washing the dirty cloth diapers and wipes?

[deleted account] ( 26 moms have responded )

im having my first baby and i do not want anything to do with disposible diapers or whipes, but i have no clue how to wash dirty diapers.

how do you moms do it and what soap is the best?

my grammy said lie soap and bleach and a wash bord worked for her, but i dont live on a farm in 1950 so im not sure about that.

i know how to use them, about home made wipe soulition, transportation of dirty ones home and clean ones out and about... I just can not seem to wrap my head aroun this idea of washing something that i would probably throw away if i didnt know any better.



so far i have cotten diapers, terrie cloth wipes and some plastic bloomers but i dont know what is going to work for us yet and may try a diffrent aproch latter. im lost so any ideas or what you would be awesome.

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Selia - posted on 12/24/2009

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I think I'm doin' it the lazy way after reading some of these! I just set the washer on cold, small load and run the water with my 1/2 dose detergent (Biokleen here, but it seems most work fine). I stop it once the agitator turns on and leave the lid open. I toss diapers straight in after a change and let it finish the wash every day or two, no extra washes or rinses. I get more stains I'm sure, but it usually only takes one hot wash to get 'em out again. way more water/energy efficient and simple than mutiple washes and rinses. Still breastfeeding exclusively though, so no rinse into toilet needed. Have a sprayer ready for then ($20 ebay, worth it!).

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Winter - posted on 01/13/2010

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Sometimes Charlie's gives babies a rash. I use Rockin Green, and it's GREAT for smelly diapers! If you plan to breastfeed, you won't need to worry about pre-rinsing at all. Once your LO starts on solids, you can pre-rinse in a bucket or spray off using a sprayer or shower held hose. It really takes little more than disposables and it is so worth it!

Thomisa - posted on 01/05/2010

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My cousin recommended that I leave water in the washer for the dirty diapers to soak. She puts her hand in a small baggy to scrap the poop out before also throwing them into the washer. Good Luck!

Jennifer - posted on 01/03/2010

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oh, for nb/small i use kissaluves and fitteds made by me...for the bigger sizes I like the ease of pockets...knickernappies, drybee's hybrid and mumbums

Jennifer - posted on 01/03/2010

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this is my 3rd....and washing cloth is supper easy.
first.
Do you have a front loader or top??
It isn't much different.
I love chalies soap, but it is hard to get in massachusetts without paying shipping.
so we use either tide free or era free....
I was a full cycle without deturgent on cold ...and then a hot cycle with soap and on occason add vinigar or bleach. just dont over do the vinigar...it eats elastic and covers....for newborn, breast fed soiled diapers I don't do a full cold was, just a cold rince cycle before washing.

do you knit?? wool covers are awesome and look supper cute.....

[deleted account]

I just wanted to tell you about "snappis", if you are gonna use prefolds as a diaper fastener instead of safety pins. The shop I bought mine from came with the set of prefolds I bought. They are so easy to use and I'm glad I was introduced to them right from the beginning. You can just google it. They are pretty inexpensive anywhere.

Megan - posted on 12/30/2009

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i also have a boy and most of my (homemade) dipes are dark blue inside so i dont really get noticable stains.

Megan - posted on 12/30/2009

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my wash routine is REALLY simple. 1 rinse cyle in cold and 1 hot wash cycle with 1 T. charlies soap with an extra rinse. done. Recently with the pee diapers (urine is sterile) i just wash them with my other laundry, to save on water and detergent. I do laundry every day, even though i do not have to, but my laundry is in my bathroom so it is really accessible. Hanging your dipes in the sun will work out any stains--but i live in michigan, so you can immagine how ofen that happens.

Louise - posted on 12/28/2009

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I put a little water with lavender in the bottom of my bucket. Then I wash with fairy soap powder and soda crystals (great for the stains).

Shannyn - posted on 12/27/2009

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I had a diaper sprayer, that attached to my toilet- it was great for getting poop off the diapers before they hit the pail.

