Do You Have a Dumb Cloth Diaper Question?

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When we chose to cloth diaper it automatically made us smarter-than-the-average-bear.  Why then are there times when I rip open a package of fluffy mail and I sit there looking very confused?

Is it just me? Am I the only one who occasionally spends way too much time trying to figure out how a diaper works?

Well, you don’t have to admit it.  I’ll take the stamp of ignorance (not that we’re ignorant really it’s just a moment where all common sense leaves) on my own and I’ll ask the questions you wanted to ask but weren’t sure who to ask and not sure if you should ask.

(oh and there are NO dumb questions lol)

1) Ever have a pocket insert that you can’t for the life of you make work? I think this is why I usually avoid pockets.  Inserts can be super annoying.  Not to mention that every pocket seems to need a different insert in order for it to work magically.  My big insert enigmas at the moment are Rump•a•rooz® 6•r Soaker and GAD inserts.  My problem with the 6r is bulk.  With the GAD it’s configuration.

I buy my GAD cloth diapers from GADbaby but I found a “how-to-use-this-insert-for-dummies” pictorial on Pittsburgh Cloth Diapers website. Looks completely simple.  Definitely earns me the Igmo Award ;)

As for the Rump•a•rooz® 6•r Soaker, it too is very simple had I taken the time to peruse Julie’s website.  I failed to ever unsnap the insert as seen in “setting 2″ causing it to fit weird in the diaper when on the largest setting.

2) Most cloth diapers with aplix or velcro have very obvious laundry tabs.  So you can imagine my confusion and irritation when I received my order of Sposoeasy cloth diapers.  This is what was going through my head, “what in the world!? How can you have a diaper with velcro and no laundry tabs.” *stomp away from the diaper*

I don’t know how I finally figured it out but Sposoeasy’s do in fact have laundry tabs.  They are hidden inside the inner fabric, out of sight and out of the way of your baby’s skin.  I honestly thought this was a big pain in the booty to do every time but that was ignorant.  It’s quite easy to tuck them in as you are changing your baby’s diaper.  It is a little icky when the diaper is soaked and you have to touch the wetness.  But, the tabs stay secure in the wash which is the point.

3) Here’s my biggest bother right now.  You’ve heard me say that Sterling has a long rise.  Where Paisley never used the largest snap setting on one-size cloth diapers, Sterling is on the largest settings at 4 months.  Will the one-size diaper fit him at 8 months? When a diaper claims to be one-size what does that really mean? Sterling may not grow in the rise much more. I have found that one-sized fitteds have more growing room.  Oh darn, guess I’ll have to switch to an all Goodmama stash in a few months :P

4) Perhaps related to rise is this bunching/puckering at the waist I’m getting on a few diapers. Specifically, the size small Sposoeasy and one-size Rumparooz cloth diapers.  The puckering causes more of a problem than just looking bad.  It allows for the velcro or aplix to fold in and scratch Sterling.  I had this purckering problem with Grobaby until I extended the rise to the largest setting.

Fortunately, I was able to size up in the Sposoeasys and remedy the Grobaby problem.  I’m still working on the Rumparooz simply because they are a fabulously designed cloth diaper.  I ordered a snap version and will be putting it on Sterling tomorrow.  I am really hoping to not have to abandon the Rumparooz for Sterling.

5) Can you really not use enzyme cleaners, like Bac-out, on Grobaby or other organic fiber diapers? Yes and no.  Yes, you can but your cloth diapers will have a much shorter lifespan.  No, because enzymes are meant to attack organic organisms (a bit redundant)– the tiny connective fibers between the organic fabric slowly breaks down.

I use Bac-out in every prewash, even Grobaby.  However, I have started to notice that the Grobaby inserts are looking a bit more bare.  Also, with my Sustainablebabyish bamboo fitteds there are little areas where holes are beginning to form.

This may be due to the Bac-out or it could be from the heavy use and the wash/dry routine I have.  If you don’t use Bac-out please let me know yours are looking after heavy use and washes.

After writing this I went and checked my bum genius organic AIOs to see if they’ve had any “damage”.  None of them, except the really used, older one did and it is just a small hole where the soaker attaches to the shell.  So I’m not sure if the enzymes attack certain fibers more aggressively than others or not.

