what do i need to wash cloth diapers (and where's the best place to get it) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-20-2011, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we cloth diapered our dd exclusively, so we've got the diapering part down.

 

however, we used a diaper service, so i have no idea how to wash the diapers.  expecting baby #2 in may and have decided to do the washing ourselves this time.

 

any good sites that give a simple run down of what i'll need, how to do it and where to get it?  or just any recommendations you can give me?  i've been looking online, but it seems that everyone has a different opinion and now i'm just overwhelmed.  dizzy.gif

 

also, i've never had to buy diapers (they were supplied with the service).  so, what will i need, how many, which ones are best and where is the best place to get them?

 

with dd we only used prefolds and covers and we plan on doing the same this time.


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#2 of 11 Old 02-20-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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I use a three step wash routine of a full cold wash cycle - full hot wash cycle with detergent - cold rinse cycle. Some will begin with a cold RINSE rather than a wash, I've found I need the WASH to get my diapers clean and keep the stinkies away. I do only use 1/2 the manufacturer recommended amount of detergent though. I dry prefolds in the dryer and hang covers.

 

You will find varied opinions on detergents. What works wonderfully for some will not work at all for others. You should really just pick a few and see what works for you. Here's a chart that might help http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html .

 

I use prefolds and covers also.( I will only use covers that have snaps, as the hook & loop irritate my chubby baby's thighs.) Thirsties Duo covers are very popular and (IMO) a pretty good middle-of-the-road cover, but there are lots of good ones out there. If budget is an issue, http://cottonbabies.com has a great BOGO sale right now on Econobum single kits. They also have prefolds on sale. (I check http://www.diaperpin.com for online sales & coupons and buy as needed when I find good discounts.)

 

I currently have 24 infant prefolds and 16 regular sized. I use the infant size (trifolded) during the day and the regulars w/a MF doubler at night. I wash every 2-3 days.

 

HTH! 

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#3 of 11 Old 02-20-2011, 02:21 PM
 
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 You need detergent.. Honestly I'd start with what you already have or what ever fancies you. here I do

 

1) pre wash cycle on warm or hot (what ever I'm in the mood for_

2) long heavy duty wash cyle with 1 scoop detergent I've used pretty much any common for stores to carry successfully I include an extra rinse

3) full cycle nothing,,, Whiel I'll often have clear rinse water I find if I skip this step we start getting rashy

Dey

 

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#4 of 11 Old 02-22-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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I found that with natural fiber diapers, the pre wash and extra rinse were unnecessary since cotton etc wash so clean. We just do a warm whites wash. If you have trouble, add them, but I like to keep things as simple and short as possible. Start by using half the recommend amount of detergent and tweak your routine as needed.

 

For a newborn doing prefolds you need

30ish infant prefolds, organic since they absorb more (higher quality cotton). The 5-15 lb size fits most newborns well. More or less depending on how often you want to wash. You can find these used if you ask around. Your old diaper service may sell their worn ones. Bummies is on good brand, though there are several others. Avoid Gerber like the plague.

3-6 covers. We used Bummies and Thirsties and if I need to buy more I would get Thristies Duos for the wider weight range (they really do fit the full range). Three covers minimum, but life is far better with six.

Wipes. I like single thickness cotton flannel wipes about 8" square. Easy to make, easy to buy, always inexpensive. one and a half times as many wipes as diapers minimum.

Pail liners. Not strictly necessary, but far nicer than washing the pail out. Planet wise and Wammies are great brands. You want two, one in the pail and one in the wash. Other people do large hanging wet bags with zippers etc.

Laundry Detergent. From the grocery store Arm & Hammer Essentials unscented worked best for us, and it has the fewest fragrances, dies, enzymes, optical brighteners etc. We use Country Save, which has non of those and is very economical when bought in bulk from Amazon. I am also just trying out Rockin Green.

Hemp doublers are nice for overnight when you get longer stretches of sleep. You can also just double up on the prefolds.


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#5 of 11 Old 02-25-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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There are many detergents that will work for cloth diapers, some better than others. I've been really happy with Biokleen free and clear and have used it exclusively on all my dipes. I tried Seventh Generation a couple of times and didn't like the results. As far as specifics it's really a matter of trial and error. I never had any issues with washing my dipes with my first, other than stink issues occasionally which a little vinegar helped with. I did a cold rinse, hot wash, and cold rinse.

 

But with my second we live in another house and have a different washer and I have a completely different set up. Well same detergent but different rinses and washes. We have a cheap top loader (renting the home) and the agitation stinks and therefore I end up needing to to 3-4 rinses to get the detergent out. I never had this problem with my previous and better quality washer. So I do a cold rinse, hot wash, and 2-3 additional rinses. It's a pain and such a waste of water but I've tried using less detergent but then the dipes don't get clean. Oh well moving this year and so hopefully we'll end up with a better washer.

