Almost a year and a half ago I wrote about my cloth diaper wash routine. Since that time some things have changed. I have experimented with my washing machine a bit more, we moved to a new house with even harder water, and K-Dub is now 3 years old and is a heavier wetter and his poo is more potent than it was before. I needed to kick it up a notch since my diapers were starting to have more stains and we were getting diaper rash again. The rashes told me that my diapers were no longer getting as clean as they were before.
Be warned that my routine “breaks the rules” of typical cloth diaper laundry recommendations. I am not afraid to use the proper amount of detergent to clean my diapers and I am also not afraid of oxygen bleach. If you are worried about your warranty then this routine may not be for you. I have never had to make a diaper warranty claim so I am not as concerned with that as I am about a rash-free baby and clean diapers.
Now my routine looks like this:
- Pre-rinse – in my machine I wash on the hand wash setting with warm water, no detergent.
- After the rinse I add Tide Free & Gentle* powder to the 3 line, a scoop of oxygen bleach or Oxiclean Free & Clear, and sometimes a half cup of washing soda to soften the water a bit.
- Power Wash cycle which on my machine is a hot wash that includes a pre-wash, deep clean, and an extra rinse. The Whites cycle works just as well.
- When the wash cycle is finished I remove the covers and hang them on an indoor drying rack then add 2/3 of a capful of a plant-based fabric softener (Ecover, Vaska, Mrs. Meyers) and run another rinse cycle to soften up the inserts and wipes. *This is optional. I do this because my inserts are crunchy due to the hard water.
- Dry wipes and inserts in the dryer on medium.
This routine has been working very well for me for almost a year now. You might be asking why the fabric softener? Isn’t that a no-no for cloth diapers? Typically yes, but the plant-based softeners don’t have all of the chemicals that coat your fabric and they soften naturally without residue. Of course this is an optional step in the routine but it has worked very well for me.
* I switched to Tide Free & Gentle from Tide Original because it doesn’t have Acti Lift in it. Some people have had problems with the Acti Lift formula and others haven’t. I decided to just play it safe and make the switch. Some say that free and clear detergents may cause repelling but I haven’t had any issues with this at all.
12/11/14 – I bought a big ole box of Tide Original at a warehouse store a couple of months ago because I can only find a smallish box of Tide F&G and it was getting expensive. I haven’t had any issues with the Acti-Lift at all.
Photo credit: Diapers by Jake Krohn via Flickr