Adjust to Your Washing Machine
Clean diapers should smell of nothing---fresh, beautiful
nothing. How do you make sure that happens? Sometimes you need to
adjust your diaper washing routine to your washing machine.
Hot or Cold?
You can use cold water to wash cloth diapers. You don't have
to use hot water unless you are trying to sterilize your diapers. Even
then, you can sterilize diapers naturally using the UV light from the
Use Enough Detergent
You do need to be sure that you use enough detergent. For
example, if you cut back according to instructions for a high
efficiency washer (generally suggested to use 1/4 of the amount
recommended for that detergent), you still need to be sure that you use
enough detergent to clean your diapers. If you don't use enough
detergent, you may find that diapers smell a lot immediately after your
baby wets them.
Don't Use Too Much Detergent
Don't adjust too far the other way. If you use too much
detergent, detergent residue can build up on the fabric, keeping the
diapers from absorbing properly. If the diapers repel urine, you have a
Just like Goldilocks, you need to get it not to much, not too
little, but just right.
If you find that you are getting detergent build up, you may
need to add a second rinse cycle to your regular wash routine even if
you don't have a high-efficiency washer.
High Efficiency Washing Machine
A lot of families are opting for a high-efficiency washer to
save on water. With a few minor adjustments, you will still be able to
keep your cloth diapers clean and smelling fresh.
Because the high-efficiency washer uses less water, you may
want set water levels to highest settings. Or, rather than one long
wash cycle you may find that two short cycles give you a cleaner rinse.
If you don't use the two-short-cycle method, you may need to
add an extra rinse.
Both high efficiency washing machines and particular types of
cloth diapers can vary, so you may need to experiment to find the best
wash routine for your machine and your diapers.
The biggest drawback in using a high-efficiency machine to
wash cloth diapers is the front loading. It is tough to dump a wet pail
into a front-load washer. You may find it less messy to use a dry pail.
Because a high-efficiency machne spins so much water out of
your diapers, you will find that they will dry more quickly, which will save
you energy through the rest of your wash routine.
Cloth Diaper Washing Help
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