Like most parents new to cloth diapering you're probably wondering how to clean your baby's diapers. Don't fret, this chore is not as gruesome or laborious as you may think.
Rinsing and Soaking
In the olden days diapers were not only washed by hand, they were usually boiled and ironed too. Luckily cleaning diapers does not involve all of that work anymore. The most work you'll have to do to clean your baby's diapers is rinse and soak them. Rinsing can be done in the toilet, in a bucket that later gets emptied into the toilet or washing machine, or in the laundry room sink. Soaking can take place in the toilet, in a locking diaper pail, or in the washing machine. While rinsing and soaking helps keep germs at bay and helps to keep diapers whiter, this step is not mandatory and is not used by all cloth diapering parents.
Dry Pail Storage
Another method of caring for diapers in between wash days is to store them in a diaper pail without water. This method is known as 'Dry Pail' storage. Simply shake heavy poop into the toilet and place soiled diapers into your dry diaper pail. Wet diapers can go directly into the dry pail. On wash day soak your diapers in the washing machine for a few hours or overnight and then proceed with a prewash, regular wash and second rinse. This method eliminates rinsing and soaking altogether and your entire diaper chore job is handled by your washing machine. How wonderful!
There are many wonderful laundry detergents and boosters available to get your baby's diapers fresh, clean and white. Many products available are phosphate free and more environmentally friendly than others, so check around. Many parents use their every day laundry detergent to clean their diapers and use vinegar, an inexpensive household staple, to neutralize their diapers. That's fine too. Avoid using bleach on cloth diapers and covers, as it eats away at the cotton and will render diaper covers useless. Also avoid using fabric softeners on diapers during the drying cycle. The softeners may coat diapers or flare up diaper rash.
It's important that you thoroughly wash your hands after handling wet and soiled diapers. Be careful not to touch faucet knobs or doorknobs with dirty hands. Always disinfect your diaper pails and buckets and areas where you rinse and soak dirty diapers. All of these precautions will prevent the spread of germs. If you have water or deodorizers in your diaper pail, make sure that it locks. This will prevent accidents from happening to curious babies and toddlers.
Cloth diapering is fun. It slows you down a bit and reminds you that you are so very blessed to have a little one in the household. You will find more great cloth diaper laundering tips from almost every mail order company that you shop with. Also take note that every family comes up with their own method of laundering diapers and as long as the diapers come out of the washer fresh and clean, that's perfectly fine!
© Copyright 2001 Stacy Jones Tolentino/ Homefront Publishing
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