Who is doing Cloth Diapers? - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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We have hard water and use hemp doublers and inserts (just a few) and I don't have any stink issues. We did when I tried Charlie's Soap and Rockin Green, along with instant ammonia rashes. One wash with Tide and it cleared everything up. I know Tide isn't "eco friendly" but it's the only thing (or All Free/military) that will work with our water.

 


I've seen many mamas say this about the Tide. I'm just going to start off with Tide HE from the very beginning I guess.


 I couldn't use Tide due to DH's eczema, so maybe that is why we had issues with hemp? Not sure - we had well water that was high in sulphur and iron which also could have been the culprit.

I've used Dawn dishwashing soap with great success with hard well water high in metals.  I had a top loader before, but I used about a tsp of soap to each load and a downyball of vinegar.  From the threads Ive read at DS, I should be able to do the same thing with the front loader, just less, 1/2 tspish, and vinegar directly in the fabric softener dispenser..

 

I like tide though, so that's my current plan but I do think you can do hemp with hard water and no tide.  Ive heard of adding a pot of boiling water every now and then through the detergent dispenser to get hemp super clean.  Our washer is on a different floor then our kitchen, so that sounds like alot of work.  I also think its really important to prep hemp thoroughly or else you are always fighting stink issues because the natural oils arent off.. and they get on everything else.
 

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#242 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 04:07 PM
 
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Besides hating the smell. Some people are allergic to tide and kids can be extra sensitive to it as it's quite strong. I was allergic to it for many years when I was little. I'm not anymore but I hate the smell.

 

I have hard water and hemp and no stink issues. I do add baking soda in with the wash though - so maybe that helps? I really liked arm and hammer essentials perfume and dye free for a TL. I have liked liquid soap nuts and baking soda for the front loader. Oxiclean free and clear is sometimes needed.


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#243 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 04:14 PM
 
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Besides hating the smell. Some people are allergic to tide and kids can be extra sensitive to it as it's quite strong.



 



Yeah, that. My 7yo ds has very sensitive skin and eczema. There's no way we could use Tide. We've gotten some clothes from the neighbor who uses Tide. My ds put a shirt on once before I could wash it and broke out in hives all over. I can definitely see how it would cover up any smell, though, because the perfume is so strong. I can smell it on the neighbor's clothes from several feet away.

I used vinegar and/or baking soda to combat stink. Vinegar naturally neutralizes the ammonia urine stink. It's also great for treating urine accidents on furniture and carpet from kids and pets. And, of course, baking soda is a natural odor neutralizes. Both of those will get rid of the odors rather than just covering them up with perfumes.

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#244 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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I think the problem for some people with Tide is there are enzymes in it. They are great for helping to break down poo and pee, but if someone is sensitive to them, then it's not good. I only use Free and Gentle, not original. We have a top loader with an XL capacity and I don't even fill the detergent to the 1 line on the cup. When we went to DH's parents house, I didn't pay attention to the difference in the washer capacity and DD got a really bad rash. I blame it on the water to detergent ratio, which most likely made it so there was a high concentration of enzymes. We had to buy disposables and cream. Not a good impression when you're trying to show off your cut cloth diapers.


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#245 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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Two thumbs up for the HE free and gentle Tide.  I guess that is important to specify, huh?


The only thing is though I like the free and gentle, Ive never used enough regular tide when I did to make my diapers smell like anything but clean diapers.  I think alot of people use way too much detergent in general.  Maybe it helps that I do a prewash with soap and then the mainwash and two rinses?  Dunno..

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#246 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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I used to use All Free and Clear because that's what I use to clean all of our clothes. I was told years ago that Free and Clear detergents were actually worse with respect to build up. I don't know the specifics. If it's because of something that's missing or something that is added.

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#247 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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This is a great site that I use to look up detergents for Cloth Diapers (it rates them).

 

http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoices.htm


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#248 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 08:59 PM
 
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The two detergents I've recommended are on the safe detergent list. The Arm and Hammer essential perfume and dye free is fine because there's no enzymes, whiteners, etc.

 

I love those cloth diaper detergent charts. They were very helpful. I originally used All Free and Clear cuz I didn't know any better but it caused a bit of build up in the dipes that was taken care of after I switched to a "safe" detergent.


