Washing tips - English
The BIG QUESTIONS most people have when switching to cloth are related to washing, whether or not cloth diapers smell bad, and most importantly, what on earth you do with the poop?!
Don't worry, we've got you covered on all of these topics, and it really is so much easier than you think! (and no Karen, your clean diapers will simply smell like clean laundry by the end of this ;) )
First of all, let's talk about the poop.
One of the great things about using cloth diapers is that the poo goes where any good poo belongs, and that is in the toilet.
Anyone who has changed a few diapers before knows that part of the parcel is engaging with poop. No matter what type of diapers you choose to use, your baby will do what all babies do.
So, how do you go about it then?
As babies get older, their poop generally becomes more solid. At some point, the poop becomes ploppable. Ploppable poops are beautiful - you can literally just hold the diaper upside down over the toilet, and the poop plops off. Flush and call it done.
Before that, you will learn to love your diaper sprayer. You hold your diaper over the edge of the toilet, and give it a spray with a handheld sprayer. Give the wet diaper a little squeeze to get the excess water out. Flush and call it done.
That is it as far as the poop topic goes.
Good! Because it is all downhill from here :)
Now that we have that out of the way, let's take it from the top.
Step 1, TRANSPORT:
When you are out and about, simply fold used diapers up, and place them in a medium or small Wet Bag. Our Wet Bags are designed to lock smell in, so you can just zip it closed, and continue enjoying your day.
When you get home, take care of any poopy diapers by either quickly plopping or spraying them into the toilet.
Step 2, STORE:
Whether you sprayed a diaper, or it caught a kissa, your diapers are going to be a bit wet. There are 2 options for you to store them until washing day.
Either WET - place them directly into a large Wet Bag (leave the bag open to get as much air flow as possible) - diapers stored wet should be washed every 2-3 days.
Or DRY - we highly recommend allowing the diapers to dry out before storing for washing day. What works well for most is having a washing spider hanging over the bath or shower for this purpose. Once they have dried, place them in a large Wet Bag or other open bin. Diapers stored dry do not have to be washed as often - wash every 5-7 days.
The best part of storing diapers dry is that there is virtually no smell. The more airflow you allow to your diapers, the better.
It is often surprising to newcomers that cloth diaper homes do not experience the same smell as disposable diaper homes, simply because the poop is flushed down the toilet, and not thrown in the dustbin.
Step 3, WASH:
When washing day arrives, carry your diapers to the wash room. Our Large Wet Bags have handy carry handles, and are designed so that you can place the open end of the bag into the washing machine, push form the back of the bag with one hand while pulling back the front edge. The bag flips inside out, your diapers land in the washing machine without you having to touch them, you zip the Wet Bag closed (leaving it inside out), and place the bag into the machine as well.
You are now going to run the machine twice. The first wash is referred to as the PRE WASH, and the second, the MAIN WASH.
Pre wash: Select the fastest cycle on your machine at 40C.
The goal of the pre wash is to get the urine out of the diapers, and let the diapers spin in the machine to get most of the dirty water out.
Main wash: Select the longest cycle you have at 60C.
By the end of the main wash, your diapers should be really clean.
For superb (diaper-nerd level) results, consider:
- Front-loader washing machines wash best when they are 3/4 full - this allows the perfect amount of rubbing/ agitation between the fabrics for superior washing results. If you are only washing a few diapers at a time, consider adding other small items (like washcloths etc) to increase the load size.
- Use fragrance free washing powder - using scented powder can cause buildup in the fabrics.
- Different washing powders recommend different amounts of powder per load (see the back of the box) - these instructions are generally based on water hardness and weight of the load of washing. Once you have figured out your routine, and know approximately how many diapers you tend to wash at once, consider placing your wet bag on the bathroom scale before carrying it to the laundry one day - now you know the approximate weight of your load, and can adjust the dosing of your washing powder accordingly.
- And if you are really really Extra, find out your water hardness as well. If you can't find the info for your area, test strips are available at all pet shops. Most people never take this step, so if you do, just know that you have officially entered into the realm of the washing gods.
Step 4, DRY:
Our diapers and inserts can be tumble dried on low heat, or, to get the most life out of your diapers, we recommend hanging to dry.
If you do not have enough space to hang dry everything, consider tumble drying the inserts, and hanging the pockets to dry (they dry super quickly, usually over night)
If you are going to tumble dry pockets, a tip is to allow elastics to cool down entirely before pulling on them.
And that's it! Just like that, your diapers are once again clean, fluffy and good to go.