Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cloth Diaper/Wipes Wash Routine

Here is a simple break down of my cloth diaper/wipes wash....

This routine should be practiced every 1-3 days to maintain hygienic practices.

  1. Remove dirty stash and replace immediately with the alternating washable pail liner or wet bag. 
    • I highly encourage you replace that pail liner or wet bag immediately so that diapers and wipes have somewhere to go while the others are being washed.
  2. Dump the dirty stash into the wash. Make sure that nothing gets stuck in the bottom corners of the bag. Dump the washable liner/bag in there too (or was that obvious?).
    • No need to touch anything dirty here, even with a front loader like I have. If something tries to fall out of the washer, I use the outside of the bag to shove it back in.
  3. Choose 5 soap nuts and put them in a bag or just throw them in. 
    • I only use new ones or ones that have been used only once to be sure that my diapers and wipes are the cleanest they can be. If I used new ones, I reuse them only once more the next time I wash diapers, then toss them out.
  4. Run a warm or cold water short wash cycle or rinse cycle. 
    • The shortest cycle on my front loader other than the rinse/spin cycle is the one for hand washables. I use that one and just change the spin cycle option from low to medium...high is not an option for this cycle.
    • A rinse cycle should do justice here. Since you have the soap nuts in there, they are still "washing" the stash as they release saponin. The soap nuts don't know that they are in a "rinse" cycle...all they know is that they are being agitated, which is what releases the saponin into the water for cleaning.
    • Supposedly, you are to soak your soap nuts first when you use cold water, but whenever I am testing my soap nuts to see if they still have saponin for another round of washing my regular loads of clothes, I always shake them in a jar of cold water and the saponin is released just fine. Besides, the main goal of this cycle is to rid of any excess waste, so even if soap nuts release less saponin in the cold water, the fact that they are releasing any is still doing enough justice.
  5. Leave your soap nuts in there and start a hot cycle.
    • The instruction manual included with diapers from Green Mountain Diapers states that the sanitary cycle is not recommended for diapers and hot has worked just fine for me.
    • The hot water wash is what makes the soap nuts lose their effectiveness much quicker, plus you are running the diapers and wipes through 2 cycles instead of just one. Even if you choose to do a rinse cycle for the first cycle, if the soap nuts are in there, they are "washing" the stash. This is why I throw them out after washing 2 rounds of diapers (1 round = this entire wash routine).
  6. Line dry any that have really bad stains (sun-bleaching is truly amazing...why did people switch to dryers again? lol) and toss everything else in the dryer or line dry if you wish. 
    • Soap nuts will not be harmed in the dryer and still can re-used, given that they still have saponin and have not been used up to recommended number of uses.
  7. When dry, I fold and place all my wipes back at their station in the basket on the back of the toilet and diapers and diaper covers/soakers in their storage drawer accordingly.
    • Storing wipes in the bathroom instead of the bedroom with diapers allows for easy access to the them for wetting at the sink for diaper time and also for using them at the potty.
    • Wet them before you take off that diaper then go back to your station, couch, floor, bed or wherever you tackle that stinky poo. This will help you avoid that run away baby with the poo poo's not funny to clean up... ;-)
Simple...right! So why do so many people think it's so hard? Why are so many people using disposables? I think it's lack of education...but I'll talk about that more later.....

P.S. As a laundry boost, you can slice 2-4 lemons in fourths and toss in with your soap nuts. You'll be amazed at the results. You could also alternatively add 1/4-1/2 cup of white vinegar, baking soda, borax, or washing soda. I personally prefer the lemons....Ahhhhh....I dream of soap nut and lemon trees and how laundry soap would be free (if they grew in my backyard)!


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