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#249 of 393 Old 02-09-2011, 09:19 PM
 
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I've used Purex F&C most of the time but recently used the small Method pump (probably F&C but can't remember, unless all Method is like that). That seemed to work fine. I'm now using Tide F&C, and also bought Up & Up F&C for when that is out. Haven't really had any issues with any buildup. I always to a pre-rinse and have vinegar in the washing rinse, plus an extra rinse. So I'm sure all the rinses help.


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#250 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 05:26 AM
 
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Sooo excited, ladies! I got all of my cloth diaper stuff in the mail this week. The (Thirsties Duos) covers are adorable and the (Planet Wise) wetbag is gorgeous. I'm feeling pumped to take on cloth diapering for the first time. DSCN3116.JPG

 

I will be washing prefolds all day today. I'm using Country Save detergent and a front loader…we'll see how that works out. I feel pretty good about the purchase because a) it was an inexpensive and safe detergent, charged no shipping directly from their website and arrived here super fast (with a gift bottle of Propel to boot, lol!) and b) because many mothers seem to love it…and I haven't found anyone complain of chemical burns as found in many of the popular detergents or detergents for cloth diapering specifically. I'm using Cotton Babies prefolds, because they're at a great price while also being highly recommended (though I can't wait to try GMD…but I saved a lot of money not buying GMD, which was twice the amount for the same amount of prefolds!) I got two snappis (of course, the day before every cd site I know of stocked up, so I was bumming about the color choices), a yellow pail liner and a small wetbag for short outings/well baby checks. I ordered the covers from Moms Milk Boutique and I got the package before ANY other package I ordered that day--and some included express shipping.

 

The fabric behind the covers/pfs is my boppy cover (makes me excited to bf again) and I'm very excited to wash all of the new baby clothes. 

 

Just thought I'd share. I know there are many moms who are new to cloth diapering, and I think it's beyond helpful when we share our experiences with each other. 

 

I also bought about two weeks worth of Seventh Gen diapers to use for the first weeks while I deal with meconium, an umbilical cord, and, oh yeah, a new baby. I'm excited for those, too, because I've used just about every disposable brand with my son except Seventh Gen. They look very small! It seems like a common complain with Seventh Gen newborn diapers is they're outgrown pretty quickly…but I think it's just because I can't remember my son ever being that small! My husband laughed and told me there was a time that they would have been huge on him.

 

The only thing I need to do is run up to the store and grab a lidded trashcan to use as my diaper pail.

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#251 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Very Fun, msmiles!  Thanks for the review.  I also got some things in the mail this week - a few second hand fitteds: Kissaluvs, Muttaquin, and Diapereze (white with black snaps).  Of the three the Muttaquin seems the highest quality by far!  The Dreameze seems like it won't hold any poo at all and the Kissaluvs are perhaps too far gone to even make a judgement (they seem very old).  The Muttaquin also seems like it has seen a lot of use but is still in seemingly good shape.  I'll let you all know how they hold up on a baby!  

 

Re: detergent - it certainly seems to be as big a debate/personal thing as diaper selection.  I've got some Country Save and will use that to start with but am not opposed to trying Tide if need be.  

 

Although...I've decided to change my prefold order to 1 dozen infant, 1 dozen small (rather than 3) and instead get 2 dozen small flats and 1 dozen large flats.  Hopefully that will solve my fear of laundry.  When I look down the pros and cons list of all the different types of diapers flats totally wins out for my lifestyle.  I hope I like them...it's a crap shoot because I've never even seen a flat on a baby!!  Does anyone here use flats (I can't remember).  

 

 

Has anyone used the rumparooz wet bag?  I'm thinking of trying one: http://www.abbyslane.com/catalog.php?category=1006


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#252 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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Thanks for that link about detergents. It seems maybe it makes a difference what type of machine you have. I have a front loader and All Free and Clear is actually listed as good while Tide of any kind is not good. Charlie's Soap, which I use now, appears to be ok but Allen's soap is better. I might switch. I was wondering about 7th Gen since my local commissary sells that but only the Delicate Care is considered ok. The Country Save is listed as good.

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#253 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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I have used country save in the past. I tried the powder stuff with a top loader and didn't like it but I'm sure it'd be great with a FL. Part of it has to do with not liking to add the detergent til after my clothes/diapers are in the wash and finding it annoying that I had to do that. LOL

 

I used 7th gen free and clear and it seemed fine but after I looked at the cloth diaper safe list I stopped because I didn't want to take any chances. Diapers are too spendy to play around with in my opinion. Best to use something considered safe.


