Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chic Cheeks--My Imperfect Wash Routine

I'm participating in a new blog meme, called "Chic Cheeks". Each week a different topic will be discussed and other cloth diapering mamas will be asked to share their views on that issue.

So, this week's topic is, "Now I want to hear what your favorite detergent is! What is your washing routine? What has (and hasn't) worked for you?!"

So, I don't cloth diaper full time just yet, but I have been using cloth diapers for weekends at a time, since Carolynn was 4 months old. (She's now 2 years old.) So I've gone through the easy, only eats formula, stage, to the messy baby food stage, to the now disgusting toddler pee stink stage.

Up until recently, I was pretty happy with my overall wash routine, because it wasn't any different than my regular routine!

We have a Frigidair Affinity HE front loader set. We bought it when we bought this house 2 years ago.

So, we have to use HE detergents or else cut down on regular detergents. I have SEVERE skin allergies and am allergic to all forms of fragrances including my husband's cologne! I can not use any detergent with smelly stuff in it. Tide is the worst. I can't even use Tide Free & Clear!

So, whenever I found out that ONE company besides Tide was making and selling an HE and Free and Clear detergent I was so happy. The only problem? Said detergent cost $7.50 a bottle and was only sold in Pennsylvania! My mom bought us a bottle and sent it down the next time we saw them. It worked! Our clothes were clean & my skin didn't react to it!

So, then I was on a hunt to find "Seventh Generation HE Laundry Detergent: Free and Clear" and finally I did at Farm Fresh. For a LONG time they were the only ones carrying it!

So, our wash routine goes like this:

Load in clothes/diapers

Put in 1 scoop of "Oxyclean Free and Clear" (in tank)

Fill 7th Gen. detergent cap to "0" line & pour in dispenser

Run "Quick" cycle (39 minutes)

Run "Spin Only" cycle-with the "Extra Rinse" feature turned on (18 mins)

Check for suds against the window

If no suds--switch to dryer

If suds--run "Spin Only" w/ "Extra Rinse" again. Repeat last step until no suds.

PUL covers & pockets don't go in the dryer, neither do most of my tops, we have a drying rack set up in the laundry room.

I have occasionally "stripped" my diapers with a TINY squirt of dawn. (and then LOTS of rinse cycles)

I have used a dry pail & a wet pail. I don't notice a difference with either one so far, other than the wet pail makes loading the diapers a lot more disgusting. (I wear the big ugly yellow gloves when I do it!)

Recently, after washing & drying a load of Carolynn's diapers & being left with AWFUL ammonia stench, I soaked my entire stash in hot vinegar water. Unfortunately, although it HELPED, it didn't remove the stench. My toddler sized diapers (and my microfiber) still smell yucky!

So, all this to say, I think with Luke, I'm going to use a wet pail, rinse in the bath tub, normal wash (hot), spin only+rinse, spin only+ rinse again, dry. I'm also going to look into laundry additives such as Bac Out and the other things Diaperswappers mamas recommend.

So, I don't have it all figured out just yet!


Chic Mama said...

Toddler pee definitely does a number on dipes- we had the ammonia stink too! I found that boiling them was nearly the only thing to rid my dipes completely of it, but you have to do it about every month! I have been having pretty good luck withthe vinegar water, but it has to be REALLY strong and I have to soak them over night. Good luck!

Oh, and watch out for the free and clear stuff- it can leave a residue in your dipes and cause them to repell.

Anonymous said...

We've had fantastic luck with Bac Out. It's also great for getting cat pee out of things. (Which is quite a feat if you ask me!)