Bottom line, it’s your call on whether you choose to use an enzyme cleaner in the wash.  Just know it can shorten your cloth diapers lifespans.

6) Can you wash your cloth diapers with Tide? Yes. I’d say from reading Diaperswappers for the past 3 years, Tide is the most commonly used detergent for cloth diapers.  That doesn’t mean it is the healthiest or greenest choice.  Your baby may have a sensitivity to the fragrances and ingredients of Tide, but as far as safety to the diapers I have not seen any discouraging information.

7) Do I tell the truth on all my reviews? :D  Of course!  No one pays me to write a good one.  If I recommend it then I whole-heartily stand behind it for one reason or another.  There is no perfect cloth diaper and there have been times when I have come back to update my review after using it for a few months.  There are times when a WAHM will send me their diaper and I choose not to write a review because I do not stand behind the product.  If I receive an email inquiring about my thoughts on a diaper (whether I’ve reviewed it on the blog or not) I am completely honest.

Remember though, what works for Sterling (my current guinea pig) may not work for your baby and vice versa.

I know there are a million more questions you’d love to have answers to.  Leave me a comment and I’ll try my best to help!


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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

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73 Responses to “Do You Have a Dumb Cloth Diaper Question?”

  1. Rachelle Says:

    I am fairly new to cloth diapering and am having trouble with stink. I think my problem is water not sure how to fix it. I have very hard water, very low water pressure and an HE machine with out agitator. I am using cotton pre folds and microfiber inserts with flip and econobum covers.my econobum don’t smell just the flip covers and the inserts/prefolds. I have tried many different methods I”ve read and can’t find a solution. I really want to make this work and my toddler loves them. I’m pregnant and the smell gets to me. It’s strong ammonia even before being peed on after the wash.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Reinhardt Says:

      Hi Rachelle! I’m happy to try and help. Can you tell me how many diapers you are washing, how often, which detergent you use and how much of it. Also what cycle are you using on the machine?

      Reply

  2. Malorie Says:

    My daughter is 8 months and is a HEAVY wetter at night I have BG 4.0s and grovia hybrid with snap in soakers

    She pees thru everything even disposables and if I try to change her in the middle of the night she won’t go back to sleep

    What could I do to prevent her waking up in a puddle of pee every morning?

    Reply

  3. Allison Says:

    I am in a similar situation as Beth above.
    My son is 11 months old and we have been using cloth diapers – mostly Fuzzibunz – and for the past month + he has been breaking out in the worst rash I have ever seen. The doctor says it is yeast and when I switch to the disposables it clears up completely. Within a day of switching back to my cloth it is back in its full glory.
    My regular wash regime has been to rinse after each use. Then do a rinse in the machine on cold. Then wash in hot. I use Allens Natural Biodegradable Liquid Laundry Detergent – which is what the store that sold me the diapers recommended. When I strip them I have done the following regime: rinse on cold, hot cycle with a dime size dish soap, hot cycle vinegar, hot cycle bleach, hot cycle {watch for suds and do another cycle if still sudsy}. He still got the rash. So I boiled them.
    I just put him back in them. His rash was completely gone. And within less than a day it was back. I change his bum every hour and half give or take. Unless he is asleep.
    Please tell me you have some advice. I am about to give up on the cloth all together because I am so frustrated. But when they were working I loved them!
    Im one sad momma.

    Reply

  4. Susan Says:

    I currently use Babyland, and I’m noticing that the PUL is spliting apart. I wash in cold water, use Purex for the soap, I wash them with other clothes and/or inserts and lay the covers out to dry. Is there something I’m doing wrong, to cause them to split?
    If you are using a pocket diaper, you need to wash after every use correct?
    I have bamboo inserts, that have a strong pee smell after, my son has used them, do I need to add something to the wash to make them stop doing this or is this just part of having bamboo inserts?

    Reply

  5. jennifer Says:

    What can I do for smell in the diapers and inserts?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Use a detergent like Purex Pure & Natural or soak in RLR or (if not already using) add Bac-out to your prewash…

      Can you give me more details on your situation?

