Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stripping Cloth Diapers in a Top Loader

There are a MILLION different ways to strip cloth diapers. Everyone has their own method of what works for them. There is not one set way of stripping that works for everyone. Most people come up with their own routine and see what works for them. This is mine.

We have a top loader and we use Rockin Green detergent. We usually don't have any problems with leaks or ammonia stinkies, but every once in awhile they occur. Especially if we've been travelling or I've gotten lazy and skipped a washing more than once... I usually wash every other day.

To start, I wash everything as normal:
First, a cold rinse to get all the yuckies out. Then, 1/8 cup (2Tbsp) of Rockin' Green Hard Rock in a very HOT wash, followed by 2 cold rinses to make sure all the soap gets out.

I hang dry all of our covers, wetbags, and any velcro AIOs. The rest gets thrown into the dryer with a few dryer balls. On nice, warm, sunny days, I hang everything outside to dry. The sun is fantastic at getting rid of stains and bacteria! The reason I do not dry the covers, wetbags, and velcro in the dryer is because the heat from the dryer can cause the PUL/TPU on the wetbags and covers to wear out faster and the dryer can also cause the velcro to pill up and catch a lot of lint which makes it not as sticky.

While everything is drying, I turn the hot water heater up a bit.

OMG! Please ignore the hideous state of my water heater!

After everything in the dryer is dry, we're ready to begin stripping. I set the water level to the highest level and put everything from the dryer (except the dryer balls ;) ) back in the washer. I leave the covers and wetbags out, but AIOs go back in the washer too.

I start with a HOT, HOT wash and add 1tsp of original blue Dawn dishsoap. A tsp goes a long way and is plenty for what we are trying to do. Sometimes I will even add a pot of boiling water from the stove to my washing machine if I feel like more water needs to be added.

The Dawn helps to get rid of any oils that may be on the diapers. ***If your washing machine is still under warranty, some washing machine manufacturers state that using Dawn in the washing machine will void their warranty, so you may want to research that before using this method.

After the hot wash with Dawn, I do a cold soak with Bi-O-Kleen Bac Out (to get rid of the ammonia stinkies and stains.)

I rinse, rinse, rinse the diapers in a cold rinse until there are no more suds. If you use Bac Out, some babies sensitive skin can be irritated by the ingredients it contains, so you will want to rinse several times to make sure they don't contain any residue. You will be able to tell if your diapers are rinsed thoroughly enough if you do not notice any sudsy bubbles when you open the washer in mid rinse. These diapers are not rinsed enough:

See the sudsy bubbles and notice the water isn't clear.

Still not rinsed enough:

Even though, there aren't suds, there's still residue in the water.

Finally! (It took about 7-8 rinses before I saw crystal clear water.) These diapers are rinsed enough and ready to go into the dryer after this cycle:

Dry as normal. I like to toss dryer balls in with my diapers just to fluff them up a bit and keep the static low.

I've also found this blog to be very helpful in finding stripping solutions. I'd love to hear any other tips on stripping cloth diapers!

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