Tell me about your family cloth set-up, please. - Mothering Forums
The Mindful Home > Tell me about your family cloth set-up, please.
possum's Avatar possum 04:23 PM 09-27-2009
We have been using family cloth for about 2 years. Until recently, my son was also in cloth diapers.
We have about 30 FCs, and we put them in the diaper pail by the toilet and washed them with the diapers. Now that he is in underwear full-time during the day and having very few changes (one or two pairs of underwear per day vs. 6-10 diapers), we're running out of FC's before we have enough to justify a load.
So what do you all do. Do you have enough FCs to do a small load once a week? Do you throw it in with all the other laundry? Something else?


adorabelle's Avatar adorabelle 09:04 PM 09-27-2009
Are you using them for #1 and #2? If you are just using them for #1, I'd throw them in with my other laundry. If you're using them for #2, I would wash them separately in hot water or with towels in hot water.
possum's Avatar possum 10:47 PM 09-27-2009
We use them for both. I have been washing them (and diapers) on hot separately, but now that we have no diapers and progressively fewer peed/pooped training underwear, it is not really working well since I have such small loads.
I was hoping to get some feedback from people who do FC but don't have kids in CDs anymore. I'd really like to know how you make it work. Do you have a huge amount of FC (I don't think we'd make a whole small load of FC by itself in a week)? A whole load of FC would be like 1000 little cloths - like a month's worth or something. And then we'd be in icky issues from them waiting so long to be washed.
Throwing a few in the wash every day or every other day with the CDs and folding them was no biggie, but I think I'd go nuts folding 1000 little cloths at a sitting.
Maybe I should just throw them in with the towels. Maybe I'm looking for a perfect solution that isn't there.
adorabelle's Avatar adorabelle 12:40 PM 09-28-2009
I use them just for pee, so I just toss them in with my other loads. I guess if i were you I'd just throw them in with some towels on hot. That way you can justify the separate load because at least you are putting towels in with them. What if you got like a 5 gallon pail and put some vinegar/baking soda combo in it, put that somewhere with a lit on it and then washed once a week? I don't know if that would be not hygenic though. :/
tbone's Avatar tbone 10:43 PM 09-28-2009
I only use them for #1 too. I throw them in with other laundry.

Maybe you could do like the pp suggested and use a wet pail, maybe get 10 or 15 more FC and wash on a small load.
squawcorn256's Avatar squawcorn256 11:12 PM 09-28-2009
what if you were to wash FC with underwear/boxers? that would make the load a bit bigger if you washed them every 5-7 days

i have not started using fc... but intend to after i get scraps from my next tee shirt quilt... i live by my self and have not decided what i am going to was them with...
terrabella's Avatar terrabella 01:22 AM 09-29-2009
Don't wet pail!!!!!!

We keep a little hamper by the toilet, and wash the cloths when it fills up. Mini load, hot water. We have lots of cloths. Oh goodness, maybe 60? We use them as diaper wipes too, but those ones end up getting tossed in the ditty sack and washed with the dipes. Then they're put back with the others when clean. BTW, we're a family of six, with one baby in diapers. The wipes are used for #1 and #2, as we use a sawdust toilet.
tankgirl73's Avatar tankgirl73 12:26 AM 10-04-2009
We primarily just use FC for #1, but of course smears happen lol... Honestly, I'm a little unsure as to why dipes or #2 FC would need to be in a "separate load" anyway. If the washer is doing its job, then it's cleaning the stuff off and removing it from the entire load. If you're confident that nothing is being left behind on your dipes/cloth, then why be worried that stuff is being transfered to/left behind on any other clothes?

In other words, I throw it in with towels and underwear for a hot water load, whatever is on it.

