Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cloth Diaper Chronicles: wash routine change

I realized I've changed my cloth diaper routine, but hadn't posted an update on it in a long time. For past cloth diaper posts, click on the blog label "cloth diapering".

Current wash routine:
1) rinse on cold, water level low
2) wash on hot using Rockin' Green*, water level low
3) rinse on cold, add splash of vinegar to fight odors, water level medium

*Rockin' Green used to have 3 variations: Soft Rock (for soft water, which we have in the PNW), Classic Rock, and Hard Rock (for hard water). They have a little map that you can click on to see what kind of water your area has. In the past we've used the Soft Rock, but the last time I went to purchase more on the website it was gone. I emailed them and a spokesperson e-mailed me back saying they no longer make the Soft Rock, but to purchase Classic Rock instead and just use half the recommended amount (1T instead of 2T). I'm trying that for now, and will report back in a few weeks.

For nighttime diapers, we've been doing one regular insert, one infant insert, and one hemp insert (with the hemp insert being farthest away from his body). He almost always poos overnight, so we always add a liner as well (either the GroVia liners or the gDiaper liners). Both liners are flushable, with is awesome. Because yuck. Sometimes Drew goes through seasons where he gets rashes after wearing his cloth diapers overnight. He's going through one of those seasons right now. They are incredibly frustrating, because I've tried everything in my power to uncover why on earth he would only get rashes at night. The only thing I can  conclude was that it's the length of time his urine is left touching his skin that's causing the rashes (cloth diapers don't wick the moisture away as well as disposables do, which actually aids in potty training when the time comes). We've tried to remedy this by using fleece liners (the fleece aids in wicking the moisture away from his skin), but he almost always poops overnight and that's a mess I don't care to deal with in the morning (or lately, that Kyle cares to deal with as he's been handling morning diaper changes so this pregnant mama can get some extra shut eye!). So when he's going through a overnight rashy season, we just put him in an disposable overnight and call it good. For the occasional day time disposables we use the Kirkland brand, but for nighttime we use Earth's Best. The Earth's Best does a better job of distributing the urine throughout the diaper, in my opinion, so he doesn't end up all front heavy by the morning. I found this chart to be helpful when researching disposable diapers.

Back to cloth...when he poos without a liner, we use the diaper sprayer to dispose of the poo in the toilet. I've figured out that if you barely turn on the water flow for the sprayer it helps prevent the poo from flying everywhere. Super key. Nobody has time for poo on the walls thanks to a mega jet stream of water from the diaper sprayer.

I am excited for spring to return so I can resume line drying the diapers - they never smell and look fresher than after being line dried! I've stripped the diapers once this winter, and will likely strip again one more time before summer. I never need to strip for leaking, only for smells or recurring rashes. For stripping, I do:
1) rinse on cold, water level low
2) wash on hot using 1 tbsp Blue Dawn and 1/2 cup of bleach, water level low
3) wash on cold, water level medium (repeat this 3rd step until there are no soap bubbles left)

My only disappointment at this point with the cloth diapers is that Drew is starting to transition away from baby clothes into little boy clothes. Up until this stage in his life, he's mostly worn cotton pants or shorts that have lots of give in the waist. Now that he's growing into a little boy, I've been wanting to put him in jeans, chinos, or colored khakis, but none of those really fit all that great with the cloth diaper. I do think it will help once Drew grows just a tiny bit taller and we can extend the cloth diapers out to their biggest setting (which means less bulk around the waist), but he's not quite there yet. So for now, if I need/want him to wear anything other than cotton pants I just put him in a disposable diaper.

That's all for now!


  1. Hi, Stephanie! I read your blog and just wanted to direct you to a resource I've found for cloth diaper care. It's

    They've taught me so much about cloth diapers! I didn't know that blue dawn would break my machine or that vinegar could mask issues. My diapers have never been cleaner and I'm not buying extra expensive things just for washing cloth diapers!

    Check it out! They've changed my whole cloth diapering life!

    1. Thanks for the tip! I've been hearing a lot about them on Facebook in one of my cloth diapering groups. When I started cloth diapering, it was on the premise of Charlie's Soap, blue dawn stripping, and other care tips of that it's taking me a while to adjust to the whole other side of the spectrum (I haven't brought myself to try washing with Tide yet!). I'll check out the website - appreciate it!

    2. I know all about that. I used Rockin Green and thought I had a solid routine. I stripped every few months and had rashes and stink that I thought was just part of the game. These ladies showed me I have a snowflake washer (LG Top Loader), I needed a water softener and walked me through a complete routine overhaul. My baby no longer gets rashes. My diapers no longer stink. And I haven't had to strip since I first stepped foot in that group. I had NO idea it could be like this. I just assumed you put up with some stuff to use cloth diapers.

    3. We have soft water where I live (Pacific Northwest) and I'm finding that's rare...makes it hard to discern if washing instruction advice I come across works for soft water, too, as most is geared toward hard(er) water. I did check out the website you shared and found some info on soft water, so thank you!