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#254 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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The Seventh Gen. stuff did NOT work for us -- we had leaky, smelly diapers after a few months of it.  Same with Soap Nuts (though lots of people swear by these for diapers).  All Free & Clear is OK.  Purex Free & Clear is not quite as good as All, but close.  We have very hard water, that might have something to do with the way detergents work for us.  I'm actually finding I have pretty good luck with the Giant Eagle generic free & clear detergent.  I think the issue is that the spendier "free & clear" stuff has additives in it (enzymes, brighteners, etc.) that interfere with diapers.  Cheap generic free & clear stuff might actually be better in this sense because it's just basic detergent. 


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#255 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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I have yet to buy my front loader (waiting for tax return) but have researched them a ton by reading on consumer reports forums and stuff. The general consensus is that we should only use one tablespoon of the powdered detergent for a full load. There is an appliance repairman that posts on the forums there and said that even using the enclosed measuring cup is too much. I can't wait to see how this is all going to work out with a front loader and cloth dipes. lol.gif

 

I wonder if the Tide and it's enzymes are safer for fabrics like cotton instead of the microfiber? I'll definitely be doing a double rinse to rinse out as much as possible.

 

That said, I sometimes use Charlie's Soap in my top loader (one tablespoon) and we have never had a reaction. I have an unopened bag of Rockin' Green that I was gifted but due to mixed reviews I am almost afraid to try it.

I guess this is all one big experiment in the beginning and results will be different for everyone.


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#256 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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IME, powders do not work well in FLs ever. Personally, if I could go back, I'd have never traded my top loader for a front loader. I got a Kenmore Elite HE3 in 2005 or 2006. I did not do any research prior to buying so I can't say if it had a good rating. I'm pretty sure I read later that that brand/model was supposed to be ok, maybe not the best but not bad. I can tell you that once getting it all of our clothes started getting worn more quickly. I stopped using regular bleach completely because all of our white t-shirt collars started to fray regardless of age. They weren't frayed at all before. I can only assume that was because of the very small amount of water used. The machine I have only uses enough water to soak the clothes. It does not fill with water even partially like some FLs do.

The same thing happened to many of my diapers. I washed diapers for 2 years in an old, beat up top loader that we picked up for free off the street and never had any problems. Within months of getting the FL several of my diapers started to fray on edges and get holes. I followed the directions for using HE detergents in very small amounts. I also don't think it cleaned anything very well. A lot of our clothes came out of the machine with spots that I swear weren't there when they went in. I have to spot treat almost all of our clothes before I put them in the wash now. And the darn thing is so loud it sounds like a jet about to take off. Whenever friends are here and it's running they ask, "What the heck is that?!" I've had it looked at and there's nothing wrong with it. That's just how it runs. So, I would highly recommend against getting a FL. That was 5 or 6 years ago so, hopefully, they've improved. I still don't think they are worth the exorbitant cost. Big rip off, if you ask me.

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#257 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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I have been using All Free & Clear on my clothes, because I have very sensitive skin, and on my son's BG 3.0s. From what I understand, the brighteners in it only may wear on your diapers over time. Brighteners themselves don't cause any immediate issues, like repelling. I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with how it cleans my son's AIOs. They are AIOs, so they're naturally the hardest diaper to get clean; my laundry routine could compromise their cleanliness, too. But sometimes they still come out with an odd, faint odor, like they aren't completely clean. I'm getting ready to send them through the wash with the Country Save, although I've heard that Country Save works great for natural fibers and is mediocre for synthetics. I looked for something cloth diaper safe everywhere on post and in town--thinking Seventh Gen delicate would be somewhere--and had to give up and order online.

 
I've had my front loader for just over a year now with no problems. I, too, researched the heck out of front loaders vs top loaders and my particular washer. I got my front loader for a pretty penny, as well. I wasn't willing to spend the exorbitant amount of money one can spend on a front loader, and I walked out with one of the best for about $500 with a five year unlimited warranty. It doesn't make any sense that you would have problems with wear and tear on clothes in a front loader, though I don't disbelieve you. Front loaders are proven gentler on clothes because they roll water through clothes, rather than spinning and wrenching them through water. I just make sure I only fill it 1/3 of the way with clothes. That's the only downside i've experience in a front loader, so far: you can't wash as many clothes in them. I've also experienced spots with both front loaders and top loaders. Mine is also very quiet. Kenmore's are not very well rated front loading washers.
 