      Reply

  6. kathy griffin Says:

    im just starting and i have 13 diapers with an 8 month old. im working on buying more, but i see all of these wool and fleece covers. they are cute as can be but im wondering if i need one right now. i have a couple of pocket diapers, some that are hybrid so i can make them thicker at night. i have mostly all in ones and i have 3 wahms one of which needs a cover but i got a thirties cover that i thought would go over that, is that right? so my question is how much do i really need a fleece or wool cover right now? thank you so much!

    Reply

  7. Leslie Says:

    Hi, I have a quick question. I am looking at cd my baby to be and I have heard wonderful things about Rumparooz. My question is, with a pocket diaper such as Rumparooz, do I need to change the entire diaper after only a #1 or just the insert? Thanks

    Reply

  8. c.u. Says:

    they are green mountain diapers unbleached organic.
    i tried the hot wash w/ nothing added and high heat dry w/ no luck.
    i’m hoping i didn’t ruin them already!!!!

    Reply

  9. c.u. Says:

    yes, prefolds.
    i should have specified that. :O/

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      what kind are they? if they are gerber i’m not sure how to revive them. cotton ones you might try hot wash (nothing added) then a high heat dry.

      Reply

  10. c.u. Says:

    hi!
    i have another dumb question! lol
    i am new to cloth diapering and after two uses couldn’t get the funky smell off my dipes. i used two capfuls of non-chlorine bleach twice in a hot wash, two separate times.
    i have noticed that my dipes seem thinner and less absorbent.
    did i ruin them already? is there anyway to get them quilty and absorbent again?

    and, no, they don’t stink anymore! now they just don’t hold nearly as much liquid as before…

    Reply

  11. Beth Says:

    I have a mix of BGOS and GMs. About 4 months ago, my daughter started getting a horrible rash – raised, weeping and bloody with in a couple of days. My wash routine was cold rinse, hot wash, and two cold rises. I used country save in the hot wash, and white vinegar in the last rinse. I would change her diaper ever 1 1/2 aside from nap times. Her Dr insisted that it was a yeast rash, and I agreed after I researched online. I stripped her diapers with dawn, washed until there was no soap left, I added grapefruit extract in the rinse too. I then put her back in the diapers and she’d be fine for a day or two, and then the rash would come back. So, for the last two months, she’s been in disposibles, the rash is 100% gone. I don’t want to keep using them though. I was just reading about using bleach on the BGs. Can I use it on the GMs too? I am hoping so… I want to wash them, add the bleach and then sun them dry… and start using them again soon. Will this help?

    Reply

  12. Staci Says:

    I put my wool soakers in a bucket of water and soap to soak, they were stinky because they weren’t dried completely before storing, so I was trying to soak the smell out. Well I have a newborn and forgot them in the bucket, now they smell like swamp! WHAT NOW?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Staci, how long did you leave them in the bucket? Is the wool interlock or knit/crochet? You may try a sink of lukewarm water with Oxyclean.

      Reply

  13. Janese Says:

    Please advise! This is my first day trying GroBaby on my almost 4 week old. He is about 11lb 8oz, (he was a big baby at birth). This is my first experience w/ cloth. I have washed the inserts about 9 times with Lil Outlaw detergent. They nice and a lot fluffier. However, every time I nurse him (his belly to mine, putting him sideways) the dipe leaks all over me, the shell is wet at the leg (and it is not loose there, the shell actually leaves red marks on his legs it is so snug) The ONE time it did not leak was when he was held upright or flat on his back. However, this is not practical, obviously. I have already needed 3 shells today and the day is not over yet. I know this sounds drastic, but I am already feeling defeated since everyone has raved about this brand. Could my big boy just be one who this brand does not work for? I tried making sure the inserts are not bunched up away from the edges of the shell , the rise setting is not too low, he is already at the second setting. Do you think I need to refer to your guide in terms of selling these back? I am so frustrated! Arg! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Congratulations, Janese, on your new baby! What a blessing. Here is my opinion…sell the Gro Baby diapers and go with like xs thirsties covers and a fitted or maybe fuzzi bunz. Keep the Gro Baby and try them in a few weeks but still you’ll need to buy a replacement. Gro Baby diapers didn’t end up working for my long rise skinny boy. I had the same exact problems you did. I was able to use them when he got a little bigger (3 months) but then the rise and tabs became too big an issue. Don’t get frustrated! If worse comes to worse you could always go to Target, get some organic cotton prefolds, make a soaker of an old sweater and you’re good to go! Contact me with any questions, any time :D

