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Thread: Machine washing cloth diapers ???

  1. #1

    Default Machine washing cloth diapers ???

    So I have two cloth diapers that I use to cover my regular disposables and I enjoy them a lot, I only wash them in warm water manually in a bucket with nothing in it, no soap of any kind cause I'm afraid of using anything that could ruin them, they are clean to me but still there's a slight smell and some yellow spots on them cause the disposables sometimes leak in them.

    Now I really want to try them for their intended purposes and I'm really afraid of what I've read everywhere that cloth diapers require special kind of soap which I don't want to order and pay insane price for, also I can't wash them separate from other stuff in my case it would be a waste of 3,25$

    What would happen if I dropped both my cloth diapers (1 dependeco cloth and the other is a snapez with PUL waterproof cover) in the washing machine set on cold (that is the only option where I am) with a load of laundry and Gain regular laundry soap, would it scrap everything of them and make them totally useless, could it shrink them and such also afterwards. Any help would be really appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Listen, cloth diapers have been around since the beginning of time. Fancy cloth diaper laundry soap has been around for less than 10 years. How do you think mothers in the 1950s washed their kids' cloth diapers?

    I'd personally recommend washing the diapers on their own, or at the very least, don't wash them with your nicest clothes. No sense in exposing the rest of your clothes to stale urine. Wash them with your workout clothes if the $3.25 is a deal-breaker. Don't go crazy with the soap, and if you feel like they still have an aroma about them, run them through a second cycle without soap to help really clear them out.

    I've never washed my cloth diapers with anything more than ordinary laundry detergent, and they hold up pretty well. Occasionally cloth diapers will stain.

    And don't worry. It's hot water that shrinks fabrics, not cold. I think you'll be fine.

  3. #3

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    What my mom and I do (yes, she washes my cloth diapers sometimes) is add some baking soda to the wash and let them soak a little, like 30 minutes, and then wash normally with All free and clear. They don't tend to stink till morning until after they've been wet all night.

  4. #4

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    I'll try the baking soda thingy, I've read a lot of advices about dropping some in a bucket along with the diapers for the night and wash them in the morning, I'm just worried that they will loose their nice colors. What quantity should I go with to preserve the PUL fabric especially that is what my worries are, also the plastic snaps are looking very fragile on theses SnapEZ, should I fasten them while washing in the machine or not, the dependeco already has tabs to secure the Velcro so I'm not that worried about them at all.

  5. #5

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    Messy diapers are a whole different subject, but if you are just peeing in them it's really no big deal. Just wash them! No matter how you maintain them, they will eventually wear out. As long as you are reasonably gentle with them, they should have a good, long life.

    If they are super ripe (as in fully-soaked and days old), you may want to pre-wash or at least rinse them first. Otherwise you can just wash them with your other stuff.

    Never use fabric softener- it's just scented goop that will soak into the fibers and reduce absorbency.

    Don't use excessive amounts of detergent, or if you do, give them an extra rinse. To much detergent will do the same as fabric softener, and get sucked up into the fabric and reduce absorbency.

    Bleach will help kill odors and keep them nice and white, but it does increase the wear on the fabric (and is really bad for colored or printed diapers)
    - Use it in moderation.

    Borax and baking soda are good additions to the laundry load to kill odor.

    Heat is the real problem. Heat when washing isn't great, but really isn't that bad either. A tiny bit more wear & tear is small price to pay for a much better clean. Body oils and detergents seem to wash out better if the water is warm or even "hot". But "hot" in a clother washer really isn't that hot compared to drying . . .

    Hot-drying is the Devil, and will hurt every material. The worst is high-temp drying after the garment has partly dried out (this is when the temperature can get really high). If your can, use a clothes dryer at low temp to mostly/partly dry them out, then let them air-dry them the rest of the way. Or better yet, just air-dry them from start-to-finish.

    No amount of bleach or other abuse can ever totally prevent your diapers from getting spots or yellowing. It's best to just accept (or even embrace!) the fact that your diapers are gonna age, and you are going to leave your own personal mark on them.

    PUL? Err, Um. . . Good Luck?? Don't get me wrong- I like the stuff, but no matter how you treat it, it quickly becomes a "leak-slowing" rather than "leak-stopping" material.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    Listen, cloth diapers have been around since the beginning of time. Fancy cloth diaper laundry soap has been around for less than 10 years. How do you think mothers in the 1950s washed their kids' cloth diapers?
    He's not talking about cotton prefolds with pins and plastic pants. He's talking about modern cloth diapering, pocket diapers and all-in-ones that have a waterproof layer made of pul or tpu.

