No matter how fabulous one’s washing routine of cloth diapers may be, there comes a time when diapers must be “stripped.” 100% cotton cloth diapers and even bamboo diapers seem to rinse beautifully when washed. Their natural fibers are to thank for that clean rinse.
It is the man-made, synthetic fibers that tend to hold on to stink: microfiber, suede cloth, and fleece. These are not breathable fabrics and therefore the fibers don’t rinse as well as all-natural fabrics. Although hemp is a natural fiber, it also falls in the ‘super stink’ category. Mamas continue to use these types of fabrics though for the top-notch absorbency property. It’s just really hard to beat.
Why do cloth diapers need stripping?
Over time, they develop build-up. Build-up from detergents that haven’t rinsed out well, oils, and additives. There are many layers to diapers and it is hard to get down to those middle layers and clean really well.
Do your diapers need to be stripped? Yes, if:
- They don’t smell clean after coming out of the washer
- They don’t smell clean after drying in the dryer – the heat from the dryer makes the smell worse
- They have an extremely strong odor immediately after your child wets in them
- Your child has a diaper rash that you can’t pinpoint to any other source
- Your child has endured a stomach bug that involves diarrhea
How to prevent your diapers from accumulating stink:
- Let your diapers sit in the diaper pail no longer than 36-48 hours.
I realize that is pretty quick turn-around in the laundry department. But I’ve proven it to myself over and over: the quicker my diapers are washed, the less chance they have to absorb the stink.
- Use a dry-pail system.
- Change your child frequently – don’t let a large amount of urine collect in the diaper
- Dry diapers in the sun as often as possible.
- Use a clean rinsing detergent that is approved for cloth diapers such as Charlie’s Soap.
- Use as few additives as possible – no fabric softeners, no enzyme boosters, etc.
Do you have ultra-stinky diapers? Get the complete guide at Mama’s How to Strip Cloth Diapers – Part 2.