How to wash diapers


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How to wash diapers

  1. 1. What detergent should I use ? <br />There are many opinions about which detergents are best for cloth diapers. How do you know if your detergent is working well? Your cloth diapers will smell clean, they will absorb liquids readily (as opposed to repelling them) and your detergent will NOT be causing your baby to have diaper rash.There are a few important things to keep in mind when choosing a suitable detergent for cloth diapers. Many detergents contain additives, enzymes and oils that will retain in the fabric and cause you trouble down the road. <br />Things to look for when selecting a detergent:,* Free of phosphates* Free of enzymes* Bleach-free* Free of additives* Contains NO optical brighteners* Free of dyes and fragrances* Do NOT use soap based detergents* Do not use detergents with fabric softenersUsing detergents containing these ingredients will cause damage to your diapers including leaking, elastic failure and PUL breaking down prematurely.<br />Other than Country Save, you can use other cheap, store bought powder detergent. Cheaper detergents are less likely to include problem-causing additives, such as brighteners, enzymes, fabric softener, etc<br />How about using bleach to wash cloth diapers?We do not recommend using bleach as part of your regular washing routine. Bleach destroys natural fibres, including skin, and can be damaging to modern synthetics such as PUL, and elastics. Also, the use of bleach will void any and all manufacturer's warranties.Shouldn't we disinfect our cloth diapers?There is no need to disinfect cloth diapers. We are not living in a completely sanitary environment, nor are we in an operating room. All that is required to wash cloth diapers is detergent and water. This is sufficient to remove most microbes, and unless you have an active infection, this is all that is needed. Other ways to remove microbes include UV light (drying in the sun).<br />Caring for your cloth diapers is easy<br />Machine wash cloth diapers is always recommended. Some moms may feel that handwashing their diapers may help to prolong their shelf life. This may not be 100% true for two reasons:• Sometimes handwashing could be the cause of diaper leakage. The reason is because the detergent that you use to handwash the cloth diapers may not have been washed out thoroughly from the diapers. If you really, really have to handwash your cloth diapers, please make sure that you wash off all the detergents thoroughly using a sufficient amount of water or you will have a leaky AND stinky diaper on your hands• Some moms (or their helpers) use plastic brush to clean the cloth diapers. Ouch !!! Those plastic bristles may cause tears in the PUL lining. If the PUL is torn, the diapers are no longer waterproof. So please get those plastic brushes as far away from your cloth diapers as possible as we will not be responsible for any diapers mutilated this way :-)<br />This is how you might want to clean your cloth diapers:After removing the soiled diaper from your baby, shake any solids into the toilet. The fleece is great for releasing anything fairly solid. Remove the insert, then rinse any solids still on the diaper; you may want to add a squirt of hand soap while you are rinsing the diaper and insert. While not necessary, we highly recommend the mini toilet spray for rinsing any dirty diapers. Spray gently to dislodge the poo, then rinse off and off to the diaper pail or washing machine<br />Mini Toilet Spray<br />To make cleaning up of the cloth diapers even easier, we always use nappy liners. These liners can be machine-washed if they have not been poo-ed on. For fully breast-fed babies who are not yet eating solids, you might like to use 2 liners instead of one to make sure you captured the runny breast-fed poo.We normally wash our diapers at about 60 degrees celcius. You may hang your Bumwear diapers to dry (The sun naturally bleaches out any stains!) or put them in the dryer on LOW heat!<br />A Few Important Tips:Caring for your diapers properly will keep your diapers looking & performing their best. The following is a list of things that can harm your diapers & cause the fabrics to break down resulting in a leaky diaper!• Don't use any bleach products. Bleach leaves a residue on diapers and can cause irritation to the baby's skin. It also breaks down the fibers in the diapers, shortening their life.• Do NOT use any Baby Detergent. Our diapers are tough enough to be laundered by adult detergent. We recommend against using baby detergent because it has fabric softener in it that might coat the diaper and make it less absorbent. Some baby detergent also contains enzymes which breaks down the lamination in the diapers, shortening their life.• Don't use fabric softener. It will coat the diapers making them water repellent and will cause leaks! Some babies are sensitive to the softener residue left on diapers as well. The same problem might happen if you use dryer sheets in your dryer. If you encounter leaks, try line drying instead.• Don't use natural soap products such as pure glycerine soap. They may clean the fibers, but a slight oily film or "soap scum" is left on the fleece. When this happens it makes it very difficult for urine to get through the layer of fleece to the insert.• Don't wash or dry on HOT or HIGH HEAT! The PUL layer (waterproof outer) is meant for warm or low heat only! Preserve the life of your cloth diapers by following this recommendation• Don't use a nappy barrier or balm cream with these diapers - it will leave a greasy residue on the fleece which is very difficult to remove. If you want to use a cream because of severe diaper rash use nappy liners to prevent cream getting onto the fleece<br />Trouble shooting common problems:Leaky diapers:When you receive your cloth diapers, wash and dry them several times in warm water. Brand new diapers require several washings to remove natural plant oils before they become absorbent. Try shaking a few drops of water on your diapers - does the water bead up on the surface or get instantly absorbed?If the water droplets bead up then your diapers need a few more washings in hot or warm water using detergent.The number one cause of leakage is a saturated diaper that just needs to be changed. Any diaper will leak once full. If your baby is having problems with leaks, check this first. 99% of the time, additional absorbency solves leakage problems. If that doesn't work, we've included some other trouble-shooting points belowIf your baby's diaper leak from around the legs while the inside stays relatively dry, then most probably you have the repelling issue with the fleece. To confirm this, do the water droplets test on the fleece like we described above. If the insert isn’t saturated, then the diaper may not be adjusted to fit your child properly or, if you are using a detergent that contains additives, your diapers may also have detergent buildup which can cause leakage. What if you wash and wash and wash - and the fleece is still repelling waters ? Then most probably it's the issue with the detergent. Check your detergent to see if it contains fabric softeners. Fabric softeners work by coating fabric fibers - and this coating can greatly decrease absorbency. Dynamo and Persil seems to give rise to this repelling issue. Skip down to the section on strip washing the diapers in order to fix this problem. <br />Stinky diapersCloth diapering should never be stinky. If your diapers smell bad as soon as they get used, then there is a problem. Usually the problem is detergent build-up. Occasionally the problem is that they are not getting clean enough. Smell them when they are wet out of the washer or warm out of the dryer. If they smell at that point, then they are not getting cleaned enough.If they smell fine but stink as soon as your baby pees in it, then they have detergent build-up problem. Build-up refers to residue left by detergents, fabric softeners, and other substances used to clean diapers. The first suggestion which will work for both problems is to make sure you have enough water in your washing machine and enough "swish" room for your diapers. Some front-loading washing machines do not add enough water to thoroughly soak the diapers and will not do a good job in getting them clean. Adding water to the machine can remedy this problem. Do not overload your machine with diapers or they will not get clean. The diapers need their "swish" room :-)If you have detergent build-up, then it is time to strip wash them. Please refer to the section on strip washing the diapers.Strip-washing diapersDiapers sometimes need to be stripped in order to remove the residue left on the fleece by detergents and/or softener. Fill a sink with hot water and add in some dish washing detergent. Hand wash your diapers, rubbing the fleece vigorously together or use a medium bristle dish brush or hard bristle tooth brush to scrub the fleece. Turn inside out and repeat on this side. Rinse well, making sure that the water runs clear. To make double sure all the detergent has been rinsed out, we recommend washing them again in the washing machine WITHOUT any detergent. It's best if you do not return to using the same detergent that caused the problem.<br />