If you have been a cloth diaper user for any amount of time, you know that no matter how diligent you are at prepping them and keeping them clean and using the right detergent, they eventually start to turn… sour. They can start to stink even after coming out of the wash, and they no longer absorb like they used to. This means that you have a buildup in your diapers of either detergent or urine and it is time to freshen them up.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars for another diaper stash. There are some really simple and affordable ways to get your diapers back to pristine condition.
In some cases, washing your stash of diapers in hot water around three times without any soap or detergent should do the trick. Make sure that the water is rinsing off the diapers clean with no suds. This is particularly handy if you’re dealing with a detergent buildup in your cloth diapers.
When I strip my cloth diapers, I do two wash cycles with just hot water. The third time around, I add half a cup of white vinegar to the load (and sometimes a drop or two of tea tree oil). (I have never had any trouble with this method, but since vinegar is acidic, it could damage the waterproof PUL parts of your diapers).
Another really simple and cheap stripping method involves adding regular Dawn dish soap to your wash. Make sure that you add the soap drop by drop so that it does not get too sudsy in your wash. Less is better. After washing the diapers with Dawn, put the diapers through a couple more wash cycles (with no detergent) until they rinse clean. You may also consider hand washing the diapers with Dawn original dish soap.
The company that sells my favourite cloth diapers (Hipkiddo) recommends Rockin Green Funk Rock when stripping your diapers. This method definitely seems like the easiest (but perhaps not the cheapest) method. You just soak your diapers in hot water and Funk Rock for 30-60 minutes, rinse, and wash as usual. Easy peasy!
I believe that no matter how you care for your cloth diapers, you will have to strip them on occasion. But here are some really good tips for keeping stripping sessions few and far between:
- Use a cloth diaper approved laundry detergent.
- Never ever use fabric softener or dryer sheets.
- Be very wary of diaper rash creams.
The small print: I use Hipkiddo cloth diapers on Gavin. They’re an awesome cloth diaper choice if you’re looking for green, affordable diaper options. Be sure to Like Hipkiddo on Facebook and follow on Twitter to hear about chances to save and win. Hipkiddo provided cloth diapers for the purposes of this blog series but all opinions are my own.