I had a repairman out for my dryer and he gave me a schpeel on my washing machine that ended with a pitch that I wasn't very impressed by, and he also said that the recommended amount of HE detergent is more than enough for HE washers. As I said, I have sensitive skin, so even though All F&C doesn't bother my skin with itchiness or redness, I could still feel it when I folded clothes, so I cut down to using just a TBS of it each wash. That's about half the recommended amount. That works just fine on everything but my husband's smelly work clothes, but I just send them through a prewash and all is resolved.
 
Just my two cents. But I absolutely believe, even though it doesn't make sense, that something will work differently for everyone. Considering all the different variables…different kinds of diaper systems, different brands, different washers, different water quality...I wish someone would come out with a definitive study on cd and detergent, because this shouldn't be rocket science. The basics should be made available to us, rather than through hard work, hard spending, research and guessing. 
 
If the mods don't mind, I found this post about washing cds and thought it was interesting. Especially her embattled point that a cold wash is mostly pointless, because cold water doesn't kill germs, it just helps reduce stains. I've been confused on that point since I started researching cloth diapers. Also her insistence that baking soda won't work with powder detergents, and that rashes aren't caused by detergents themselves, but by your child's pee interacting with ineffective or ineffectually rinsed out detergent. 
 
 


 

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#258 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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I used Planet the whole time I was cloth diapering my son and it worked great.  I never had any issues with repelling or smells.  I'm able to get it locally and I use it on all of our stuff. 

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#259 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Mssmiles, That is still one of my favorite threads on diaper washing ever. :)

 

I havent CDed yet with the front loader, BUT.. it gets my clothes so much cleaner then my top loader ever did!  I was actually embarrassed that my clothes looked so much better after they got washed in the front loader.  My whites were so dingy even after using bleach. It also seems to be alot more gentle on them.  We got LG machines and they are highly rated by consumers.. It's been a year now but I love them.  I did make sure to get ones that I felt would be good with CDs in the future.  I can add extra water, extra rinses, stain cycles, rinse and spin, etc.  After getting all my diapers out and washing them yesterday Im really excited about it working out well.  I was able to use a little dawn with no problems and ecover.. and they all came out smelling faintly of ecover and so soft :)

 

IDC, mutts are some of my fav WAHM made diapers.  They have held up great.

 

Im excited to have all my Wonderoo OS pockets and inserts washed so I can list them on DS and maybe but some cute longies :)

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#260 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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On the detergent for diaper laundry topic... I've used various "Free and Clear" detergents, and they have been okay, but the best thing I have found, that I have been using for the past two-ish years is Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. I only need to use about a capful for a load, so the gallon bottle lasts a really long time. No buildup or stink issues either. :) Not quite sure why it rarely comes up in cloth diaper detergent threads, but it works for me.

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#261 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Msmiles - that thread is awesome!!  Everyone should check that out for sure...


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#262 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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I have read in more than one place that people are generally unhappy with the Kenmore HE3/HE4. However, my grandma has the HE3 and says she loves it. I asked her about all of the common FL complaints and she swears she never had a problem.

The one we are probably going to buy is labeled Kenmore but made by LG. I have seen complaints about every brand though so it's not like there is a brand that is perfect. The same goes for any appliance. I was so afraid to get a new refrigerator and stove because it seemed like they all sucked. lol.gif

I really think the consistency of quality with appliances is overall rather poor. Some people get lucky and theirs will work how it's supposed to for many years and others get duds. :(

 

I get the mysterious spots on clothing in our top loader. It almost looks like grease spots and drives me insane.


 

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IME, powders do not work well in FLs ever. Personally, if I could go back, I'd have never traded my top loader for a front loader. I got a Kenmore Elite HE3 in 2005 or 2006. I did not do any research prior to buying so I can't say if it had a good rating. I'm pretty sure I read later that that brand/model was supposed to be ok, maybe not the best but not bad. I can tell you that once getting it all of our clothes started getting worn more quickly. I stopped using regular bleach completely because all of our white t-shirt collars started to fray regardless of age. They weren't frayed at all before. I can only assume that was because of the very small amount of water used. The machine I have only uses enough water to soak the clothes. It does not fill with water even partially like some FLs do.

The same thing happened to many of my diapers. I washed diapers for 2 years in an old, beat up top loader that we picked up for free off the street and never had any problems. Within months of getting the FL several of my diapers started to fray on edges and get holes. I followed the directions for using HE detergents in very small amounts. I also don't think it cleaned anything very well. A lot of our clothes came out of the machine with spots that I swear weren't there when they went in. I have to spot treat almost all of our clothes before I put them in the wash now. And the darn thing is so loud it sounds like a jet about to take off. Whenever friends are here and it's running they ask, "What the heck is that?!" I've had it looked at and there's nothing wrong with it. That's just how it runs. So, I would highly recommend against getting a FL. That was 5 or 6 years ago so, hopefully, they've improved. I still don't think they are worth the exorbitant cost. Big rip off, if you ask me.



