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A Simple Wash Routine for Cloth Diapers

February 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 163

One of the first questions new cloth diapering parents ask is, "How do I wash cloth diapers?" The answer differs depending on the baby's age and diet.

If the baby doesn't eat solid foods yet and is exclusively breastfed, then the wash routine is quite simple. The diapers, regardless of what is on them, can go directly in the washing machine without any pre-rinsing. The recommended wash routine in this case is a cold wash with no detergent, followed by a hot wash with a cloth-diaper-friendly detergent. That's it.

Once the baby starts eating solid foods or if the baby drinks formula, the routine is a little different. The dirty diapers will need a pre-rinse before they enter the washing machine. There are a number of techniques for this. The main idea is to not put heavily soiled cloth diapers directly into the washing machine.

Some people cannot live without a diaper sprayer, which can be purchased commercially. A diaper sprayer can simplify the process of cloth diaper washing and prevent staining. Some models connect to the back of the toilet for ease of use. Handy parents can make their own with materials available at any hardware store.

Some people use a simple dunk-and-swish routine. This is exactly what it sounds like. The dirty diaper gets dunked into the toilet and swished around. The excess water then gets squeezed out, the mess is flushed away, and the diaper goes into the diaper bin until wash day.

Another option is to have a separate dunk-and-swish receptacle. Some people don't like the idea of rinsing the baby's diapers in the toilet. These parents may want to use a separate bucket that they fill with cold water, rinse the diapers in and then dump into the toilet and flush away. This means there is a bucket with germs that needs to be stored where children can't get to it and it won't accidentally get used for something else. It also uses more water.

Regardless of the rinsing method, it is best to do cloth diaper washing every couple of days. Any more than that, and there is a risk that the diapers will end up smelly or stained.

If odor becomes an issue because the diapers have waited for too long between washings, a white vinegar rinse can do wonders to eliminate it. Use the vinegar on prefolds and inserts only; the acidity can break down polyurethane laminated (PUL) covers. The wash routine mentioned above should work for most cloth diapering parents. They may have to make adaptations if they have hard or soft water.

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about cloth diaper washing, please visit http://www.diaperjunction.com

Source: EzineArticles
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