I used free & clear or home made- always. I MUCH prefer home made. You can use baking soda and vinegar as well. Tee tree oil is a natural disinfectant, add just a couple drops to a large load of diapers.

I always washed on cold, dried on high or line dried outside :)

Jennifer - posted on 12/24/2009

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LOL on the lye soap and bleach method.

It depends on the diapers. Most people say never to bleach but as long as they are 100% cotton, you can bleach them. Don't bleach covers though. And if you do use bleach, do at least one extra rinse with the max. water.

I use biocleen detergent. Tried Country Save and wasn't impressed. When we move, I am planning to switch everything we use to charlie's soap assuming he doesn't react or anything.

I just do a hot wash with an extra rinse. We use a front loader and I'm not wild about it for diapers because you can't just do a rinse for some reason. I usually run an extra "quick wash" after i bleach them with no detergent, but I honestly don't bleach them much.

I do add 5-10 drops of Australian tea tree oil to the wash. its antibacterial and if you do an extra rinse they don't hold onto the tea tree smell.

I like honey chunks for wipe solution, but I cut them into quarters and use 1/4 for 2 cups of water because they are waay too strong. one bag lasts...well, he's 7 months and I still have plenty left. We received a bunch of flannel receiving blankets, namely Gerber brand ones, that were too small to be useful for swaddling so i cut them up for wipes.

Air dry bags and covers, and diapers get tumbled on medium heat. Which reminds me, gotta go wash some dipes so I don't have to do it on Christmas!

Laura - posted on 12/23/2009

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Shaklee Laundry soap is really safe and works great.
We have a sprayer that we attached to the toilet and we spray the poop into the toilet - works GREAT! Then rinse in sink if necessary - not usually though - then put in a wet bag (no water in it) until wash day. System has been working for 8 months now!

Sunrise - posted on 12/23/2009

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I use a variety of things. I once upon a time used Allen's Naturally but found that it didn't kick the stink like I would have hoped. I often use our regular clothes detergent only in a scaled down amount

Cordelia - posted on 12/22/2009

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I use Dr. Bonner's Magic Soap (all natural; fair trade). I also add in some baking soda and vinegar (to deoderize). Once the diaper is soiled I give it a good rinse as well, so it cna be easier to clean in the washer.

Also, I tried a few cloth diapering syetems before I was sold on BumGenius and Fuzzy Bunz. I also us Dream Eaze for the the night sleeping. Cloth wipes or a regular washcloth can be washe with the diapers.

Chelsea - posted on 12/21/2009

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Oh and I used those pull on kind of covers over prefolds when my daughter was a newborn. They were on the big side and I had to safety pin the legs and waist for a better fit. Sometimes she would leak so I bought a Thirsties cover off of ebay for night time....I REALLY love Thirsties covers now!



And yes, prefolds do come in different sizes. I've only ever had to use two sizes because my daughter is a skinny little thing.

Chelsea - posted on 12/21/2009

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I just use regular laundry detergent and add about 1/2 cup of vinegar and some baking soda on the longest cycle. I wash in cold water because it's cheaper and really it gets the job done just fine. I then put them in the dryer.

My daughter has been cloth diapered since birth, she's now 20 months and I've never had a problem with residue or left over smells. I still breastfeed so her poops are in between solid and gooey right now, but the washer does fine with whatever doesn't come off.

You don't want to use bleach....my mom used it once when I left my bag of dirty diapers at her house. She thought she was "helping" and it left residue on some of my diapers and my poor daughter got the worst rash ever even though she had only worn that particular diaper for about 30 minutes. If you feel the need to bleach, make sure to run an extra rinse.

[deleted account]

all very insightfull posts. thankyou. and just for fun i can tell everyone than i just got 400 homemade prefolds from a great grandma to be, dilivered yesterday. (looks like someone may have made my mind up for me) i have all sizes up to todler and the big ones have snaps so they are like pull ups. that comes out to almost forty in in every size. i didnt know pre folds where sized... she is very clever tho, and may have made this up herself.



ahh, now what?

