EXTREMELY new to this, looking for washing routine.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-06-2008, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i haven't even finished building my newborn/small stash yet ... but have finally gotten a hold of what i want to buy (mostly prefolds/covers and a few aio's, couple of bumgenius to have for going out and babysitters .. and to try) ... but can someone point me to a site or thread where there is a good discussion on how to wash cloth dipes?

i can look at gmd.com and check ... it's just beneficial to read about folks' individual experiences.

thanks.
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#2 of 9 Old 01-06-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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i can tell you my own washing techniques as im sure others will too.

pfs - store dirty in an open bin lined with a laundry bag, wash on hot with half a dose of soap (i use arm and hammer essentials), extra cold rinse at the end, dry on hot

covers - sometimes thrown in with the pfs sometimes washed by hand (so easy to rinse out in the sink), i normally air dry them, although sometimes they get thrown in the drier...no biggie if they do

aios - pretty much the same as the pfs, sometimes i hang to dry with the covers etc

pockets - since we mostly use these now that dd is in med size and i only have about 8 of them, i usually fill a bucket with super hot water and add a squirt of my 50/50 dishsoap/vinegar solution when i have 2-3 that are dirty. then i let them soak for as long as it take me to get back and wring them with a hand towel and hang to dry either over one of the heater units or the woodstove when at my parents house. sometimes i throw them in with the pfs and inserts on the same hot then cold extra rinse, but i dont usually dry them just cuz i feel like they will last longer that way.

inserts - same as pfs - i have an assortment, microfiber, terry, hemp - they all wash up and dry on hot the same, although hemp takes a bit longer to dry in the drier i have found.

Mama to Amelia - age 6

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#3 of 9 Old 01-06-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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I have used cloth diapers for over 4 years now and I must honestly say the best thing is Dawn. I've tried many detergents, baking soda, vinegar, bleach, Purex, Tide, Calgon, tea tree oil, etc. The ONLY thing I use now is Dawn. and it gives the BEST results over everything else i've tried.

I do a cold rinse. A cold wash with Dawn, and then a Hot wash.

No problems and very simple. The Dawn also lasts a long time since you only use a little. I have very hard water so I use 3 squirts around the agitator. If your water is soft, I would use much less.

I do not soak, to me that's just letting the dipes sit in pee water. I use a rinse so that I'm not washing in pee water. The cold water gets out the urine smell (I learned that because my son was a bedwetter until he was 12 and it's what got the smell out of the sheets). The Hot is for germs and removing any soap residue.

I also use cloth wipes, a wetbag or pail liner and I throw everything in together. I then dry on hot, I used to hang my fuzzi bunz, but every once and awhile throw those in the dryer to seal the PUL.

My dipes have NO stains, they have been used by multiple children.
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#4 of 9 Old 01-06-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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I have Fuzzi Bunz, BumGenius 1.0's (yes the originals and I'm in the process of restoring the elastic! I'm gonna get at least another year's worth out of them. BG rules yo!) some sherpa fitteds and tons of indian and chinese prefolds. I wash everything together, first in a cold water prewash with about 1/4-1/2 cup of Borax, depending on how many soiled diapers there are. After that first cycle is done, I (well, DH...he's in charge of the laundry lol...I try to help out) *we* add the regular detergent and run the second cycle on hot/cold. I know you're not supposed to use hot, but I haven't had any problems other than the elastic crapping out in the old BG's, which I am happy to fix. Maybe its the water here, but the diapers simply do not get clean enough if they are not washed in hot water. After that all the diapers are dried for about 50 minutes on a medium heat setting in the dryer. This includes my Bummis covers because I'm too lazy to hang them up and wait for them to dry. The only thing I hang-dry are the pull-on vinyl covers.

We use Purex Free-n-Clear, about half of a capful.

