When making the switch to cloth diapers by far my biggest concern was how am I gonna wash these diapers and keep them clean? I googled the issue more than humanly necessary. For every blog and/or article I read on how to wash them I found another one contradicting it. I am writing this post on how I do it. I will preface this by saying that every mom is going to do it different. It all depends on your washer/water type and so on.
I start with a simple rinse and spin cycle with no detergent on cold/cold. This is to get any loose poop off.
I then do a normal cycle hot/cold with detergent and I press the button for an extra rinse. I also set it to heavy soiled to give it maximum water levels. This gives it a very long wash with hot water to kill bacteria and get them clean. You want lots of water so that it can get them clean. HE washers use less water than top loaders so to me this step is key.
You will read everywhere to use as little detergent as necessary. I find this to be wrong. I bought and tried a multi pack of many different all natural detergents. They all work just fine. For me I use powdered Tide original formula. The enzymes in it keep the whites white and the bacteria away. We have had zero stink issues and my diapers look like new. I am well aware that this is the opposite of natural and crunchy but I completely OK with that. I use a scoop full up to the 1 line.
I then do an extra rinse and spin cycle on cold/cold to make sure to get all of the suds out of there. This helps to prevent buildup. Buildup can make your diapers repel liquids. If there are still suds I will repeat this step.
I hang all my diapers on a small rack in my laundry room. I stick all the liners in the dryer with 4 wool dryer balls. The dryer balls are to help reduce dry time by absorbing liquid and mine have a scent called hint of baby which makes them smell nice but not overpowering.
I wash mine every 3-4 days. I use a diaper pail that looks like a basic kitchen garbage can. I use a reusable diaper pail bag that I wash along with my diapers and hang dry. I shut my lid after putting each soiled diaper in but I leave the lid cracked a very small bit (like a millimeter). I find this keeps the diapers from smelling too bad and I never smell anything near the changing pad and I am cursed with a very strong sniffer.
I do use bioliners for a majority of the changes. They are basically a thin layer of biodegradable material that catches poo. I just wipe and throw away. I also use a diaper sprayer to get a majority of the poo off for when I don’t use a liner or when it does not contain all the poo. All the poo does not need to be removed. Just the big stuff.
When it is nice and sunny out I line dry my diapers outside. This is not very often because I am busy and a wee bit lazy. It is important not to leave your diapers in the sun too long or the strong heat can break down the laminate in your diapers. It should be 2 hours max unless you live in a strong heat climate like Florida and then you should leave them in the sun for no more than an hour. inserts can stay out longer.
So that is how I wash my diapers. Like I said everyone is different but this is the method that works for me. There is a lot of information out there on washing diapers and it can be very confusing. In this household I do all the laundry and I actually enjoy making my diapers fresh and clean each time.