Denise - posted on 12/21/2009

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We use Charlie's soap for all of our laundrya nd the diapers b/c you need to use a soap that does not leave a residue (the residue negatively affects the diaper's absorbency). In the washer we do a pre-wash soak, a full wash cycle w/ hot water, and then an additional rinse. We put the liners and wipes in the dryer and foudn it is better on the covers if we line dry them (we used to put them in the dryer). We keep soiled diapers in a drawstring dirty diaper bag (I think you can get them at cottonbabies.com). We ahve a large one for at home and a small one for the diaper bag when we are out. We use a toilet hose that is attached to the tank to rinse poopy diapers before putting in the dirty diaper bag. Our son is now 23 months old and has been in cloth since he was a newborn. We use cotton pre-folds w/ bummis covers, fuzzi buns and bum genuis pocket diapers, couple of extra hemp liners and terrycloth wipes. We make a solution of witch hazel and kissaluv diaper lotion potion for the wipes.

Jennifer - posted on 12/20/2009

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I just use country save....i use it for everything cause its so cheap per load. I just throw everything in, cold rinse, hot wash, extra rinse (just to be sure), and hang dry if its warm, or i toss in the dryer....i use fuzzibunz and happy heinys...i use to use prefolds and thirsties but got sick of doing that.

Stefie - posted on 12/20/2009

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I use the Bum Genius system. It was a little on the pricey side but if you get it from Cotton Babies (the manufacturer) it has a year warranty. For a first time into cloth diapering I think it is super simple.
It is a AIO pocket diaper. I bought the diaper sprayer from them as well. I use the sprayer to spray any solid off both the cover and any that got onto the actual diaper.I do use cloth wipes for wet diapers, but have found I hate cleaning poo off wipes so I use toilet paper. I do not keep them in a solution (there is no need to). I then keep a wet bag in the bath room with the dirties. I wash every two days. As long as you wash that frequently the remaining urine on them will not cause any damage. I wash with planet detergent (again from the same web site).
At first I was afraid to go out with cloth, but now I just keep an extra diaper in my bag and a zip lock bag for the dirty. When out I just use toilet paper.

Jennifer - posted on 12/20/2009

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I have a pretty easy system. I keep all my diapers in a wet bag (poopy or not) until wash day, and then I toss them all in together. A cold rinse, followed by a hot wash, and then into the dryer they go. I use Tide HE Powder for detergent. I used to use fancy detergents, and they never got my diapers clean. It really depends on your water - some super hard waters require all the extra rinses and soaking in baking soda or vinegar. Solid poops I knock into the toilet, but if they are not eating solid foods, you can skip that step.

I don't use a wipes solution. My daughter's bum gets wiped down with a wet wipe (hot water), and then a little baby shampoo if it's bad.

Chris - posted on 12/20/2009

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I don't know about anyone else, but I have the easiest time with diapers n washing them. So many people use fancy soaps n then add vineger or lemon juice or baking soda, I just rinse soak n wash. I really went simple with the types of diapers we have, I was just finnishing work n I knew money would be a little tighter, so I went through every type of diaper I could find on the computer n really asked feedback from moms who have used every product under the sun. We ended up with basic prefolds, I purchased Chinese n Indian, (I tend to like my Indians a little more, the unbleached Indians are a smidge softer) a few really good one size covers, and only two all in ones that are one sizers too. I have to say, the Happy Heinies one size all-in-ones are perfect for overnight, they really hold up well, n they will grow with our little boy since they are one sizers. They were also the priciest diaper (17.95 each) but after 3 months I have only had one little leak of poopy...it was just a little of of the leg gusset at 3 am... n let me tell u, this boy can poop. Plus he is breast fed so I get lots of poopy diapers each day. Anyways, back to the diapers, I only have enough for 2 days plus a few so I wash ever 2 days, this is a personal choice, I don't want the diapers to sit any longer then that, I find it harder to get stains out, n there is a heavy duty amonia smell thats can take an extra wash to get out. (Pause for the crying baby) So with that I wash every 2 days...I start with rinsing even though he's breastfeeding, that can be skipped, but I spent the little extra money I had on a diaper sprayer, sprays right into the lou,and its so much easier than the classic way to rinse. Then I make sure alll the inserts n diapers are unfolded n place em in the wash. A simple Cold/Cold soak for a smaller load works to get them extra "clean" of any extra poopy that could stain the diapers first. And to finnish I was in Hot/Hot with 1/4 or 1/3 of the recommended All Free and Clear or Sun Free and Clear wash soap because they recommend too much, and you are likely to get an odor from too much wash soap build-up in the diapers.Then I help any stains that get past the soaking with some sunlight, but I don't dry them just in the sun, I throw the diapers in the dryer with plastic nubby dryer-balls to soften without chemicals and that's it.

