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Tutorial: Handwashing Cloth Diapers

August 23, 2011

This week I was faced with yet another washing machine situation. Not having a washer can really mess up a mama. Laundry piles up, every single piece of clothing gets used and dirtied, and I run out of cloth diapers real quick. My 'stash' has really grown since we first began using cloth diapers. I remember washing diapers every day to make it work. Now I only have to wash maybe about once a week.

Note: Washing diapers in detergents not recommended by some diaper manufatureres may void their warranties. Please read your care instructions before following this tutorial.

My Dilemma
This morning I only had 2 diapers left and a well rested baby getting up soon. Thankfully I had researched with Kim Rosas from for her Handwashing Flats Challenge. I watched several videos on youtube and got the technique down enough to attempt to make this tutorial today. This was very much spur of the moment.

Why I'm not a big fan of CD detergents? 
Don't get me wrong, soaps like Rockin' Green (reviewed here) and  Ruby Moon
(reviewed here) are great products
designed to eliminate confusion and

First off I have to say our washer only has cold water and can not wash and rinse out all the residues from the diapers. This is a major reason I began the flats challenge since flats (receiving blankets)  are simply made and don't have all that ultra-sensitive-wash-with-care label instructions. Flats are more economical and can be washed in the soap of your choice.

It really boils down to
personal preference
and whether or not you have the right equipment to get the job done. Now knowing what I know I can't really testify to how well the specialty soaps worked with me not having hot water. I would like to try them again using the tub and plunger method.

I've been using FLATS ONLY
since May of 2011 and had given up using all inserts and thick diapers because I couldn't get them to smell fresh.
I couldn't use diapers I loved like my MotherEase and my Sprout Change by
The Willow Store. I am happy to try using them again. I'll have to see how this method affects rashes. I'm thinking it'll be fine.

Straight to the point instructions:
Soak, plunge, and Rinse in cold water with little or no oxyclean.
Then repeat in hot water with detergent and oxyclean.
Rinse with cold water and wring them out by hand.
Throw them in the dryer and you're done.
Save electricity and hang dry when you have time. Today I did not.

Cloth diapers were really intimidating to me at first.
I even made the mistake of pledging to never use disposables again, Silly mama. My advice for those just starting out is to do what you think you can and keep a pack of disposables to transition with. Also read up on rashes. You will need to strip diapers ever so often. I found a helpful tutorial by Kim on youtube showing How to prep and strip cloth diapers. I try to do this once a month to get all the extra oils and normal buildup. I never thought I'd handwash my diapers this way, never say never .)

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