      Reply

  14. Christel Says:

    any advise for someone who has no other option but the laundrymatt on the corner, i hate disposibles and have no washer/dryer anymore. i dont wanna give up on the cloth!!!!!!!!!!! =o(

    Reply

  15. amyjohnson Says:

    Poop question: I have been CD for about 4 months now. My son is 16 months and I am using Bum Genius 3.0. We eat a lot of fiber :o) and my kids poop often and it is very soft and mushy. My little one can poop 2-3 time/day easily. I shake the diaper over the toilet and nothing comes off (it is like refried beans stuck to a diaper). So….this is gross but I take toilet paper and wipe/pull off as much as I can. Then lately I have been washing them twice rather than just a rinse and wash because there is so much left on them! A few times I have swished them in the toilet to get more poop off but then I have a soggy diaper. Any suggestions besides cutting back on the fruit/veggies and whole grains? :o)

    Reply

  16. Jeremy Says:

    Our newborn boy (3 weeks today!) uses a prefold, unbleached cotton cloth diaper with Swaddlebee covers. The covers have worked great thus far…however, we are currently using two diapers with every change to keep him from soaking through the cover. My dumb question is “is this normal?” It seems to be overkill, and quite bulky, but also seems to be the only way to keep him from leaking and change his clothes with every diaper change. Any thoughts?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      prefolds are great for their simplicity but often times aren't absorbent enough for many children. you may try adding a doubler made of bamboo, hemp, or zorb. all of those will allow you to have a trimmer, more absorbent diaper. i recently wrote about the sustainablebabyish snapless multi cloth diaper. it is a one size diaper that you would either snappi or pin. they are very absorbent and very well priced for an absorbent one size fitted.

      Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      prefolds are great for their simplicity but often times aren't absorbent enough for many children. you may try adding a doubler made of bamboo, hemp, or zorb. all of those will allow you to have a trimmer, more absorbent diaper. i recently wrote about the sustainablebabyish snapless multi cloth diaper. it is a one size diaper that you would either snappi or pin. they are very absorbent and very well priced for an absorbent one size fitted.

      Reply

  17. ncmeg1118 Says:

    I asked this a while ago, but we are about to start washing our BG's and Rumparooz… any advice on this question would help..
    My hubby had a question as well…one of his biggest fears is not being able to use fabric softener on his clothes. Can we use “regular” detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets on our clothes (washed separately from diapers, but in the same washer and dryer)?

    Reply

  18. lori4476 Says:

    Autumn – help! Just recently my DD has started leaking with our OS BG and we also have a stink problem. We have had no problems at all until now and we've been using CD's for 8 months. We use Country Save and Bac-Out in every wash (every 2 days). After changing the diaper and pulling the insert out, they don't seem to be as saturated as they used to be. Do you think we might have detergent buildup? Or have the inserts just plain worn out and we need to replace them?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I would strip them, sounds like a buildup problem. Using bleach will negate the BG warranty so keep that in mind if you are still under warranty.

      Reply

      • lori4476 Says:

        Autumn – thanks. While I was waiting for your response I looked up any suggestions on the BG website and it said to use bleach for detergent buildup?? This is what it said:
        Wash once in hot water with one teaspoon (for high efficiency machines) to one tablespoon (for regular washing machines) with original liquid Dawn (blue formula) and up to 1/2 cup bleach in the wash cycle. Do two additional hot water washes with no detergent to completely rinse the diapers clean. If you still see suds, keep rinsing until the diapers are rinsed clean.

        I'm definitely willing to try the bleach, but is there any sort of 'trick' to using bleach or way to avoid doing any damage? What is the risk to using bleach? Should I just bleach the inserts or do both the inserts and covers?

        Reply

        • Autumn Beck Says:

          I add about a 1/4 cup bleach to the load of all items.

          Reply

          • lori4476 Says:

            Sorry, another 'dumb' question! I can see using bleach on the inserts, but won't the bleach ruin the color on the pocket/cover part of the diapers.

            Also, why would using bleach void the warranty on my BG dipes when it says on their website to use bleach?

