, but I'm getting close to giving up.


Stripping methods I've used: baking soda, white vinegar, oxi-clean, and bleach with multiple hot washes in between to try to remove any soap residue. I never see any bubbles when they wash, though, so I'm not sure what it is.

post #2 of 7

What was in the suspect detergent you were using?  That can help us pinpoint the problem. 


What are the inserts made out of?  Are the inserts still absorbing (so it's just the pocket itself repelling)?  Have you used any diaper cream on butts while using them? 


Is your water hard?  Do you use an FL or TL machine? 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

hi Cristeen :)


I have a FL washer. The ingredients in my homemade detergent are washing soda, borax, and a bar of grated laundry soap. The laundry soap is what's questionable to me- I don't knwo what's in it, it was in my health food store with no listed ingredients.


Inserts are microfiber, and are still absorbing. I think it's the fleece layer of the diaper itself that is repelling- the layer that sits next to baby's skin. We don't have hard or soft water. No diaper creams.


I've found the longer I use them, the faster the build up the stink and the more often I need to strip them. I think this is the issue with cheap fabrics, but I just couldn't afford anything else at the time.... still can't, really. Cloth diapering can be so pricey to get started.

post #4 of 7

Homemade detergent is the problem. I KNOW it saves money, but it's just not the right choice for cloth diapers. Borax is very harsh on the elastic and PUL, and the "laundry soap" (usually Fels Naptha) leaves a bad residue. Thirsties had a great blog post explaining why homemade soaps don't work. Shaklee isn't ideal either because it contains enzymes, brighteners, and fragrances.


You could try to strip with Funk Rock, and use a CD safe detergent for a while to see if that "fixes" things. Microfiber+front loader is definitely the hardest combination to find a good wash routine for, but you can do it. Use an approved detergent (see the list above), use the right amount, and rinse, rinse, rinse.

post #5 of 7

First I'd try a soak in the tub with just hot water and add a kettle or 2 of boiling water. If that doesn't work - dawn might be a good solution (here's info from my favorite retailer) :




Countrysave or bumgenius are good, not too expensive diaper detergent options. 


Fels Naptha and most bar laundry soaps are made with animal fats that cause big time repelling issues. 

post #6 of 7

Since you have a FL you can use a plunger to agitate the diapers in the tub. Good luck!

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Oops, I totally forgot about this thread!  Thanks for the replies so far.


I did hunt around and learned that Fels Naptha soap is terrible, so that's why I substituted with the stuff from my health food store. I didn't realize they were terrible for cloth diapers (until I learned the hard way). The animal fat makes sense. And is kind of gross. I didn't think to look up whether borax was good or bad for diapers.


I also never looked up Shaklee soap. I started using it just for regular clothes, then forgot to buy my diaper detergent for a few weeks running and it didn't seem to be causing problems so I just kept using it. I'll switch back to a diaper detergent.


Hopeful- thanks for all the good links! I lvoe the description for the Funk Rock


Siouxsie- the tub idea is good, I will try that. I had forgotten all about blue Dawn until I was doing laundry today and debating how best to remove the sweat stains from DH's work shirts so I can grab a bottle the next time I'm out- since it seems to work on everything. Weird. 

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