(I apologize for promising pictures. I don’t have any. Not one. I decided pics weren’t really needed.)
It is inevitable at some point that you’ll need to strip your cloth diapers. So what is the most effective way to do that?
If your diapers are soiled, go ahead and go through your normal washing regimen. You don’t have to dry them. You can start the stripping (of diapers) process while they are still wet.
(Here is one of the few times that a top-loader comes in really handy. I personally think they wash cloth diapers more effectively. I washed diapers for about a year using a top-loader and I never had to strip them. When we got our sassy new front-loaders, my problems with stink and absorbency began. I am certain it is because there is not as much water available to rinse.)
- Start by placing all of your diapers in the washing machine and running a cold rinse.
Even if you’ve just washed them, run them through another cold rinse.
- Squirt about 1 Tablespoon of Blue Dawn Dish Soap into the washer.
If you have a front-loader, squirt in on top of the diapers – don’t put it in the detergent dispenser.
- Wash your diapers on the longest, hottest setting your machine has.
You need as much agitation and as much hot water as your machine will give you. Don’t skimp on either, or your diapers will still be stinky.
- Wash your diapers on another long-cycle wash.
No detergent. No Dawn Dish Soap. Just a plain wash cycle on hot.
- Rinse on cold over and over and over until you can’t see any bubbles inside the machine while it is rinsing.
You shouldn’t even see a hint of bubbles in your machine. If you do, rinse again. Seriously, you might need to rinse 4-5 times in a front-loader. You can probably get away with 2-3 rinses in a top-loader.
- If at all possible, dry your diapers in the sun.
The sun is beneficial in so many ways. And getting the stink out of cloth diapers is one of them!
And that’s it! That’s all there is to it!
But what if you go through this whole process and they still smell awful?
I’m so glad you asked.
Here are a few ideas if your diapers continue to harbor the stink:
- Boil them on the stove for 5-10 minutes.
Find the biggest pot possible, fill with water and bring to a boil. Put your inserts or diapers in the pot, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5-10 minutes, keeping the diapers submerged as much as possible in the water. Then send your diapers through a regular hot wash cycle with no detergent. Rinse. Then dry in the sun if possible. Do this only with inserts – do not put boiling water on PUL! This method is best used for inserts and prefolds.
- Use a capful of bleach.
Gasp! I know…
I am not so much a fan of bleach as you well know, but desperate times call for desperate measures if your battling the stink. Or your diapers are repelling like crazy. You can use one capful in the bleach dispenser when doing a hot wash. I’ve only used bleach once and it did the trick for my diapers. But I only used it when stripping (diapers). Never in my usual wash routine.
- The dishwasher.
I am NOT a fan of putting non-dish items in my dishwasher, as I am a scaredy-cat and I’m afraid I’ll set it on fire. If you decide to wash them this way, make sure you clothespin the diapers to the top rack only and disable your Jet-Dry dispenser if you have one. Wash on the longest setting your dishwasher offers. You might need to run it through 2 cycles. Take the diapers out and run through just a spin a cycle in the washer because they will be soaking wet. Also, don’t put PUL in your dishwasher. You will not like your results.
Stink and repelling diapers do not work for me! But clean, absorbent cloth diapers definitely does!
Are you having trouble with your cloth diapers? Feel free to leave your questions!
Disclaimer: Proceed with caution when washing your dipes, whether it is in the machine or dishwasher and use common sense. Mama is not responsible for any house fires, or shot elastic in your dipes if you choose to try these methods. Or any other diaper fails you might experience. Please be careful.