Washing cloth diapers is one of the most controversial points for those who use modern reusable diapers. It's between the fear of touching the poop and how to avoid the breakouts 🙂
You already know that here I simplify everything and the washing routine is no exception.. Incidentally, if your washing routine has too many steps, hand washing, more than 1 additive, etc, you are overcomplicating it and wasting your valuable time.
And whoever tells you the opposite, and that you should make thirty for a line, doesn't catch any of this.
I'm specifically talking about those who think this is like the old days and tell you to leave the diapers to soak... It's a mistake and I can't even handle it anymore! Even today, years later, I continue to struggle with it.
IMPORTANT! Soiled reusable nappies must be kept in a dry, airy place until they are washed. A simple bucket with a large waterproof case is more than enough. In fact, you have to use just the bag or just the bucket.
The frequency of washing it is also important. During the winter you can wash it every three days and as soon as it starts to get hot, you should start washing it every two days. Why? If you wash for more than 3 days you may need to disinfect and disinfection causes unnecessary wear and tear on diapers.
Why do I insist on washing reusable diapers well?
For three reasons:
- So that your baby's skin is not irritated;
- So that you don't have problems with smells;
- So that you spend your time with your baby and not washing diapers.
There are mothers who are very concerned about washing, disinfection, dirty washing machines, etc. Calm down… if you wash your diapers well, you only need to disinfect them if you want to or if you have a fungus. Your washing machine won't be affected by diapers, diapers are just really dirty clothes. Or do you also throw away your clothes when you get dirty with mud?
Nahhh… what you do is wash your muddy clothes on the very dirty cycle.
The 3 steps to washing modern cloth diapers and leaving them spotless
Remember to prepare your diapers for washing, i.e. remove the poop from the diaper and absorbent pads if you have reusable diapers with pockets. This you do in seconds when you change your baby's diaper or when you take the diapers out of your waterproof carrying bag.
Here are the three steps to washing your cloth diapers and the explanation for each one:
1. Rinse + cold spin
This step is essential for remove excess pee and poop from diapers. Do an independent cycle, normally all machines have this cycle and it usually lasts 15-20 minutes. Why not do a prewash cycle? Because the new machines reuse water, that is, you are washing your diapers in dirty water. Why cold? Because this way the poop and pee is released from the fibers of the fabric and prevents stains.
2. Heavily soiled laundry cycle + heavily soiled laundry detergent
It is in this step that your reusable cloth diapers will be washed. Let's go to the important details:
Adjusts the cycle temperature to 40ºC-60ºC. Check the label on your diapers for the brand's recommendation. My recommendation is to wash every 4-6 weeks at 60ºC and only in cases of persistent odors to always wash at 60ºC. There are babies who pee with a very intense smell and these are special cases. In my experience since 2012, I haven't seen nappies degrade if they are always washed at 60ºC. But of course, they are always high quality diapers and made to last longer than a baby if they are well taken care of. The association Clean Cloth Nappies recommends always washing at 60ºC and they have also been around for a long time.
deer Powder detergent of your preference in quantity for heavily soiled laundry. Did you know you can put powder detergent directly into the drum? Oh yeah! You can't even imagine the difference it makes. All the detergent is used, as it is not lost in the tubes, and at the same time you protect the tubes from becoming clogged. If the detergent drawer is already dirty, I can't imagine how the tubes must look.
You can use liquid detergent and in this case step 3 is mandatory. If you find that your reusable nappies don't wash well (i.e. they smell bad) then switch to washing powder.
Play the loop and wait for it to finish.
3. Rinse + cold spin
This last step you can skip from time to time. The objective is remove any excess detergent who stayed in diapers. Of course, if your baby has very sensitive skin, you shouldn't skip it.
Where are the additives? What about specific detergents? Hand washes?
The washing routine for your reusable diapers is just these three steps. Of course there are specific situations like fungi or some families that need to adapt. But they are exceptions to the rule.
Remember to keep your routine simple. That's the secret.