More and more parents are turning to washable diapers in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint. However, keeping them clean is one thing that puts many parents off. Throwing away a disposable diaper is so much easier – simply toss it in the trash and you don’t have to think about it again. However, cloth has loads of advantages over disposables, so we’re here to help you learn how to clean cloth diapers in the most efficient way.
Storing Reusable Diapers Before Washing
Many parents don’t like the idea of storing their used diapers before wash day. Thankfully, there are loads of ways to keep the diapers together before washing, which won’t cause your home to smell. The first thing you need is something to store the used diapers. There are a few options here. You can choose either a diaper wet bag or a cloth diaper pail.
Both of the above are ideal, although the wet bag seems to be the preferred option for many parents. It’s essentially a waterproof bag with a secure zipper fastening. This helps keep out any smells until it’s time to wash the diapers. Some wet bags have hanging loops, meaning you can easily keep them hanging beside your changing table or mat so it’s easy to put the dirty diapers straight inside.
Travel size wet bags are also available – great for keeping in your diaper bag on a day out. Some also have compartments to keep items dry, so they’re great for things like swimming.
In many cases, the diapers can simply be put straight into the storage bag or pail, then put right into the washer on wash day – simple! For babies who are breastfed, you don’t even need to rinse the poop off first. For babies who are on formula milk or solids, you will need to remove the poop before washing, but don’t worry, this is easy when you know how! You can dump the contents into the toilet and flush them. If you want to make things even easier, use flushable liners inside the diaper, so the whole thing can just be put straight down the toilet. It’s also possible to get a diaper sprayer, which looks like a mini shower head. It attaches to the toilet and sprays water, allowing the poop to be washed into the toilet.
Washing Reusable Diapers
You don’t have to wash your diapers every day, although it is recommended not to wait much more than two days. After this point, the used diapers can start to smell, and it also becomes more difficult to get the stains out. Washing a diaper in washing machine is just like washing any other laundry really. The only difference is that you should choose a special cloth diaper detergent, as these ensure they last for longer, and prevent irritation on the baby’s skin. The diapers will come with care instructions which tell you which kind of cycle to use – in most cases you should use a cold cycle first.
If you don’t like the idea of washing diapers at home, you could consider signing up to a reusable diaper service. This is when a company brings you a supply of diapers, then takes away your dirty ones to be laundered before returning them to you clean and ready to use again. A diaper delivery service can save parents a lot of time and effort, but it will most likely cost a bit more than washing them at home.
Drying Cloth Diapers
Reusable diapers last for longer when dried naturally rather than in the tumble drier. The manufacturer should provide instructions for drying the diapers – some can be put in the tumble drier on a low heat cycle. Some diapers dry quickly, whereas the all-in-one styles can sometimes take a bit longer. If you aren’t short on time, and the weather permits, drying in the sun is the best way to go, and it will also further help reduce your carbon footprint.