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#263 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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It doesn't make any sense that you would have problems with wear and tear on clothes in a front loader, though I don't disbelieve you. Front loaders are proven gentler on clothes because they roll water through clothes, rather than spinning and wrenching them through water.



 



I know. That's what I thought, too. The only thing that changed, though, was the machine I used and it was after I got the FL that I had the problems. It may very well be the washer brand. Part of the reason I got the one I did was the price. I couldn't afford the more expensive ones even if I wanted. I was living in Hawaii at the time so had a very limited selection as well. I read a thread on MDC recently about a very highly recommended inexpensive top loader, only $300. A friend suggested I sell my FL to get the TL but, honestly, I can't bring myself to sell something that I think is crap.

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#264 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MW, you are making me love my crappy top loader -- thank you!!  


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#265 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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I might get flames for it, but I love my Charlie's Soap for my diapers. Never had a problem with it, though I've had issues with every other detergent I tried. I follow the directions for Charlie's, 1 tbsp each load no more and no less, and for diaper laundry I always use the largest load setting.

 

I have a pail question: open or closed?

 

Also - those Rumparoos pail liners look nice, especially if you were limited on space and going to hang it on a hook. I'm thinking about one now myself.


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#266 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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Can we discuss cloth wipes please?

 

How do you use yours? Do you spray a solution on the dry wipes? Do you keep them soaking in a solution? Just use water?

 

I'd ideally like to use cloth wipes in a wipes warmer. Is this feasible or a disaster waiting to happen?


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#267 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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Re: wipes.  I used a big stack of small baby washcloths (bought cheap at TJMaxx or given as shower gifts).  If it was a poo diaper (the only time you really need a wipe) I'd spray the wipe with water or with water mixed with a diaper solution.  Then I'd throw it in the diaper pail with the dirty diaper.  I wouldn't suggest a wipes warmer as I've heard they're difficult to maintain, keep the solution from growing mold, etc.  Initially btw I used a Diaper Champ, BIG mistake!  It was such a hassle to get the diapers in there (cause they're bigger than sposies) and the wipes would get stuck in the top.  I finally switched to a regular flip top stainless steel can with a wet bag inside and have been so happy!

 

Here is the wipe solution recipe I used:

 

1.   1c. water
       a few drops of tea tree oil
       1 Tbs. organic baby soap, liquid
       1 Tbs. oil

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#268 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 04:10 PM
 
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Also re: w/d  I got a LG front loader last June and it's worked great on my CDs.  It is a middle of the line model, doesn't heat water itself (no sanitizing cycle).  I do a Quick Wash (cold, minimal spin), then a regular wash (Hot/Cold, high spin) with a extra rinse.  I only dry the inserts of my pockets, I let the outsides air-dry which only takes a short time anyway.  That was something I didn't do from the beginning and I regret.  I think the dryer wears them out!


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#269 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 04:15 PM
 
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I did sposie wipes for a few months until I got fed up with picking them out of the diapers or them going through the wash and gunking up the velcro/aplix on the diapers. After that, I just kept the cloth wipes in a wipes warmer with some water and a squirt of baby soap and it worked amazingly, especially since I could just leave the wipe in the diaper and throw the whole thing into the washer. 


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#270 of 393 Old 02-10-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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In regards to wipes, I liked just keeping the soap solution in the wipe warmer just a squirt of California baby soap or a wipe cube.  Otherwise the wipes got smelly by the end of the day.  I just dip and a squeeze and they're ready to go .  Lately I've just been running her bottom under the faucet and washing with a washcloth and soap if needed.  In regards to confessions  I've been using 1/4 cup of bleach in my diaper loads for the past couple of weeks hide.gif  I wind up doing diapers once a week and baby girl was getting rashy when in BGs and the ammonia stink after one pee was horrible.  I have a fisher paykel and I do a cold rinse, a hot wash with a two hour soak ( this gets a shot of dawn and bleach) then a cold wash with 2 TBSP of homemade detergent (1/2 borax and 1/2 washing soda).  Her rash is clearing up, but I'm not sure how long the PUL can last with the bleach.


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