The only thing I generally wash separately is my mama cloth, because I don't pre-rinse or anything, just toss the whole mess in the washer. It doesn't get everything out, and I am concerned about it staining other clothes. That being said, if it's only a few, I will toss them in with towels or with FC... just the "big load" is done separately, once a month.
swd12422's Avatar swd12422 10:16 AM 10-06-2009
I would just rinse the #2s before putting in the hamper and wash all the FC with towels or sheets on hot.
artparent's Avatar artparent 09:10 PM 10-06-2009
i'm just starting this. i'm curious - why not wet pail?
here's my current plan. i have a stack of wipes, and i have a covered pail with tea tree oil, soap + water in it. i'm planning to throw in mama cloth as well as rags used to clean the house, and wash the whole thing pretty hot once a week or as needed. we have no diapers around here any more, but i was always looking for somewhere to put rags once i'd cleaned with them, so i'm pleased to have a spot!

we are starting with #1 but we'll see how it goes. if the neighbours find out i may be deported :
amber913's Avatar amber913 10:46 AM 10-08-2009
OP, i'll be in your boat within the year. My plan was to wash the FC (which i use for #1 & #2) and my mama cloth with towels, washcloths, etc. I guess to avoid staining our clothes and to avoid having clothes that smell vaguely of things you don't want them to smell vaguely of. (I make my own detergent, so there's very little perfume to cover it all up.)
ParisApril 05:04 PM 10-09-2009
A wet pail will stink fast.

We have a pail under the counter in the bathroom for FC #1 and #2. Nothing is nicer than wiping #2 with a washcloth, so clean! I actually travel with my FC now my bum is so spoiled! Paper TP just can't compare!

When it gets full I dump it into the diaper pail in the basement. DS still wears diapers at night. When the pail gets full I pre-wash then wash them with soap and 1/2 cup vinegar. In cold water. I've never had any problems or sickness from washing in cold and I've been washing cloth diapers in cold for 11 years!

We must have 100 baby wash cloths I've bought over the years at the dollar store and some are leftovers from when the kids were small. I dry clothes on the washline so it's nice to have lots so if it rains I can put off the laundry.
rhiandmoi's Avatar rhiandmoi 05:36 PM 10-09-2009
Do you do any kind of bidet system? That's what I would recommend, so you don't have that dirty of cloths, and just wash them with regular towels and underwear.
Myboysmom's Avatar Myboysmom 06:48 PM 10-14-2009
Originally Posted by terrabella View Post
Don't wet pail!!!!!!

a sawdust toilet.
artparent's Avatar artparent 07:22 PM 10-14-2009
so if i have a dry pail, what about stench ? tea tree?

ParisApril 11:00 AM 10-15-2009
Originally Posted by artparent View Post
so if i have a dry pail, what about stench ? tea tree?

I keep a small cointainer in the bathroom that I empty into a large diaper pail every other day. The lid on the diaper pail keeps the smell in. However to be fair the smell does not come from FC it comes from DS's nightime diapers. PU they sink.

For the pail I keep in the bathroom I usually put two drops of EO into the bottom to make the bathroom smell nice.
tankgirl73's Avatar tankgirl73 12:07 PM 10-15-2009
I just have a lidded seagrass basket beside the toilet. Not airtight or anything, it even has holes in the side for handles. Absolutely zero smell. I use it for fc but also for mama cloth -- unrinsed mama cloth, just straight from my undies into the basket! No smell at all.

It's a different story with cloth diapers, I guess, and maybe if there's a lot of #2 on your family cloth. But ours is filled with pee and blood and we've never had any smell problems. No wet pail, no essential oils, no baking soda, just a basket.
possum's Avatar possum 10:48 AM 10-16-2009
Thanks everybody, I have added some more cloths and am just using the same bucket we did for diapers beside the toilet in the bathroom. Right now they are getting washed about twice a week with other things that need a hot water wash.
I'm not sure a bidet is very practical consideration in most US homes unless you happen to be remodeling. They are not commonplace here, and we are currently in an apartment so no bidets in our near future. My 2 year old son loved the bidets in Italy - sinks just his height!
I did use my peri bottle for a long time after the birth, but once my son discovered it, I stopped using it. He loved to squirt water. Maybe I could try that again; maybe he's big enough to leave it alone now???.
Thanks again!