We have been doing cloth diapers, since the triplets were born in June 2014. I’ve been wanting to write a post about our cloth diapering experience for a while now. It seems like everyone else who does cloth diapering has some sort of post on the internet. So…here it goes. (This will probably be quick, since the kids will be waking up from naps soon.)
It’s cheaper, better for the environment, and it’s what we’ll be needing to do when we go to Bangladesh–at least initially. Poor families in Bangladesh don’t use diapers. They just let the kids run around naked and clean up after them as they go. While this option seems a bit primitive, after washing diapers daily for the last 2.5 years, it makes a lot of sense. It really is a lot less time consuming, especially if you had to wash the diapers by hand. Less rashes, faster potty training, and more time for other things you need to do during the day. Primitive, no. Smart? Yes.
Detergents, detergents, detergents…
We’ve tried almost everything. Biggest challenge is getting the poopy smell out and not giving the kids a rash. We use cotton diapers now, but we have used the microfiber inserts in the past. Anything polyester based holds on to smell pretty strongly–including microfiber inserts and the PUL covers. We thought about going to wool covers, but practicality of washing diapers for 4 kids daily won out. We just use PUL covers and throw them in with everything else. In the USA, Tide Original powder detergent won for getting the poopy smell out (finally–after trying a million different over the counter and through the mail detergents). Unfortunately, Tide gives them a rash. So we use All Free & Clear Liquid as the second wash. They don’t sell Tide in Bangladesh, though. So we had a missionary friend of ours send us some boxes of Jet laundry detergent from Bangladesh, which is cheap and easy to obtain there.
We finally tried washing with Jet, and lo and behold…no poopy smell and no rashes. The scent also reminds me of the laundry detergent my grandmother used to use. Perhaps God does want us to go to Bangladesh.
Rinse, rinse, rinse…
Water is a wonderful thing. It is probably the biggest blessing we have on this planet. Without water, we would all die. And without water, it would be really hard to get pee and poop out of diapers. You can use an HE washing machine to wash diapers (we have). It just takes forever, because they hardly use any water. One step in washing diapers that I ignored until later, is the initial rinse. If you are just starting washing diapers, do the initial rinse in cold or warm water without detergent (like almost every diaper washing website suggests). I would also recommend getting a diaper sprayer for your toilet to spray off the poop before throwing them in your machine. (Poop in the laundry machine—ewww!) Doing an initial rinse (or just a wash and rinse cycle) without detergent helps to get a lot of the water soluble pee and poop out before you start using your detergent to get the harder stuff out. The initial rinse will make a world of difference in how your diapers smell and how many times you need to wash them to get them clean. I actually hand rinse the poopy diapers and covers after spraying them off to get as much of the poop out before throwing them in the washer. The pee only diapers go through a cold or warm wash and rinse cycle before adding in the hand rinsed poopy diapers and covers. Not many people will do the hand rinse, though. (I just throw the rinse water in the toilet.)
Well, that’s all for this post. Kids are up. Happy washing! =-)