In Part 1 I showed you how to choose what type of cloth diapers to buy and my favorite way to store dirty cloth diapers- in a wetbag.
As a safe recommendation for most parents I suggested pocket cloth diapers. This is a good starting point for most new to cloth diapers. You can use a pocket cloth diaper for day or night and your baby will have a stay-dry feeling against his/her skin.
I also suggested the use of a wet bag(s) for storing dirty cloth diapers. I chose this route because of portability and securing of odors and moisture. You will need at least 1 XL wetbag and 1 Medium wetbag for out of the house. This will only secure a couple of days worth of cloth diapers so add more depending on when you will do laundry.
Speaking of laundry…
If ever there was a point on this blog that you understood how much I am just like you it’s in regards to laundry.
I’ve had ammonia, I’ve had stink, I’ve had rashes (well, not me, but my child), I’ve had frustration.
Several weeks ago I wrote an article called An Open Letter to Natural Detergent Makers. I genuinely feel that natural detergents just don’t, or can’t, work in the long run (with most water types). I want them to. So much so that immediately after that post I exclusively changed all my laundry detergent to Charlie Banana.
I truly wanted to be proven wrong and have a new natural detergent to use on a regular basis.
The one thing I knew I was going to have to do was use a lot more than one tiny scoop per load. For large loads I used 3 scoops. It took about a month to use a whole container (remember I was using it for all my laundry and I have 5 children). After a month I had to stop using it for our laundry because shirts had body odors, towels smelled dirty and food particles could be found on Camden and Sterling’s clothes.
I continued on with the 2nd container with just cloth diapers. The cloth diapers weren’t smelling clean but I wasn’t having major issues so I toughed it out.
2 weeks later I had to throw in the towel..not literally hehehe
Clothes and cloth diapers should not smell dirty at all after you wash them. Period.
Does this mean that natural detergents don’t work for anyone? Absolutely not. I know many of you have great success with detergents like Ruby Moon, Rockin Green, Eco Nuts, Thirsties Super wash, EcoSprout and many more.
What it does mean is that natural detergent has not worked for me over the last 3 1/2 years when I have lived in areas of very hard water.
And I know there are many of you who are struggling with issues and the common denominator is always detergent.
I now suggest to cloth diaper parents to use a mainstream detergent like Tide or Purex. Personally, I have used Purex since the spring (aside from my experimental period) and have had clean diapers.
Will Tide and Purex cause problems after months of use? Perhaps. Not always though. If you do find yourself with symptoms of buildup: repelling or ammonia, then add a packet of RLR to the wash and soak for a couple of hours.
One step in my laundry routine that hasn’t changed in several years is the use of Bac Out in the prewash. I’ve used it on every time of cloth diaper style and fabric without problems…I will say that after 1 1/2-2 years of using the same Bum Genius Elementals I did have holes in the organic cotton. This could have been contributed to by the Bac Out. I don’t know but it’s worth noting.
In conclusion, for laundering your dirty cloth diapers I recommend Bac Out in the prewash (3 squirts = 1/3 cup), Tide or Purex in wash, extra rinse. I’ve almost always dried my cloth diapers in the dryer on high but, depending on brands and styles, line drying may keep them in better condition.
One more thing. Can you use fabric softener? Only is you are using prefolds and/or fitteds. No fabric softener with PUL or stay-dry fabrics. And choose a natural brand like Mrs. Meyers or similar.
Many of you switched to cloth diapers because of rashes.
But, if you are used to grabbing for ButtPaste or A&D Ointment you are going to need to toss those and add a new product to your repertoire.
Thankfully, there are many many excellent diaper rash creams that are safe for cloth diapers. Tons.
I have blogged about many of them over the years. The main ingredient to avoid is (besides the obvious like ingredients that you can hardly pronounce) cod liver oil or castor oil.
A far from exhaustive list of cloth diaper safe rash creams includes: Balm Baby, Growing Up Herbal, Scarlet’s Naturals Hiney Honey Creme, Delish, Grandma El’s, CJ’s BUTTer, Thirsties Booty Love, Bee All Natural, MotherLove Diaper Rash and Thrush ointment and don’t forget about good ole’ Coconut Oil. Click the link above for more brands and direct links to these great products.
In our house, CJ’s BUTTer Spritz in pixie pie scent is used often. It is easy to use, smells great and protects well. Other favorites are Growing Up Herbal (giveaway coming soon!), Balm Baby and Scarlet’s Naturals.
Rashes will happen. Whether it’s a change in diet, sickness or allergy rashes are something you can tackle. Be prepared with something safe for baby and cloth diapers.
This series includes the most basic 4 items you need for cloth diapering. I could have easily added more but the point is to get you started successfully and then we can go from there.
I am always here to help you in your journey! Happy diapering!