    So, no, you shouldn't just do what 50's mothers did. You should do what mothers do these days, use a detergent that doesn't have additives like softeners, whiteners, scents etc (which ironically is probably closer to what mothers in the 50's had anyway) and use warm or cold water or water that isn't above the recommended temperature on your diapers sticker.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodyBaby View Post
    Now I really want to try them for their intended purposes and I'm really afraid of what I've read everywhere that cloth diapers require special kind of soap which I don't want to order and pay insane price for, also I can't wash them separate from other stuff in my case it would be a waste of 3,25$


    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    Listen, cloth diapers have been around since the beginning of time. Fancy cloth diaper laundry soap has been around for less than 10 years. How do you think mothers in the 1950s washed their kids' cloth diapers?
    Yeah, don't bother with special detergent for diapers. Even some of the well-known diaper makers have come out and said that you don't need to use anything special. Here's from Green Mountain Diapers, a very prominent maker of cloth diaper products for babies.



    Quote Originally Posted by Green Mountain Diapers
    No special detergent is needed for cotton diapers. You do not need to purchase "special for cloth diapers" laundry products for cotton diapers. But you can if you want to. Some are great and some are not. .... Any regular unscented laundry detergent is fine for the cotton fabrics. Yes, unscented Tide is ok on cotton. You can just use what you would normally use on your family laundry, but no fabric softeners or dryer sheets, please.
    As for drying: I can't imagine not machine-drying my cloth diapers. Moreover, I wouldn't buy a cloth diaper that couldn't go in the dryer--with heat. PUL is generally dryer-safe, even with heat. It was invented for the medical field, and to withstand autoclaving. Yes, high heat and long spans of tumbling are going to lead to some wear, but then pants and shirts don't last forever, so it's kinda silly to expect your cloth diapers to last forever, isn't it? I'm willing to (theoretically) shorten the life of my diapers in exchange for some convenience. And it's not just a matter of convenience. Tumble-drying makes things a lot softer, too. Wet diapers, if hung on a rack like wet bath towels, are going to get a bit "crispy".
    Last edited by Cottontail; 12-Dec-2015 at 17:18.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodyBaby View Post
    So I have two cloth diapers that I use to cover my regular disposables and I enjoy them a lot, I only wash them in warm water manually in a bucket with nothing in it, no soap of any kind cause I'm afraid of using anything that could ruin them, they are clean to me but still there's a slight smell and some yellow spots on them cause the disposables sometimes leak in them.

    Now I really want to try them for their intended purposes and I'm really afraid of what I've read everywhere that cloth diapers require special kind of soap which I don't want to order and pay insane price for, also I can't wash them separate from other stuff in my case it would be a waste of 3,25$

    What would happen if I dropped both my cloth diapers (1 dependeco cloth and the other is a snapez with PUL waterproof cover) in the washing machine set on cold (that is the only option where I am) with a load of laundry and Gain regular laundry soap, would it scrap everything of them and make them totally useless, could it shrink them and such also afterwards. Any help would be really appreciated.
    Cloth diapers can be washed in the machine and infact that is the best way to get then clean. You do have to be careful what detergent you use. there is a website with tons of info about washing cloth diapers and even tells you all the detergents that are safe to use. I have gotten my wash routine from there and it works great.

    Personally I do a prewash with cold water and just a little detergent. This helps to get the initial urine out of the diaper so that you are not doing your regular wash with urine filled water. Then you do a regular wash on hot (you can do cold if you have to) with the usual amount of detergent. The hot water helps to kill bacteria and gets the diaper much cleaner.

    Cloth diapers can actually take a lot. You can also add things to the load such as towels and socks and underwear to fill the load up to the right size.
    Here are a few sites to help you figure out what to do for your washing cycle.
    http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/h...tergent-index/
    http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/h...cloth-diapers/
    http://www.wearing-adult-diapers.com...h-Diapers.html
    http://www.wearing-adult-diapers.com...h-Diapers.html

  9. #9

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    Thanks everyone, it turns out I have to purchase a new detergent cause the Gain I use does have some kind of perfume in it and I think also some softeners which is not good, what would be the best cheap soap and easy to find in Quebec and Canada (if you can see it on walmart.ca, I can get it easy)

    My washing machine and dryer don't have any settings in them, you put the card in it and it starts, nothing can be changed, the settings is on cold water and the hot water isn't plugged in it. I could go to a laundraumat but I would be scared of people seeing I put cloth diapers that are too big for a baby in the machines there.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodyBaby View Post
    Thanks everyone, it turns out I have to purchase a new detergent cause the Gain I use does have some kind of perfume in it and I think also some softeners which is not good, what would be the best cheap soap and easy to find in Quebec and Canada (if you can see it on walmart.ca, I can get it easy)

    My washing machine and dryer don't have any settings in them, you put the card in it and it starts, nothing can be changed, the settings is on cold water and the hot water isn't plugged in it. I could go to a laundraumat but I would be scared of people seeing I put cloth diapers that are too big for a baby in the machines there.
    Look, cloth diapers aren't fragile. Most detergents will do fine. Just stay away from the ones with bleach or fabric softening additives. Perfumes in the detergent don't harm the diaper, if you've read up on some parenting websites with ways to wash cloth diapers. Perfumes tend to cause rashes on sensitive skin.

    I think you're being over protective with your cloth diapers. Relax!

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