Washing Cloth Diapers
Everyone has a way they prefer to do this, and in this article I will cover the three ways I've done it over the last couple years, depending on the needs of the baby at the time, and what was available to me at the time. I will also post links to other websites where they tell you other ways they've found. Your best bet is to try something you like, if it doesn't work, try another one! Every machine is going to be just a little different, and it's important to keep that in mind when trying it out.
When I started washing cloth diapers, my infant was very little, newborn stages. She was exclusively breastfed and I used only pockets when we started out. I started with a wet pail, as that was what I was told was best to keep stink and stains away. (A wet pail is a pail with water filled about half way, then the diapers are tossed in.) I found out later, this was actually not good for pocket diapers as it wears out elastic faster. I stopped on my own before this, as I just found emptying the darn thing too time consuming and the diapers were heavy to carry when wet (I had laundry in the basement). I switched to a simple dry pail, a trash can with a lid I paid $ for at Wal-Mart. No issues ever again. Only started to smell after 5 days when it was overflowing, lol, what only happened much later! Since I was breastfeeding only, the stool was water dissolving. I did not need to use anything extra. I did a full cycle in my washing machine, then did a second cycle with detergent. I used Rockin' Green to start with as I was given some with my diapers. I didn't like the scent of the one I got so I found something else. I tried Tide Original powder, but it gave my baby horrid rash, almost burns. I then tried Sunlight Sensitive Skin and loved it! I used it on everything, including my diapers. I only used 1/4 of the amount for diapers as I would on clothing. I moved upto using a 1/3 of the amount when she started solids at 6 months. I shook the stool into the toilet, because I had no sprayer and when I tried to use the shower head it went everywhere! I dried on the line in the summertime, and used whatever I could use in the other months. (I started using a step-ladder in front of my heater and chairs! Then I got a sweater drying rack.) In times of stinkies and yeast would do an extra cycle at the end, with TTO and vinegar to break down anything in the diapers, and it was a hot cycle (where as others would be warm or cold). If I noticed it still smelled like soap or where still bubbles in the cycle, I would run it through the washer again, at least with one rinse if not two.
I got a new machine shortly after we moved last summer, and shortly before she stopped using diapers. It had the wonderful pre-rinse and post-cycle rinse option dial, and I used both with a regular cycle, usually putting detergent in the first cycle if I was on the way out, or running to put it in the real cycle in I was home. I didn't have a clothesline though so it was sweater rack for this girl, inserts and fitted diapers went in the dryer and everything else was hung on the rack. It is important to note – wool fleece and PUL should NOT go in the dryer on a regular basis. It will delaminate the PUL after awhile, when on a heat setting, shrink the fleece and wool. You might not notice it right away with the fleece but it does over time and changes the shape of the covers. It felts the wool as well, what makes it much smaller (but bulletproof!) and wool itself needs an entirely different wash! I will make an entire blog post on that another day! I also found another detergent in my last days, Attitude brand, a plant-based detergent with essencial oils used as scents. I found it worked great for my diapers but I had to use about 1/2 the amount of regular loads, instead of 1.4 or 1/3 of it. (If you have a Jean Coutu, it is available there.)
Now here are some links for you to check out, in case you still have issues or need more advise!
In : Educational