Laundry Hacks-School of Cloth Week 4! This post contains affiliate links, which may net me a small % if you make a purchase.
This week in the school of cloth, we’re focusing on laundry troubleshooting. I’ve lined up some of my top laundry hacks for cloth diapers, and more – I answer these questions repeatedly in my pretty much daily online cloth diaper advocacy. Whether you’ve got a newborn on the way, or are here because you have a diaper crisis, read on for my ‘best of the best’ laundry hacks! To read the rest of this month’s school of cloth posts, open the links in this paragraph!
Laundry Hacks and troubleshooting:
I read over the RDA’s fact based laundry advice. It’s compiled by honest to goodness cloth diaper parents, advocates, and laundry researchers. They take your baby’s bottom, diapers, and your best interest in mind. These are not flash in the pan folks who have only been in the diaper arena for 2 or 3 years, but in some cases, longer than a decade! After reading the RDA’s recommendation, I can say for certain that the advice of the RDA (the REAL Diaper Association) lines up with my own experiences as a mom. I have had a lot of experience using cloth diapers. Diapering for 8 years and 4 kids, I’ve changed, washed, and been main troubleshooter on THOUSANDS of cloth diaper changes. Pin their rec’s HERE for later. Here’s the top 3 concerns for cloth diapering parents:
Now repeat after me ‘stains do not mean a diaper is dirty.’ Great. First of all, almost all stains can be fixed by wetting the diaper and putting it in the sunlight to dry. Something about the UV rays makes it all go away. Just like discoloration on outside toys. Repeated sunning should take care of the most stubborn stains. It seems like people really fear some stains, like meconium. Due to my large crew, I can say out of 3 from birth cloth diapered babies I’ve only had one or two diapers total stain a bit. Furthermore, most will just wash out on their own, no extra care needed. If not, a product like Buncha Farmers (I have it on order to test this week) is probably a good option. Some people also swear by lemon juice.
My biggest pet peeve is microfiber diapers. First of all, the manufacturing of the channels in the fabric makes it absorb waste quickly and trap it deep in the fibers. However, it also makes it incredibly difficult to wash clean. Hard water tends to exacerbate the problem. Microfiber shortens the useful life of a diaper IMO. I don’t care how cute an AIO is, if it’s got microfiber, I’m out. Consequently, I donate the innards of pocket diapers like bumGenius to reputable charity agencies and replace them with flats. Read about my flat obsession here. If you’re having issues, the rec’s from RDA are good to follow–a good wash routine is all you should need, tweaking it here and there can improve your issues and get you back on track.
Most leaks are touted as ‘repelling’ or ‘detergent build up’ by newbies. This is especially relevant because they immediately panic. A google search tells them that the sky is falling and they want to know how to strip their diapers. Do you even need to strip your diapers? Find out here from a knowledgeable source! If not, then there’s a few quick ways to figure out what is causing your leaks. Most leaks are due to fixable issues, NOT repelling which would require extra measures.
7 Leak Causers and Easy Fixes (No strip required!):
1. Shoddy workmanship/Cheap or worn out diapers-if the price is too good to be true, it usually is. I recommend a good flat or prefold diaper and cover versus a cheaply made pocket diaper you can buy for $5 on amazon. Our grannies knew their stuff!
2. Improper fit- Too loose? Crooked? Leg gaps? Path of least resistance applies with baby waste. It will find any place to escape! Fit is important!
3. Not changing frequently enough- every 1.5-2 hours during the day AND when baby wakes to eat at night is key! See #5.
4. Compression leaks from microfiber. Natural fibers leak less when compressed. In a carseat, bouncer, or lap for example.
5. Over saturated inserts due to heavy wetting- You probably need additional inserts/boosters, preferably hemp or bamboo, which absorb more, but more slowly.
6. Increase in intake by baby- did it just get hot? New to sippy cups? Cluster feeding? More input equals more output, even when sweating!
7. Onesie style outfit snapped- Try only the center snap unsnapped and tucked in to prevent wicking by the outer snaps and to the pants.
What is your biggest diaper laundering challenge? Leave your response in the comments!