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How to wash cloth diapers
More and more parents are turning to the use of washable diapers, an ecological and economical alternative in the long term. Several questions then arise around their use: Where to buy? How to preserve them? When should they be cleaned? What products should be used to guarantee their durability?
This cloth diaper guide combines all the important details you need to know about diaper use and care and shares washing tips to preserve the fabric of reusable diapers while cleaning them thoroughly.
How often should cloth diapers be cleaned?
There is no clear consensus on how often to clean cloth diapers . The most important thing is to clean them frequently enough to make sure you remove bacteria and stains without wearing them down too much.
Either way, diapers should be checked often so you know when to wash them. If excessively worn, diapers should be cleaned every 1-3 days, allowing about a week before reuse.
Can cloth diapers be washed with other clothes?
Dirty nappies can be washed with clothes, but it's best to keep them separate. Clothes, even when soiled, dry quickly, as they have fine fabrics and are only superficially soiled. The washing frequency is different since the diapers generate an unpleasant odor.
Reusable diapers are quite thick since they are used to absorb urine so they require thorough cleaning. All diapers should be washed with an initial rinse at the start of the cycle to ensure urine removal. To avoid the accumulation of mold and the development of bacteria, washing cloth diapers should not exceed 2 to 3 days.
Is hot or cold water better for cleaning cloth diapers?
To clean cloth diapers, it is best to use hot water. Cold water does not disinfect and sanitize absorbed urine properly. The heat helps kill bacteria and rid cloth diapers of stubborn stains.
Cold water is however useful before and after cleaning to achieve:
- A pre-rinse that serves to reduce the number of stains.
- A post-rinse that removes detergent residues to protect babies' sensitive skin.
Is it hygienic to wash cloth diapers in the washing machine?
The washing machine makes it possible to use a high temperature for cleaning cloth diapers. This type of adjustment cannot be applied to clothes that are damaged. However, it helps destroy bacteria and fight mold that irritates the baby's skin.
If you are concerned about contaminating the washing machine with nappies, do a pre-rinse to remove faeces. Cold water washing of soiled reusable diapers is strongly recommended to reduce bacteria in the fabric.
Useful products for cleaning cloth diapers
Products for cleaning cloth diapers should preferably contain few offensive components such as enzymes, bleaching agents, brighteners, or softeners. Opt for detergents that are less hazardous. Plus, it's eco-responsible!
In addition, the amount of detergent used in a diaper wash load should be limited to ensure that all of the product is removed with the rinse. To find the right dose, start with small amounts and increase each time until you find the right amount that cleans the diapers without damaging them. If you want to use natural products, here are some ideas that might interest you:
- Bicarbonate of soda: thanks to its alkaline pH, it allows deep cleaning while neutralizing bad odors from diapers.
- White vinegar: to be used during the last rinse, in small quantities to remove residual detergent and then neutralize the smell of diapers.
- Essential oil: a few drops are enough to sanitize the diapers as well as destroy bacteria.
- Grapefruit seed extract: thanks to its antibacterial properties, it allows deep cleaning of diapers.
Be aware that it is important to avoid the use of bleach. This is a very aggressive chemical against diaper fabrics. The same goes for vinegar or fabric softeners, which should only be used in small quantities. The most important thing is to use a detergent that does not contain perfume since it could cause an allergic reaction.
How to clean washable diapers?
Here are the steps to follow to clean cloth diapers:
- The pre-rinse
- The post-rinse
1. An effective pre-rinse
This stage depends on the baby's diet. If he is exclusively breastfed, the feces may be cold water soluble and then you can put the diapers in a bag to hold for deep cleaning. In the event that there has already been a food diversification or mixed breastfeeding, the feces must be flushed down the toilet. You can use a brush to help you clean the diapers.
2. A deep wash cycle
When you plan to clean diapers, you can wash about a dozen at a time to be sure you get a thorough cleaning. You can start with a pre-rinse with a short and complete wash cycle in lukewarm water which dissolves the urine and then the stools from the diapers. This pre-rinse removes dirt that has remained embedded in the fabrics of the diapers during a cycle of 15 to 30 minutes.
Then you can run another wash cycle in hot water using a suitable detergent. Do not use fabric softener or perfume. You can add a tablespoon of baking soda with the detergent to get rid of stains and odors.
3. An additional rinse cycle
If you can add an extra rinse cycle, it will clean cloth diapers even more thoroughly. Do not use hygienic cycles which may damage diaper fasteners. It is necessary to check the settings of the washing machine to put the maximum level of water, because this cycle is used to eliminate the residues of detergent in the fabric of the diapers.
How to dry washable diapers?
Cloth diapers are best dried naturally on the clothesline. The sun kills remaining bacteria while preserving the color of reusable diapers. In order for the diapers to retain their elasticity, they must be stretched gently and put a pin in the front and another in the back.
Even if inside the house, you do not benefit from the heat granted by the sun, you guarantee the durability of cloth diapers by drying them naturally. After drying, the layers can become rough. You can put them for a few minutes in the dryer at low temperature so that they regain their flexibility.
How to store soiled nappies?
It is perfectly normal to store soiled diapers for 1 to 3 days before washing them. If it's only soaked in urine, you can store the diaper as it is in a bucket or closed container, with the other diapers. When there are feces stains, keep the diaper moist before washing.
There is no need to rinse the diaper or remove stool stains before storing. It will not affect subsequent washing. However, diapers that have been worn for a long time and have absorbed a large amount of urine may be deceived too much and retain a bad smell. In this case, it is better to moisten them before.
Buy cloth diapers and cleaning products
We invite you to discover the cloth diapers of Confections Lili . These are high-performance nappies produced locally that will meet all your needs. Our high quality products are the result of the collaboration of mothers and women aware of the needs of the little ones.
We offer a wide range of one size and baby cloth diapers . Discover our washable diapers with original patterns and buy the model you like now. Confection Lili also offers all the necessary accessories for diapers as well as waterproof bags and inserts .
You can also benefit from body care products that are organic and signed Douce Mousse. These Quebec products respect a natural formulation for a gentle effect taking care of your baby. A wide range containing diaper creams , toothpastes , moisturizing lotions , shampoos , etc. is available.