            Reply

            • Autumn Beck Says:

              I have been told that bum genius and many other diaper brands have warranties that are voided if you choose to use anything beyond what they recommend in cleaning their diapers. I would ask if it is important to you to have a warranty. No bleach doesn't affect the color of your covers as long as you are not pouring bleach directly on them. My system is always: turn on washer, add diapers, once agitation begins I pour in bleach.

              Reply

  19. christelpistol Says:

    baby oxi clean is like a god-send on baby cloths, takes out everything!!!!!! but, can you use it on your cloth diapers?

    Reply

  20. mariahm Says:

    I love this website!!!
    It is helping me in my research. I just recently had a baby girl and started my own site about diapers.

    Reply

  21. CMommy Says:

    Autumn,

    On #3: I'm VERY concerned Zig isn't going to fit in his OS dipes soon! We started using the Goodmama's when he was about 3 weeks old (rise folded down) and now he's wearing them full size (he's 28″ long)! Sterling sounds similar body type, long and lean. I use BG's organics and we're on the tallest setting as well. He does not have very chubby thighs but is tall.

    On #5: I was soooo glad you recommended Bac-Out. I rushed to the store and bought some before I even had the baby. I've used it once. Ever. Seriously. I follow all your tips for keeping stink at bay (though there's very little with a 3.5 month old complete bf baby). So, for washing my stash every 2-4 days, 27 dipes (some prefold, some GM, some BG) I have almost no wear showing except for a bit of fading due to line dry. No holes, no weakened areas, and I've followed most of your advice from this website. I use Planet detergent or soapnuts, have an HE washer, and soft water. I do throw in some OxyClean sometimes. Use Pail Pardner in my dirty pail and life is good. I feel like I'm in the calm before the storm though because I'm afraid of how bad it may get when he starts solids. LOL!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Don't worry! “It” doesn't have to get bad. There is a perfect routine for each person and you may have found it. Down the road you may have to make small adjustments but it sounds like a great routine!

      Reply

  22. steven01 Says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Deborah

    http://maternitymotherhood.net

    Reply

  23. ncmeg1118 Says:

    My hubby had a question as well…one of his biggest fears is not being able to use fabric softener on his clothes. Can we use “regular” detergent, fabric softener or dryer sheets on our clothes (washed separately from diapers)?

    Reply

  24. happy2bhome Says:

    My question is about night time leaking. My DD sleeps really well (I am sure I am jinxing myself) but she often wakes up wet. We are either using 2 MF inserts or more recently I bought hemp inserts and am using one hemp insert (closest to the pul) then the mf insert on top of that. She still is wet sometimes. What in your opinion is the best night-time solution?

    Reply

  25. ncmeg1118 Says:

    Have you tried Haute Pockets? Any good?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I have not tried Haute Pockets. There are lovers out there but many of the reviews I've seen have been more negative than positive. They have a newer version, however, that may dismiss all the old issues.

      Reply

  26. lori4476 Says:

    Have you heard of the new 'Smartipants One-Size Diaper' and have you used them? Just wondering what you think of them…. I'm curious about them because they are cheaper than BG and FB but it's not worth saving a couple bucks if they don't work as well!

    Reply

  27. sassymamma7 Says:

    I want to know what is the trimmest CD out there! I am so sick of my son not being able to fit his jeans with a big bulky CD on!

    Reply

  28. Jeffsam9 Says:

    The best way to clean cloth diapers is to pre-rinse them off in the toilet using a Hand Bathroom Bidet Sprayer. So convenient and if you are trying to help the environment (and your pocket book) you can give it a double whammy by virtually eliminating toilet paper use by using it on yourself also. That is what they were originally created for. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: “if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” Available at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com they come in an inexpensive kit and can be installed without a plumber. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain. One review: http://jonathanandandrea.blogspot.com/2009/04/s

    Reply

  29. aemj Says:

    I have a stink issue. That knock-you-out ammonia smell just gets stronger and stronger. Didn't have any issues until the last month or so. Not changing anything. Use countrysave detergent in my toploader, cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse. I tried a vinegar rinse, didn't seem to help. Could it be hard water? I remember reading somewhere sometime ago about using a water softner to get rid of mineral deposits? Any ideas?
    Thanks!

    Reply

  30. erinlwagner Says:

    My little one wears organic bumgeniuos all in ones (most of the time…I still use 7th generation sometimes…I know…awful chemicals….but its hard)

    He is 9 months and they are already opened up to the largest setting….my question is do you think he will be able to wear them for awhile? I have only had them for 3 months so I am a little concerned as they were quite an investment.

