Most people would agree doing the laundry is just another obnoxious, never ending chore that must get done. I’ve never been one to enjoy it. I will let the clothes pile up and spill out of the hamper before I reluctantly decide its time to run the washing machine. Knowing how I am with my clothes, I was a bit concerned about the process of washing cloth diapers. It sounds complicated. It might be gross. What detergent do I use?!
As it turns out, I look forward to washing my son’s cloth diapers! The first load was really exciting; it was the first step to putting this great idea into practice. And since then, it has continued to be something I enjoy doing. Rather than taking that heavy bag of used diapers to the trash, I toss it in the washing machine and in a couple hours have a clean fluffy stack of adorable diapers ready for use!
When I first started, I always wondered what other people did for their wash routine. There is a LOT of room to customize when it comes to your wash routine. Water temp, wash time, number of rinses, amount of detergent, type of detergent, the list goes on! I thought it might be fun (and maybe useful to someone) to write down what I do. Here is a typical laundry day in my home.
In the beginning I had a small stash and had to wash every day. This was pretty stressful! My stash is now big enough to wash every other day, and I could stretch it to three days if I had to. In two days my 4 month old baby boy usually dirties about 15-20 diapers. In this case, 17; 10 All in Two soakers, 4 All in two shells, 4 All in Ones, and 3 fitted. There were also 18 wipes, 3 wash clothes, 1 pail liner, and an assortment of towels to fill out the load. I hate running a small load of laundry!!
I start out with a cold pre-wash, adding a little detergent when it’s a rather messy load. The cold rinse helps remove the poo and reduce stains. Next I run a hot wash with ¼ recommended detergent (this part takes some guess work- not all loads of laundry are the same size. Decide if you have a medium or large load, then use a ¼ of what the detergent box recommends) and a second rinse.
Once washed, I take out the items I know can easily line dry. In the summer I will take advantage of the sun and line dry as much of the load as possible. “Sunning” your diapers will reduce stains, and not running the dryer will save you some money! In this case, I removed my GroVia shells and pail liner. Everything else gets tossed in the dryer (no dryer sheets!!), on Medium heat for 90 minutes. I have found that a large load actually dries faster than a small load! After the 90 minutes I check everything and will run them again if they aren’t quite dry yet. Some diapers will take quite awhile to dry.
Of course, the best part is folding and putting the diapers back together! I like to “pre-load” all of the AI2s while we are at home. That way my husband and I can go to the shelf, pull out a ready to go diaper, and not have to fuss with snapping in soakers.