WASHING CLOTH DIAPERS
When you first receive your diapers, they need to be "prepped" before the first use. Prepping methods depends on what type of fabric is used to make your diapers. All washing machines, detergents, water and laundry habits are different. It may take some trial and error to find what works for you. The following is only our recommendation.
Prepping Synthetic Fabrics (PUL, Microfiber, Zorb, etc )
Prep by washing with a cloth diaper safe laundry detergent. If you have hard water, you might want to add a water softener to the wash cycle. Wash on heavy cycle, warm wash, warm rinse, extra rinse. NO FABRIC SOFTENERS! This will cause your diapers to repel. Repeat wash on medium cycle, warm wash, warm rinse, extra rinse. The amount of laundry detergent you use will depend if you have a regular washer, HE washer, hard water, the type of detergent being use. Only use the recommended detergent amount per the manufacturer. You want to make sure you do not see any suds in your last rinse cycle. Dry your PUL covers and pockets on medium to high heat for 20-30 minutes to "seal" the PUL. All inserts can be dried on hot or line dried. We pre-wash all of our fabrics prior to making our products, unless otherwise indicated.
Prepping Natural Fabrics (Cotton, Hemp, Bamboo)
Natural fabrics used to make cloth diapers need to be prepped prior to first use. There are oils present on all natural fibers.
Hemp: Hemp is full of natural oils and the material won't reach full
absorbency until all these oils have been removed. Hemp can take as many
as 8-11 washes before it comes fully absorbent. Some hemp products will
come pre-washed, but you will still need to wash it a few times
yourself before use. If you use hemp before it's fully prepped it will
not hold as much as it is meant to.
Cotton: Cotton diapers will also need to be washed and dried several times
before use. Much like hemp, cotton has natural oils that need to be
removed before becoming fully absorbent. It takes 6-8 washes to remove
all the natural oils from cotton. You can begin using them after about
4-5 washes because they will have enough absorbency by that time.
Bamboo: Bamboo is another material that becomes more absorbent after washing. I
recommend you wash and dry it at least 2-3 times before use.
Pre-folds: When you first receive your new cotton, hemp or bamboo pre-folds they will be flat, not quilted and fluffy like you normally see. It takes several washes before pre-folds reach the quilted and absorbent stage. (NOTE: Our bamboo pre-folds will not fluff up like cotton prefolds do). To prep your pre-folds, you can do one of two prepping methods:
1) Wash hemp diaper products on hot with a small amount of detergent, then dry in dryer. Repeat 3-5 times. Cotton diaper products repeat method 3 times.
2) Fill a large stock pot full of water and boil. Add hemp diaper products to
boiling water and boil for 15-20 minutes. Do not overfill with diapers...they must be submerged in water. Wash on hot with a small amount of
detergent and then dry in dryer. Cotton diapers boil for 20 minutes.
Bamboo: Bamboo diapers are a little different. I do not recommend boiling
bamboo. It does not take as intensive preparation as cotton or hemp. You
can pre-wash and dry bamboo prefolds 2-3 times before using
DO NOT BOIL ANY DIAPER PRODUCTS CONTAINING PUL OR KAM SNAPS.Washing Your Soiled Diapers
Dispose of any solids in the toilet. Do a warm pre-rinse/pre-wash in your washer. Warm is recommended since bodily fluids are most soluable at body temperature (warm). If you skip this step, stains may "bake" into the fabric when washing on hot. Wash on heavy cycle, warm wash, warm rinse, extra
rinse. Warm rinse allows water to be released more efficiently in the spin cycle so that clothes dry more quickly. NO FABRIC SOFTENERS! This will cause your diapers to repel.
If necessary, repeat wash on medium cycle, warm wash, warm rinse, extra rinse. The
amount of laundry detergent you use will depend if you have a regular
washer, HE washer, hard water, the type of detergent being use. This may take some trial and error. Too much detergent will leave detergent residue, too little will not clean your diapers. Use the detergent amount recommended by the manufacturer. You
want to make sure you do not see any suds in your last rinse cycle. If you have hard water, you might want to add a water
softener. The minerals found in hard water will deposit in the fibers of your diapers trapping dirt and bacteria. A water softener will eliminate mineral deposits.
We do not advocate the use of chlorine bleach on cloth diapers. Besides the impact it has on the environment and your health, it is very destructive to fabrics and laminations. But laundry detergent only cleans the diapers, it does not disinfect. We recommend using oxy-bleach. You need to use very hot water and at least 10 minutes of aggitation in the washing machine to do an adequate job. We use and recommend 7th Generation Oxy-Bleach.
If you must use bleach to treat a yeast infection, then you MUST rinse all the urine from the diapers prior to using bleach. Urine + Chlorine = Ammonia (from the chloramines).
If you have particularly set in stains, and the oxy-bleach wash did not get rid of them, you can sun them out. Leave them in the sun (slightly wet at first) for a few hours until the stain in gone. This may take a few attempts.
DO NOT use fabric softeners or dryer sheets with cloth diapers. If will cause your cloth diapers to repel. You can use wool dryer balls to help soften and fluff your diapers though.
Cloth Diaper Safe Detergent
It is recommended to use a cloth diaper safe laundry detergent. We use and recommend Eco Nuts.
*Please note, this is only a recommendation and it is up to you to find a prep/wash routine that works for you.