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Will my "regular old" washing machine cut it for cloth diapers?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi mamas! I'm expecting my first in September and am set on using cloth diapers. I'm partial to prefolds (with or without covers, as I also plan on trying EC!) but my DH has also insisted we get some hybrid pocket style diapers too. 


We have a regular, plain-old, run-of-the-mill washing machine. It's a top loader and it works "fine" but it doesn't offer much in the way of customization for washing cycles. It doesn't have a pre-soak option or an extra rinse cycle, and both have been recommended (insisted) to me by other cloth diapering moms and in articles I've read about CD care. It *does* have the option to wash in hot water (rinse in cold). The longest wash cycle available is 14 minutes. 


My question is: Will this washing machine do the job? Or should we figure out how to work a new, fancier washing machine into our budget? 


Other important info: We live in Ohio with hard water, and I was gifted some Country Save laundry detergent to use. I plan to BF 100% until we start solids on baby's cue. 


I'd love to hear from other parents who are washing cloth diapers in a "regular" washing machine with none of the frills! Thanks in advance! 

post #2 of 8

I would recommend exactly the old washer like you have.  We used one for a while and it worked fine.  Our new fancy one works fine too.  I'd go with what you already own. Sometimes the old ones are even better for cleaning because they use more water. 


We started out using hot water and trying different combos of rinsing and washing...I think it is something you just have to experiment with yourself.  Green Mountain Diapers website has a write up on washing diapers that you might like to read.  While your kiddo is breastfed, diapers are super easy to get clean.  We even do just cold water.


We also have hard water and have used that brand of detergent.  Worked just fine.


So my advice is to experiment.  Smell them, feel them, and watch to see how your baby reacts. I would recommend using the smallest amount of detergent possible for best overall results. 

post #3 of 8

I don't see any reason to get a new one. You can always run them through once on cold with no soap and then again with hot and soap.

post #4 of 8

Yup, stick with your washer, unless you find you have problems and need a new one. Frankly, I have an old top-loader machine and though we replaced our dryer recently, I'm going to stick with that old washer as long as I can. It works, washes diapers well, and I keep hearing about people who get fancy new washers having lots of diaper washing issues.


FWIW I do a cold rinse first just to get any poop that I didn't rinse out before it sets and stains in hot water (DD is 2). But I don't know that it's necessary. Like suggested above you can always run a short cycle on cold with no detergent if you find you need it. Then I do a regular hot wash. No soaking or other fancy stuff. A 14 minute wash cycle sounds short to me though, my regular one is like 30 minutes, but as long as it cleans stuff it's probably fine.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Salr - Thank you for the vote of confidence in my poor old machine! I've been hating the idea of spending hundreds on a new washer if we don't really need to, but I didn't want to be trapped under a mountain of stinky diapers, either! :) 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

fruitfulmomma - Thanks for the tip! I will keep that in mind to try. 

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ola_ - Yeah, I've never seen a washer with such short cycles before this one, but it's what it does! Regular clothes, even super dirty ones, come out just fine and we usually wash in cold water with the smallest amount of soap we can get away with. I guess we'll see how it does in September!

post #8 of 8
From what I hear, the old washers do a much better job than some of the new front loaders. Those other moms need the extra rinse, etc. because the new front loaders use way less water and are not as good at washing very dirty clothes. You will do better with your old clunker, which is harder on delicate clothing but excellent for pee-soaked cloth.
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