 

I bought my first dipes from a WAHM, they are standard CPF's and I got them in a starter package. But with my 2nd ds I ordered some Newborn prefolds from GMD and I was really happy with their service. They sent a great detailed packet of diaper care instructions/FAQ/troubleshooting. I received the diapers in 2 days of ordering and they're a great quality dipe.

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#6 of 11 Old 02-25-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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My wash routine is the same as the first poster. For detergent, I use Tide Free & Gentle Powder, which I finally found to work after using Vaska, Rock 'n' Green, Tide Original Powder, and Tide Clean Breeze powder. We use FuzziBunz pocket diapers and we kept getting awful stinkies with all of those detergents. The Tide F&G is scent-free and dye-free, and we've had no problems with it so far. :)


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#7 of 11 Old 02-27-2011, 05:49 AM
 
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I do a cold rinse, a hot wash* with another rinse and call it a day. I have never gotten into the hype of complicated washing routines with my cloth diapers. 

 

*Detergent: I use a variety. I was making my own, which worked very well. When I got too busy to make my own, I started alternating All f&c with Tide. Dipes are clean and stink-free, so I'm happy. 


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#8 of 11 Old 02-27-2011, 08:01 PM
 
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Diapers:  I like fitteds under bummis or thirsties covers.  I also have a handful of AIOs that I like for the diaper bag.  I think altogether, I have about 30 diapers.  

 


Washing:  I have a front-loading machine.  I use Tide Original HE powder.  My machine has a sanitary cycle, and I select a pre-wash, an extra rinse, and add water.  

 

 

With my previous top-loader, I did the following:

 

Cold rinse

Long cycle hot wash/cold rinse

Cold rinse

 

Occasionally, I would do a full wash/rinse cycle again, if I was having trouble getting the detergent to completely rinse out (we had very hard water).  

 

I am of the opinion that simpler is better.  I have too many other things to deal with in life to make diapering my baby, and washing those diapers, complicated.  Good luck!  I hope you enjoy doing your own diapers!  I also got started with cloth through a diaper service.  It was a great way to get my feet wet.

 

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#9 of 11 Old 03-22-2011, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much for all the tips ladies.  i've definitely got a better grasp on what types of supplies i need and how i go about washing.  now i'm just trying to figure out what types of diapers to get and where to get them.  i've looked at so many CD websites that my head is spinning.  i guess i'm leaning toward GMD and cottonbabies.  sadly, GMD doesn't have gift certificates (my birthday's coming up and my mom has asked me what i want -- really, the only thing i want is stuff for the baby).  also looking at little lions because i could get the clearance ones pretty cheap (to see what i like).  there is a local store that sells cloth diapers.  i could just buy a couple to see what i like also, but i guess i won't really know what i like until i'm actually using them on a daily basis.  the local stores sells unbleached indian for $2 each which seems pretty typical. 

 

anyway, i guess my question is, chinese or indian?  bleached or unbleached.  obviously, i used bleached chinese with dd (because that's what the service had).  they worked well enough, but i have nothing to compare it to.  and i don't know how they are to wash.  also, if i were to go with GMD newborn, would two dozen be enough?  seems like baby will grow out of them pretty quickly, but will i be washing like crazy?  we're on kind of a tight budget.  the other infant ones i've seen last to about 15 pounds.  i guess i would be willing to invest in more of those since they'll last a bit longer.  any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeighPF View Post

For a newborn doing prefolds you need

30ish infant prefolds, organic since they absorb more (higher quality cotton). The 5-15 lb size fits most newborns well. More or less depending on how often you want to wash. You can find these used if you ask around. Your old diaper service may sell their worn ones.


what a great idea, i hadn't thought of that.  haven't checked if they sell their old ones yet, but they do sell the ones they use.  they're $15 for a dozen which seems like a pretty good price.  however, they're bleached chinese prefolds and i was leaning toward unbleached indian. 

 


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#10 of 11 Old 03-24-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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Indian are softer, Chinese last longer, though both will last for years and years of use.

I think you will be happier with 30 rather than 24 diapers, and for what the extra 6 cost, it is worth being able to stretch the laundry. I had 36 which was tons.

Remember cloth wipes too. I like 1 and a half times as many wipes as diapers to start with. My favourite are the 8" flannel squares that are easy to find.


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#11 of 11 Old 03-24-2011, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeighPF View Post

Indian are softer, Chinese last longer, though both will last for years and years of use.

I think you will be happier with 30 rather than 24 diapers, and for what the extra 6 cost, it is worth being able to stretch the laundry. I had 36 which was tons.

Remember cloth wipes too. I like 1 and a half times as many wipes as diapers to start with. My favourite are the 8" flannel squares that are easy to find.

 

thanks, this helps.  i was leaning toward indian (because of the softness factor), but unsure because i heard chinese last longer.  now that i know they'll both last for years i feel better about getting the indian (i'm guessing this will be our last baby). 

 

i will definitely be getting some cloth wipes.  and suggestions for who has the best (at the best price)?  also, i was only wondering if i could get away with 24 if i get the newborn size at GMD (only because baby will grow out of them quicker). 
 

 


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