Amanda - posted on 12/20/2009

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Soak the diapers in a pail with a lid and bicarbonate of soda. Wash with non-biological washing powder when you have a full load. We found terries the best when she was really small and shaped ones were more useful later.

Kimberly - posted on 12/19/2009

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I like Allen's Naturally soap. It seems expensive for a gallon jug (I think around $40 or $50...) but I've had mine for a year and a half. When I bought mine, the shop gave me a pump with a restrictor clip on it so I only use 1/4 oz. with each load.



I rinse poopie diapers in the toilet, then stash everything in a dry pail. (No soaking liquid.) About every 4 days (we have a LOT of diapers...) I put them in the washer, run a quick cycle with cold wash/cold rinse and a 1/4 oz. pump of Allen's. Then I run a full cycle of HOT wash/HOT rinse (my machine has a sanitary cycle which is nice...) with another pump of Allen's. About every month or so I'll run an extra cycle or two of hot wash/hot rinse with no soaps or additives just to "strip" the diapers. I never, ever, ever use bleach. I did once when I first started cloth diapering and I could NEVER get that smell out, which made me think there was still residue that could bother baby's bum.



The reason for running the cold water cycle before washing is to get out urine and any remaining poo solids without staining the diapers. If you first washed in hot water, you might get lingering smells or stains.



As for cloth wipe solution, a simple spray bottle of warm water will do, but I like to make a "potion." I use an old mayonnaise jar and put about 4 drops of tea tree oil, 4 drops of lavender or orange oil (I alternate just for variety) for a good smell, about a teaspoon or liquid lanolin (GREAT for baby's bum!) or jojoba oil and then fill with warm water. I shake this up really good to mix and then add about a teaspoon of super mild baby soap, like Earth Mama Angel Baby or California Baby super sensitive wash. Then I just keep a little ceramic bowl on the changing table and each time I change a diaper, I put a dry wipe or two (or three) in the bowl and pour the appropriate amount of potion on them to moisten. That way, I don't get wipes that turn all musty or get too cold or anything.



For diapers, I use just about everything. Regular old cotton prefolds, (though I like wool covers which I make myself out of old sweaters), pocket diapers like bumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz or Blueberry, a few all-in-ones (those these are my least favorites), lately my favorite diapers have been fitteds with a wool cover or a Thirsties cover.



There are so many zillions of choices out there! Good luck finding what works best for you! :)

Stephanie - posted on 12/19/2009

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I use Charles soap. It works well. I acually use it on all my clothes because then you dont have to do a pre wash with the charles soap with nothing in the washer. This is what I do first make sure to get all the solids out of the diaper into the toilet unless you are breastfeeding breastfeeding poo can acually go right in washer then I do two pre washes then I do a hot/cold water wash and 2 rinses. I put one of the scoups of charles soap in the washer for the wash. It comes with a scoup. If my diapers stink I strip them by doing two pre washes then hot/cold wash and 2 rinses and I put blue dawn liquid dish soap in about 1 tablespoon instead of charles soap. I dont really use bleach but if I do I use it only when my diapers stink. You are not supposed to strip diapers all the time only when they really need it. For diapers I use bumgeinus, Happy hineys, fuzzi bunz, flip, gro baby ,bottom bumpers,and dream eze AI2 and I love them and they work great for me and my baby. I hope this helps.

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