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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

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Snafu Solutions

One of the things I love the most about cloth diapering is the simplicity of it all. No harsh chemicals, no waste, no last-minute scrambles to the store for more diapers and wipes. Even the laundry routine is simple, repetitive and predictable. However, there are times when I run into little snafus with my routine. Whether human error, product error or just plain bad luck your diapers can start to give you trouble and these troubles can be very frustrating. Thus far I have encountered repelling, lingering smells, build-up and any combination of these three. Through trial and error I have found simple solutions that solve these issues quickly and easily.

Repelling: At one point I had an issue with my diapers repelling. I’m still not sure what the culprit was, but my diapers were leaking when they weren’t even really that full, a sure sign of repelling. I filled my kitchen sink with very hot water, 2-3 drops of Dawn* dish soap and my pocket diapers. I hand scrubbed them and rinsed like crazy. Once I really felt I had gotten the soap out almost entirely (dish soap can be very bad for your washing machine) I then put them through multiple rinse cycles in my washer.

Build Up: Now that I’m using Rockin' Green (love it!) I really don’t think I will have to strip my diapers much, but in the past I have stripped them. To me, stripping sounds harsh, and maybe even a little risqué! Really it is just rinsing…A LOT…with hot water. The theory is that you should continue to rinse until you don’t see any suds in the water. I never really have a ton of suds with Rockin' Green, but with prior detergents I saw a lot of suds coming out of my previously “clean” diapers so this step was necessary.

Stink/Stains: My mother taught me to never use the term hate, so I will say I loathe bleach. And it’s not the green side of me that ha…I mean, loathes it so much. I’ve actually found that it’s not as incredibly bad for the environment as one might think. The truth is I can be careless and sloppy at times and bleach is just too permanent a mistake for me! I always try stripping first and drying out in the sun to “bleach out” stains and freshen smelly diapers.

However, sometimes those micro-terry inserts can really hang onto smells and stains, especially the ones from the overnight diapers. When necessary I fill a sink with hot water and just a splash of bleach (see anyone who uses the term “splash” in association with bleach really shouldn’t be using it!) to freshen them up. Again, I rinse, rinse, rinse so there is no leftover bleach anywhere near my little girl.
During my trial (and errors) I have used some other suggestions involving additives like baking soda, vinegar and Bac-Out, but I haven’t found them to be that effective and/or I don’t want to worry about the potential side effects either to my daughter’s skin, my washing machine or my diapers. Thus far, my tried and true laundry routines, along with my “snafu solutions,” have kept my diapers in perfect working order.

-By Jennifer G.

NOTE: We do not recommend the use of Dawn dishwashing liquid to strip your diapers unless you know the problem is due to an oily or waxy buildup (and these recommendations are very few and far between and only on a case-by-case basis. Dawn dishwashing liquid can damage your washing machine! So, if your worse case scenario warrants the use of Dawn then you must hand-wash/scrub the diapers in a sink or basin and rinse thoroughly before running the diapers in your washing machine.


The Jacobsen Family! said...

Thanks for letting me know about Dawn! I'd hate to think I'd ruin my washer!
Love Rockin' Green and great to here about others experiences too!

Megan said...

Thanks for the post. I have found that Rockin Green has solved all of my stinky diaper problems too. I have used Oxy Clean when they got bad, and that seemed to help.

Melody said...

I haven't been doing this that long, so I haven't had many of these problems yet. I do use Super Do inserts for our overnight diapers, and I've noticed a lingering smell on them. Perhaps I should try an added hot wash for just those inserts occasionally, or a soak in Rockin Green as you mentioned. Thanks.

Yara said...

hey thanks for this
I did use dawn once but the smell is back (a few months later)
I would always spray some bac-out on my diapers before, but I ran out and haven't bought more- and now i'm having smell issues.

{ Mom of 3 Dolls } said...

I need to stop using dawn in the washer! This is the first I've heard that it was bad. Thanks for the info!

Erin said...

Thank you so much for this post! As a new to CDing mom I've been trying to make sure my pre-education on them is as full as I can manage! I also didn't know about using Dawn (and using it properly) on your diapers for certain problems. This blog has been so great for getting to know about CDing.

Jennifer said...

I've had covers repel in the past and have used Dawn, although I second the warning that a few drops will suffice!

Ryan, Corrie, Max, and Jack said...

Did NOT know that about Dawn and washing machines! ACK! I've done that a couple of times! But no more!! I'm still messing with my routine to find one that works on smells and stains AND doesn't make my babies break out in a rash!!

Anonymous said...

Our washing machine (a top loading model) is dying and we're looking into getting a new High Efficency model. I've heard that the HE (front loading) models don't use enough water and therby don't rinse effectively. Can you recommend any models that we should check out?? Thanks!

naomi_34 at hotmail dot com

Wendy said...

Could you please cite a reference about how dish washing soap ruins washing machines? I've seen many sites actually recommending this approach for stripping diapers and the only problem seems to be that if you use too much, the bubbles will overflow. Thanks!