Friday, April 8, 2011

Dirty Diaper Laundry

The most common thing people ask me about when they hear I cloth diaper my son is, "but what about the dirty diaper laundry!?" Most ask this in kind of a horrified loud whisper - like its something truly terrible.

Honestly, if you have a baby - you're going to have dirty laundry (translated dirty=poopy). I'm sorry, but if you think that just because you use disposable diapers you are somehow going to avoid dealing with poop and pee, then you are greatly mistaken.

Obviously there are a few more steps to cleaning diapers rather than just soiled clothing, but I'm just sayin....

I personally use a Wal-Mart garbage can with a lid with a Wahamies pail liner inside.

Just take off the diaper, separate the pieces (I do this right away, so I don't have to mess with anything later) and toss it all in the pail if it's just wet.

If the diaper is poopy, you'll have to rinse it off in the toilet first and this is where a diaper sprayer comes in super handy, but then I just separate the pieces and toss it in the same way.

I usually try to do my diaper laundry every two or three days. I just pull the whole liner out of the garbage can, run down  the stairs, and dump them out into the washing machine (tossing the liner in with them).

Washing process:
One COLD rinse to loosen up and wash away any remaining yuckies.
One HOT cycle with detergent.
One additional COLD rinse to remove any detergent residue (residue can make diapers less absorbent)

Then just dry and assemble your diapers for use. I like to assemble mine before I take them back upstairs to the diaper changing area so they're ready to use right away.

That's a pretty basic system - you can pre-treat your diapers before throwing them into your pail with an enzyme cleaner to help avoid smells and stains or shake some pail powder into your pail to help with the stinkies inbetween wash days, but these are optional steps.

I like to run a rinse cycle with bleach in my washing machine after I do diaper laundry to kill off any lingering germs.

Honesty - it barely takes any time. It might sound like it does, but obviously most of the time the laundry is in either the washer or dryer and you can be doing something else. The most time consuming part, in my opinion, is the stuffing of the clean diapers after they've been washed - and even that only takes me about 10 minutes.

Question, Comments or Suggestions about your cloth diaper washing routine? 
I'd love to hear it!

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