    Reply

  31. mamamya Says:

    I have been using grobaby and Bumgenius 3.0s and my daughter keeps getting a red dry place along her thighs where the elastic sits on her inner leg. Any ideas about fit and ways to keep her skin from getting all dry and scaly? shes 15 weeks and has nice chunky thighs…Also sometimes she gets a rash on her front i noticed it mostly with the BG’s do they need an extra rinse to get detrg. out? I use nellies and i thought it came out pretty good with just a reg wash but now i don’t know…Thanks for all your experience and help!

    Reply

  32. lauravenning Says:

    My 10 month old has been on the largest rise setting on all of our one-size diapers since about 5 months and they still fit just fine. I don't know if she'll grow much more in rise because her torso is super long (at 10 mo. she wears an 18 month onesie….), so hopefully she'll even out some and the dipes will continue to fit her thru potty training.

    Reply

  33. Wendy Says:

    “Perhaps related to rise is this bunching/puckering at the waist I’m getting on a few diapers.”

    Have you checked out AMP diapers? http://www.ampdiapers.com/static.php?page=products
    They have little elastic gathers at the back and front of the waist and have a fantastic fit! I bought my first AMP (duo pocket in brown with blue fleece) on the weekend and love, love, love it! Right from the very first wear (I stuffed it with a folded up hemp flat – making great use of a stash of flat diapers that I never use) it didn't leak through naptime and the fleece actually felt dry to touch even though the insert was soaked.

    Just so you know: I don't know personally nor am I affiliated in any way with the people who make/sell these diapers. I'm just a regular cloth diapering mom that appreciates a product that meets most of her needs (now if only they'd invent a self-cleaning cloth diaper!!)

    Reply

  34. anastasiadenton Says:

    lizstlawrence You mentioned you are using a DIFFERENT machine? Can’t wait to get back to your own, etc. My guess is you are NOT borrowing a neighbor’s machine or heading to a laundrymat close by. If which case you probably DO have an issue with having a different water type. The answer is simple, the solution may not be. The rash and or the smell is either a water quality problem OR can be caused by residue(my 1st guess for a top loader) left on the diapers (or bacteria or, or, or) or any combination of things (Like my mom’s fabric softener habit in her machine, evil stuff, lol) Depending on how long you are there depends on weather you wanna experiment or not. Use towels to strip the machine (or play clothes etc) and make sure that machine is good to go BEFORE you wash your dipes. (why do hosts like it the other way around?) a GREAT emergency treatment is a combo of baking soda, washing soda & borox! I use simple green as a surfactant (for poop) if needed but usually not! and I add tea tree oil to the wash to kill “stuff” (gnc carries it, usually easy to find) and vinegar to soften. Line dry, at least partway. (if legal) A table spoon of detergant goes a LONG way, even in a top loader. Hope autumn has more hints for you & good luck! remember a top loader is not as effective at washing then a frontie , don’t know about you but my front loaders drain waste water that’s nearly BLACK every time, the top loaders NEVER look “truly dirty” for anything but poo. sorry about the length!

    Reply

  35. Julie Holland-Cloth Diaper Mom Says:

    Tide works for a lot of cloth diaper families, but there are just as many who have major problems with Tide. I finally figured out that the real difference between why a particular detergent works for family A but not family B is that the water is different! We have super hard well water and Tide cause nasty buildup on our diapers within days. We switched to Allen’s Naturally and have no problems as long as I stick to Allen’s. Tide also comes in many formulations and most contain optical brighteners, enzymes, fragrances and other things that can buildup on diapers. Buildup happens a lot faster with hard water. Also, some babies are very sensitive to things like enzymes and others are not.

    So, the moral seems to be, if one detergent works for a lot of families, but not for yours, the culprit is likely your water. Try switching detergent and see if that helps!

