1 year of Cloth Diapering - How I wash them




There are majorly 2 ways of storing used cloth diapers (cloth pads as well!) before washing them - dry pail (knock of poop if any and store as it is) and wet pail (soak in water). In either cases its recommended to wash atleast every alternate days., if possible everyday. You can find several posts & videos on how to do these.
However that doesn't quite work for me! I live in an apartment with shared washing machine. If I use it everyday (we also have to wash our other clothes once or twice a week), I don't think the other residents will be happy about it. Its a common situation here. Some apartments here also have a pay per use (coin slot) system. So washing everyday or every alternate days isn't really suitable for me! So, here's what I do.

1. Rinse off the bum! Even if its just pee, I rinse off the bum. But then, many a times 'off-the-bum' isn't practical/possible. I just rinse as soon as possible. Sometimes after a couple of hours and at max after overnight (yeah, as soon as I put on the night diaper, its time to prep for sleeping. I may not get to rinse the diaper that I removed. I lies beside the washbasin till next morning!).
In the case of cloth pads, I soak it overnight. I did try to rinse immediately and it turned out to be a bloody mess and loads of water wastage! So, yeah, I soak it overnight and by morning most of the blood is already settled down. A few squeezes under running water till water is clear and that's it.
2. Sun/Air dry after rinsing. Here in Europe, sun in luxury! If I could see the sun, I put it out. If not, I just hang it in the bathroom in the bucket/tub side, till its atleast almost-dry.
3. Store in a simple, open bucket. In the case of wet or dry pails, they have to be closed to prevent stink or accidents. Here, since I rinse it there is no stink and since its dry, no accidents as well. Its just a simple, open bucket.
4. Wash! I wash the diapers twice a week. I try to space is as 3.5 days, but then, with a baby in hand and with a shared washing machine, scheduling that precise is pretty much impossible. I just try! Its approximately spaced at 3.5 days between 2 washes. Since I rinse, I usually skip the prewash cycle. I do include it, once in a while (like once a month or so). 
The regular wash is at 40 deg C for atleast 1 hr, at maximum available spin. In my machine its called the 'Mixed-Load 40' cycle and the max-spin is about 900 I guess. The 'Cotton 40' cycle has the maximum spin of 1200, but it runs for about 2.5hrs which I don't want my diapers to go through every wash, though I do it once in 2-3 months. I use a regular detergent with no additives in maximum recommended quantity for heavy soiled clothes full load plus water softener. (In Belgium I use Boni Color Liquid Detergent and Calgon and in India I use Surf Excel powder).
5. Hang dry near the window (or at a safe distance from radiator coz PUL can get severely damaged by that)! In winters it dries in 48 hrs. In rare cases, in winter, I put the all natural fiber inserts alone sometimes on the radiator. Though machine dry in low heat setting is possible, the shared drier in my apartment doesn't allow to choose temperature. So, hang dry it is!
6. Fold & store! That's a drawer of a cupboard, meant for cloth diapers. From left to right are - Flats & wipes, Night diapers (incl fitteds), Diaper covers, AIOs, Inserts & liners.

This works for me.... Do you use cloth diapers? What is your wash routine???




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