Oh also, we don't soak. I did when i first started but it was nasty and unnecessary, and seemed to let stains set in. Yuck. I just drop the poo in the toilet and flush, then store the dirty dipes in a MOE wetbag. When the kids are sick or someone keeps getting diaper rash, I will throw in a splash of bleach to disinfect. Just a tiny amount (less than 1/4 cup) does the job and whitens everything nicely. Bleach does not seem to affect the PUL fabric either. So if you find yourself needing to use it, don't be afraid just be conservative with how much you use.
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#5 of 9 Old 01-06-2008, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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more new things: what's dry pail vs. wet pail? yes, sounds completely self-explanatory ... but i can dream up at least two-three scenarios that might be a 'wet pail'.

all i remember from my mom was we'd dunk my sister's flats i the toilet, then put them in a pail w/bleach water in it. yuk. and basically the flats, pins, plastic pants and bleach pail is what my mother is purporting/supporting (and she's not much open to anything else! "snappis look weird" "why get a pre-fold, just fold the regular diapers?" "don't they just make the cheapo plastic pants anymore?".

dawn in the washing machine? really? you don't have any simpsons or mr. mom moments where the soap bubbles up & over? as a child i put some dawn in the dishwasher once and there was a bubbly mess all over my parents' floor. i'm pretty sure they beat my butt for that ...
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#6 of 9 Old 01-06-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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Lol! sorry about the spanking.

No, there are not a lot of bubbles, but then again my water is HARD. Alot of people who use cloth use Dawn for their dipes. I use Tide for clothes, but Dawn is THE best for my dipes. A teaspoon is recommended. I can get away with using alot more since my water rarely makes any kind of bubbles.

I agree with the bleach, I have used it hundreds of times and my PUL has not faded or no elastic breakdowns in all this time. It will discolor fitteds or cloth wipes though.

Wet pail means you keep some kind of water in the pail, some people add things to the water to help with odor or stains.

Dry pail means you simply drop the dipe into a pail or wetbag/liner of some sort. I use a minishower, which is a spray attached to the toilet to hose off the poopy dipes then put it in the pail. I don't spray pee dipes or wipes. The residual water would be the only thing in my pail and most of that water is soaked up by the dipe.

Most people use a dry pail these days.
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#7 of 9 Old 01-06-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melanyh View Post
more new things: what's dry pail vs. wet pail? yes, sounds completely self-explanatory ... but i can dream up at least two-three scenarios that might be a 'wet pail'.

all i remember from my mom was we'd dunk my sister's flats i the toilet, then put them in a pail w/bleach water in it. yuk. and basically the flats, pins, plastic pants and bleach pail is what my mother is purporting/supporting (and she's not much open to anything else! "snappis look weird" "why get a pre-fold, just fold the regular diapers?" "don't they just make the cheapo plastic pants anymore?".

dawn in the washing machine? really? you don't have any simpsons or mr. mom moments where the soap bubbles up & over? as a child i put some dawn in the dishwasher once and there was a bubbly mess all over my parents' floor. i'm pretty sure they beat my butt for that ...
dry pail= nothing like what your mom did. just throw the diaper in the pail...thats it. when the baby gets older and starts eating solids the poop will be more in pieces that your can either shake or scrape into the toilet. but while the baby is still bfing you can just throw those dipes into the pail with the pee ones and then wash. as long as you wash every 3ish days you should be all set.

i dont use snappis, when i used pfs i just folded them and then secured them with covers (i used proraps and thirsties) - i had a couple snappis but used them like 3 times maybe. since you dont have to pull the new covers on like the old plastic pants you can eliminate a step. once you mom trys it she will be a believer.

as far as dish soap in the washer, i would just ere on the side of caution. water is all different and the first time you try it just put in a little bit and watch it fill up and how much bubbles you get. dish soap is great for stripping residue and smells out of the dipes though.

Mama to Amelia - age 6

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#8 of 9 Old 01-06-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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the only thing about bleach is how bad chlorine and chemicals are for kids. i have used it on occasion, but afterward i follow with another full wash with my reg soap and then the extra rinse on cold. i want to make sure that none of it gets anywhere near dd.

Mama to Amelia - age 6

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#9 of 9 Old 01-07-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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My personal wash routine is:

Remove insert if it is a pocket diaper
Rinse or spray poopy diapers
Dry Pail till wash time
Cold Rinse
Hot wash with about 2 tbs detergent
Extra rinse

Some of our stuff gets dried in the dryer, some doesn't. If you do dry diapers with elastic, make sure you don't stretch out the elastic too much while it is still warm as that causes it to break down faster.

Have fun!

Jennifer
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