    Reply

  36. christel!! Says:

    can you use dreft detergent? it seems logical to me that seems how its the most popular mainstreem baby specific detergent out there that you could use them for you cloths. but im new to the world and seems how im not due with #1 till october, i have yet to even dive in there and figure things out! cant wait though, i love the challenge, love even more that everyone i know is like “youll give up in a week!!”
    cant wait!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      i have heard that dreft has a lot of fragrance. haven't used it myself though. here is some information I found:

      Dear Dreft,

      Many cloth diaperers believe that you shouldn't use dreft to wash cloth diapers. They think the dreft is a soap product and will have a waxy buildup which ruins the absorbancy of diapers. I want to know if this is in fact true. Is your product a soap or detergent.

      Either way is it effective to use on cloth diapers?

      Thank you,
      Jennifer

      Hi Jennifer,

      Dreft is a detergent. I want to assure you that this product is safe to use on diapers and baby clothes. I'm attaching a bulletin below my message. I hope you find it helpful. Thanks for visiting our site. Stop back again soon.

      Barb USA Dreft Team
      http://www.babycenter.com

      HOW TO LAUNDER FOR BABY

      Most baby items sold today are made of durable, easy-care fabrics and can be machine washed. Some items, such as flame retardant children's sleepwear, have special washing recommendations from the manufacturer. To preserve the special finishes on these items, always check each garment's care instructions. Which Product Should I Use?

      We have extensively evaluated all Procter & Gamble laundry detergents and they may be safely used for baby's laundry. However, we developed Dreft specifically for use in baby's laundry. It has been specially formulated to address the unique laundry needs of babies, and the ingredients have been extensively evaluated for mildness to skin.

      Dreft is a concentrated detergent that provides outstanding cleaning you can trust for fabrics that touch baby's skin. It helps remove tough baby stains. Dreft is the brand of laundry detergent most recommended by those pediatricians with a preference. Dreft's cleaning agents are designed to rinse out thoroughly, leaving clothes virtually free of residue and comfortable against baby's skin.

      Powder Dreft is a white powder with a fresh baby powder scent. It is available in a 37 ounce size.

      Liquid Dreft is a clear, undyed, natural colored product with a fresh baby powder scent. It's very convenient for treating baby's laundry stains and is available in a 50 ounce size

      How Long Should I Use Dreft For My Baby's Laundry? We suggest you continue using Dreft during your baby's first year as baby's skin can remain sensitive during this time. Many parents choose to use Dreft until baby is out of diapers. Dreft is recommended by Carter's, America's leading manufacturer of baby and children's clothing.

      Is Dreft Biodegradable?

      All Procter & Gamble laundry cleaning agents are biodegradable and are safe for septic tanks.

      Laundry Detergents And Flame Retardant Clothing

      To our knowledge most flame retardant children's sleepwear is made of 100% polyester. Any Procter & Gamble laundry detergent can be safely used to wash these garments. However, no fabric conditioners, such as Bounce(r) or Downy(r), should be used on polyester sleepwear as the fabric conditioning ingredients can mask the flame retardancy.

      Some cotton garments may look like sleepwear but they are unlikely to be flame retardant. Be sure to check the care tag on any clothing you intend to use as children's sleepwear to be certain it is flame retardant. Always follow the laundering instructions on the manufacturer's care tag.

      From a safety standpoint, what's most important is that children be kept away from matches and other sources of flames.

      Additional Stain Removal Tips For Baby Laundry**

      Breast Milk – Pretreat or soak for 30 minutes with an enzyme-containing laundry product, such as Dreft, or Biz(r) non-chlorine bleach, and launder as usual. Because of the fat content in breast milk, pretreating with a liquid laundry detergent or a spray-type pretreating product may be necessary.

      Diapers – Diapers will always require some special care:

      * Rinse diapers with cold water immediately after use.

      * Measure (scoop or cap) Dreft and 1/4 cup Biz per gallon of hot water, then presoak for 30 minutes before laundering.

      * Drain the soak solution, wring out excess water or place in spin cycle of machine.

      * Fill washer with hot water and 1-1/2 measures of Dreft. Launder as usual.

      Medication From the Umbilical Cord Stump – This is usually a medication called Gentian Violet and is very difficult (often impossible) to remove. A color remover may help. Color removers can generally be purchased where fabric dyes are sold. Follow the instructions on the container.

      Mildew Stains – This stain can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to remove. Soak overnight in a solution of non-chlorine bleach, such as Biz, and warm water. Drain this solution and soak an additional 24 hours in a fresh solution. Drain again and launder in Tide(r) with Bleach. If safe for the fabric, you may use chlorine bleach in the soaking solution according to label instructions.

