Question from a reader:
Hi Kristy, I noticed your last post about cloth diapers and thought maybe you could have some tips to share with me. I recently switched, having two babies in diapers, to save money and have so far had a positive experience. Initially I found that it is an expensive investment and I want to do everything I can to keep the diapers in good shape for my next child, any suggestions for stains, washing, drying, etc? Thanks for taking the time to do what you do. Have a great day! ~Katey
I definitely understand your desire to keep your children’s diapers in top shape for future sibling hand-me-downs! I’ve been using cloth diapers on our second daughter since she was 3 months old (she’ll be 2 in June) and the diapers have held up very well. I’ll be using my diaper stash for the second time when our baby arrives in a few weeks!
Here’s what works for me:
Don’t use bleach on your diapers; this will shorten the life of the cloth dramatically. I add Borax or a scoop or two of Oxi Clean to a load of diapers to whiten them a bit; a few squirts of Simple Green aids with cleaning and makes them smell nice, too. (Consult the manufacturer of your particular brand of diapers for detergent agents they do and do not recommending using.)
Dry diapers in the sun (vs. throwing them in the dryer) as often as possible. Good old sunshine is the best diaper whitener I’ve found yet! Again, line drying also improves the life of the diaper and is a great deodorizer, as well.
Use fleece liners to keep stains at bay and to keep your little one’s skin nice and dry. Fleece liners are super easy to make; just buy a yard or two of micro fleece (cost: $3 to $4 per yard at Wal-mart), decide if you want contoured liners (shaped like a fitted diaper) or oblong liners, then start cutting! (I usually make a little “pattern” by tracing the desired shape on a piece of paper.) No sewing is necessary and the fleece will not fray with use. Fleece liners dry very quickly and go a long way in keeping soiled diapers from staining badly.
To disinfect diapers, add a drop or two of tea tree oil to the wash (smells great!).
To further combat smelly diaper odors keep a bottle of lavender essential oil on hand; I add a few drops to every load of diapers.
To keep dirty diapers from becoming too “icky”, try feeding your little one a banana every day; it will make his/her bowels more fibrous and easier to clean out of the diaper. (This worked on our daughter until she was about a year old.) I’ve also used flush-able liners and found them a life-saver in regards to “dirty” diapers.
Hope you find an idea or two that works for you!! Good for you for going cloth… it saves a load of money and, with a few simple tricks thrown in, can be pretty time efficient as well.
Here’s an ebook I recommend for loads more info on cloth diapering-
All of you other cloth-diapering mamas are welcome to leave your tips/input, as well!