The number one barrier to new parents committing to cloth diapers is all the dirty work. Using cloth diapers means you'll have to deal with some extra laundry to deal with, but most families consider the effort worth it. Apart from reducing the pounds of disposable diapers that would have ended up in landfills, cloth diapers also reduce the chances of diaper rashes.
However, adorable prints and soft fabrics only help a little when the laundry bag is filled with stinky diapers. But washing cloth diapers can be easier than it seems; new parents are considerably surprise at how uncomplicated the whole procedure is. Cloth diaper companies that you purchased from should have included instructions about their recommended wash routine. It is definitely wise to check those out to prolong the use of your reusable diapers. But these simple steps work on most cloth diapers:
- Rinse the diaper:
Breastfed baby poop is water soluble, so in the beginning when your baby is breastfeeding exclusively, you can drop the dirty diaper directly into your diaper bag without any fuss. If your baby is on formula or solids however, you need to add an extra step to your routine. Rinse off the dirty diaper and dump the contents into the toilet before tossing it into the diaper bag.
- Wash a load:
Start with a cold water wash with no detergent to get all the gunk out of the diapers. After the first cycle is run, add detergent and turn the washer back on with the cycle on warm or hot. Make sure not to use any fabric softener or additives. Optionally, you can add lavender or green tea essential oil to use as an antiseptic.
- Dry the diapers:
Each style of diapers has specific drying instructions - some can be machine dried while others need to be air dried. The best known method of drying cloth diapers is outside in the sun. The sun is your friend as it helps keeps stains away.
- Air drying: There's no addition wear on diapers that are air dried. The only downside is that it takes longer than machine drying. If drying outside in the sun isn't possible, a clothesline would also work.
- Machine drying: If manufacturers okay machine drying on low what settings however, it is a convenient and quicker option.
Know your water
Hard water isn't ideal for cleaning diapers - it doesn't allow the detergent to work well. If you do have hard water, it would be best to use a liquid water softener.
Know your detergent
It's best to use a detergent without bleach, optical brighteners or any extra additives. There are some specific diaper soaps available in the market that work best.
Most importantly, read the wash and dry instructions that come with the product for best results.