HE, What does that mean for me?

Posted by Becca on 1/26/2011 to Washing Cloth Diapers
My husband, one year old daughter, my pregnant belly and I recently moved across the country. In doing so, I left my wonderful (and simple) washing machine behind. It really was not a huge problem - I figured we would just buy another similar washing machine when we moved to our new place.

Well, we found a rental house and ordered the most basic washing machine and dryer - I just had to have one that was good for washing cloth diapers. We were without a washing machine for about a month and a half - you could imagine my excitement when our new washer and dryer were delivered. Unfortunately, a week later, they started having problems.

After the repair company came out several times, the store told me they would replace it, but the problem was they didn't have those washing machines any longer because they weren't being made anymore. I did not understand how that could be since we literally bought this machine 3 weeks earlier! They told me New York state law requires all washers to be energy effecient. So I got my money back and went to their competitor! I told them I wanted a top loader and a very basic model because it was better for me to wash cloth diapers with. The sales lady proceeded to argue with me, telling me that less water is better to wash cloth diapers. I was frustrated, but figured this lady probably never washed cloth diapers before.Then I saw it; the 4.5 cubic foot washing machine! This was amazing - to think I could wash blankets with no problem was beyond words... The downfall of this perfect dream was the machine was HE. This meant a new learning curve for me with washing the diapers. Since the basic washer was a brand I have never heard of before, I decided to get this beautiful 4.5 cubic foot washer.

Let me just start off by saying I read that manual from front to back to make sure I was going to use the machine properly. Naturally, I was nervous washing my first load of cloth diapers. I put all the all the diapers in the wash and did a rinse and spin on cold with laundry detergent. Next I did a hot wash on the regular setting with detergent. The last step I did was a rinse and spin again on cold water with no detergent. When I opened the washing machine, there was a distinct smell - not a bad smell, but a smell. I never had this smell with my old washing machine. So I started to play with my machine so I could get the smell free diapers once again.
After a lot of trial and error, I finally found success. This is my final washing routine:
  • I put the diapers in the washing machine and soak them (this makes them heavier and tricks the machine into adding more water).
  • After the soak, I do a rinse and spin with laundry detergent on cool water.
  • Next I do a hot wash on the bulky setting again with laundry detergent. *I also put the extra rinse on this setting.
  • Finally I follow it up by doing another rinse and spin on cool water.

Ta-da!! Smell free diapers!! This did take a few weeks for me to figure out what worked best with our machine and our diapers. My hope is that this might help other people with washing their diapers in HE machines.

Guest Blogger:

Joanna Barrette is enjoying being a stay at home mom to two little girls: a 1.5 year-old and a 1 month old. She loves spending time with her family and also enjoys reading, baking, cooking, and making crafts.


Date 12/2/2013
My toploader HE machine drives me bonkers. How am I saving money/water if I have to run 7 cycles to get the diapers clean? Ack!
Date 5/28/2014
Lindsey Campbell
How do you soak dialers in a front loader? Start a wash let it fill up and then stop it? If so how do you get the water to drain before the initial rinse? And how long do you suggest soaking for?

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