      ** As with any household product, please keep soaking solutions out of the reach of children.

      Reply

  37. lizstlawrence Says:

    OK Autumn, I have a few questions. First, thanks for the link to the GAD insert. I totally couldn't figure out the one-size insert I have and would just scrunch it in my medium GAD!
    So, I am away from home and cloth diapering and using a top loader. Diapers seem clean but today I was almost knocked out by the smell from the inserts (I did an overnite soak, cold wash, hot wash and two rinses). I washed them again in hot and another rinse and they still have a slight smell. I haven't had a problem in the 7 months of cloth diapering and my HE machine. Also, today DD has developed a nasty rash from the diapers…are these two problems linked? What should I do? I am tempted to just use sposies for the next two weeks and wait until I am home and have my fool proof wash routine- I dont want to ruin my diapers or DD little bum!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      are you using a different detergent? is the water there really soft/hard? that is crazy that something would come on that fast. can you describe the rash?

      Reply

    • lizstlawrence Says:

      I still use the same detergent (Country Save) and everyone is using it for all of the laundry. How do I know if the water is soft or hard? I have been washing the diapers for two weeks with no problems. DD has been getting minor rashes but I thought it was because she is starting solids. But we were in Chicago for a week (and just used sposies) and her rash cleared right up. Come back and within a couple of days she has a bright red rash on her bum (kinda like a yeast rash but only on one side) I am baffled! I love using cloth diapers but the rashes DD gets makes me want to quit! HELP!

      Reply

      • aemj Says:

        I use countrysave detergent and had a problem with diaper rash (bright, flame red, a little raised) on and off for a long time. I finally figured out it was the detergent not rinsing out fully. If the “extra rinse” cycle was off, she got the rash. If it was on, no rash. I ran a few cycles without detergent to get rid of it all.
        Don't know if this helps or not. Good luck!

        Reply

  38. janese Says:

    I think I will have a million dumb questions for you once my baby arrives (Late August) . After much research (and reading your guide, naturally!) I purchased Gro Baby because to me, it seems to be a good place to start where I would not get too frustrated or overwhelmed and quit. When I received them via mail, I was excited but still LOST as far as washing went! After reading teh wash instructions, I was still SO afraid I would ruin them somehow on the first wash! I had purchased detergent from Lil Outlaws just to be on the safe side. Everything went fine of course, and that detergent is fabulous so far! And I was wondering about #5, since I still have yet to come to the problem of getting out the stink. A cloth-using friend told me to just stick with Grobaby's instructions. As I said, I think my heap of “dumb” questions will come shortly. (Although I think your guide answers many questions I should have anyway) I have always valued your honesty, to me, it is very apparent that you give your opinions no matter what!

    Reply

  39. Clare Says:

    What about oxyclean? I’ve been soaking my diapers (all pockets) with a scoop or 2 of oxyclean. Is that ok?
    TIA!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Oxyclean (hydrogen peroxide in liquid form) is safe to use…of course there is always someone who use Oxyclean and their diapers completely disintegrated :)

      Reply

  40. Jessica Daugherty Says:

    Can you add borax to the prewash when using bamboo? I’m going with my mom’s diaper washing routine after trying everything else out there for more than 2 years. Adding 2 tbsp of borax to a warm prewash is terrific for disinfecting and deodorizing-tons better than BacOut. But i’m wondering about using it on bamboo prefolds and fitteds.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Jessica, I did alot of searching and couldn't find anything that said not to use Borax with bamboo. I even included a search for cleaning bamboo w/ hydrogen peroxide since that is what Borax becomes when mixed with water.

      I think I may pick me up some Borax ;)

      Reply

  41. mammak Says:

    Will Vinegar in the rinse shorten the lifespan of my diapers, and the PUL lining on covers? And on the same line do I need to use Vinegar rinse if I use baking soda in the wash? I read I did due to balancing PH hmm. Vinegar seems to be the only thing I can use to get the stink out.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Yes, vinegar will shorten the lifespan. By how much I don't know. In my opinion, (which is what you're wanting right ;) ) using vinegar occasionally is worth it to remove ammonia salts that build up. When I have read to use baking soda is for those who use vinegar in every rinse cycle.

      Reply

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