Cloth Diaper Q&A Part 2
By Elodie Planche and Angela Moy
AFTER starting to use CD
New questions since I’ve started using CD:
My cloth diaper (CD) brand recommends stripping. What is the best way to strip diapers and how often should I?
Washing with a proper detergent, not using diaper cream/baby powder or any other products that could clog (and with time ruin) the fabric, and rinsing your soiled CD all make stripping a rare necessity. Each brand has its own recipe but stripping, or deep cleaning, usually involves a hot cleansing cycle with liquid dish soap, or white distilled vinegar, or baking soda, then 2 hot laundry cycles sans detergent. Stripping CD once every few months can give them a fresh start.
I still see suds after the first rinse. How can I tell if I’ve rinsed out all of the detergent? Will my baby get a rash if the detergent has not been fully rinsed off?
Suds are the visible sign of too much detergent. The surface of an insufficiently rinsed diaper also tends to be slippery due to the clogged fibers of the fabric. Reduce the amount of detergent until these signs disappear. A clogged cloth diaper (CD) from a mix of too much detergent plus #1 and/or #2 are indeed more likely to cause rashes to your baby’s skin.
My baby sleeps through the night and we often experience nighttime leaks. I already use 2 microfiber inserts. What’s happening?
Leaks result from any of these possibilities:
- Clogged fibers. Because clogged fibers cannot absorb, liquids slip out of the CD, causing leaks.
- Not using enough inserts for a heavy-wetter or big sleeper. Even if it’s bulky, add more inserts.
- A loose fit caused by a waist closure that’s not tight enough.
- Part of the inside of the diaper is outside the cover.
Any one or a combination of these factors may result in leaks. Assess which issue is yours, and make adjustments accordingly.
What can I do about the smell in my microfiber inserts? I can’t wash them in hot water or use enzymes such as Bac Out. The smell isn’t very strong after I wash them but it’s still there.
Always follow your CD brand’s directions (e.g. hot water is safe with some brands). Make sure to rinse soiled inserts well (this should remove odors almost entirely) and wring out all the water before storing them. Many insert stripping recipes exist, and most involve the same white distilled vinegar and baking soda saviors (e.g. the grape stomp method: http://www.lifewithlevi.com/2011/07/fight-microfiber-stink-the-grape-stomp-method-for-stripping-cloth-diaper-inserts/). If needed, a couple of tea tree oil drops in the laundry may help.
The smell in the dry diaper pail is strong. Is it caused by ammonia or detergent buildup?
A closed pail will generate heat and smelly condensation from feces and detergent remnants. Mildew could even grow and stain your diapers. To avoid a stinky pail, always rinse diapers really well, wring out all the water, and store them in open air. A basic laundry basin works wonders. You can cover it with another laundry basin on top as long as it’s not airtight.
I bought a couple of hemp inserts to use for our nighttime diapering. What is the best combination, microfiber + hemp or hemp + hemp?
Microfiber is said to absorb fast and hemp to hold a lot, so you can place microfiber on top of hemp. That said, if you use a hemp tri-fold insert (like Hemp Babies), you can wrap it around your microfiber insert. All combinations are possible, represent individual choices, so the key is to experiment and see what works best for you..
I cut up a flannel receiving blanket to use as re-usable cloth wipes. What is the best way to make wipes?
Using cloth wipes rather than disposable wipes is a natural choice. Avoiding disposable wipes makes sense for these reasons: manufacturers created disposable wipes and their wet formula, including the fragrance, preservatives, dyes and other hazardous ingredients.
If you decide you want to use cloth wipes, the simple combination of water on a cloth wipe is the best option for a quick efficient cleaning. But when you think of it, adults only use toilet paper, and children’s bottoms need nothing different.
Related – Q&A: Curious About Cloth Diapers
||Elodie Planche is passionate about everything green and strives for a more sustainable, eco-conscious life. She lives in West New York, NJ with her husband and their two young children and tweets @beltwits
||Angela Moy is a professional graphic artist, small business owner and a full-time mom of two. She respects the Earth and strives to make a positive impact through conservation and advocacy.
Tags: cloth diapers, green living