*This is part 5 of the Cloth Diaper Saga. Read about my favorite diapers, diapering a newborn, the issue of saving money, and overall pros and cons in the first four parts.*
Some people hesitate to start using cloth diapers because they are afraid that washing them will be a huge hassle. Well, as I will talk about later, washing diapers can be a hassle, but typically only if you have an issue with your diapers like build-up.
For the most part though, they are surprisingly easy to wash and do not really add much work to the laundry process. Here is how I wash my cloth diapers:
Step 1: Diaper prep
After each diaper change, I prepare the diapers for the wash. If the diaper is dirty, I spray it with a stain remover (I love Bac-Out). I fold in any Velcro tabs to prevent the diapers from sticking to each other. If the diaper is a pocket diaper, I remove the inserts. I then place the diaper into a wet bag hanging in the bathroom (I use 2 at a time).
Step 2: Washing the diapers
I take the wet bags out of the bathroom and dump them into the washer. I usually turn the bags inside out and wash them along with the diapers. I usually run my wash cycle three times. First, I do a cold rinse. Second, I run a hot wash with my diaper-friendly detergent (right now I use Bum Genius detergent). Third, I run a second cold cycle to remove all soap residue. Sometimes I will add a little vinegar to this rinse to help with any build-up I might have. I usually only do this if I feel like the diapers have been extra stinky lately.
Step 3: Drying
I want to line dry my diapers, but since we live in an apartment, it would be rather difficult. So I just use my regular dryer. I don’t dry the covers, just the inserts. I hang the covers in my laundry room to dry. Usually it takes about 100 minutes in the dryer to dry the diapers.
Step 4: Folding and stuffing
When the diapers and covers are dry, I stuff the inserts into the pocket diapers. I fold my prefold diapers into thirds and stack them in a basket until I need them. The stuffed pocket diapers and covers go in a second basket.
And, that’s it!
How do you care for your cloth diapers? If you don’t use them, is it the extra laundry that is holding you back?