Stripping, Bleaching, and Washing Cloth Diapers

Getting a Clean Start

In previous posts, I mention a homemade cloth diaper detergent recipe.  Well, after years of using that detergent, I realized it wasn’t doing the job and it was actually ruining the diapers we had.  I dealt with ammonia issues and inserts that had major wear on them – think holes.  So, 2nd time around and I want to make sure I’m doing this right.  I found Fluff Love University and they take a no-nonsense approach to cloth diapering and laundering.

They look at your washing machine, your water hardness, and choice of detergent.  Wow – mainstream detergent is actually preferred on their site.  They do not recommend detergents like Charlie’s (because it can actually cause harm to baby) and Allen’s (because it just doesn’t have enough cleaning power) and many other “cloth diaper safe detergents”.

After reviewing their site and consulting with their facebook group, I have a wash routine that I’m confident will clean diapers and keep them looking like new.

But… since I did wash in a homemade detergent in untreated hard water (for years), it’s recommended to strip and bleach.  I recommend you visit their site for instructions for you since your needs may be different from mine.

Here’s what I did.

  1. Stripping (only inserts and liners – didn’t strip pockets or shells)

    • I used their DIY option for stripping.  You can also use Grovia Mighty Bubbles or RLR as stripping options.
      • 3 Tablespoons Borax
      • 3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
      • 3 Tablespoons Calgon
      • 1/2 Cup Detergent
      • Dissolved in 1/2 tub of HOT water.
      • Soaked inserts and liners in tub for 5 hours.  I stirred or agitated occasionally.
  2. Normal Water Only Wash

  3. Bleach Soak

    • Pockets, Shells, Inserts, and Liners
    • 1/2 cup Disinfecting Bleach
    • 1/2 tub cold water
    • Cover with large white towel to make sure everything it submerged.
    • Soak for 30 minutes and no longer than 45 minutes.
    • After 30 minutes, I rinsed with hot water.
  4. A few washes with detergent and water softener.

    • I have hard water – about 250 on the scale and so I have to add either 1/2 cup or borax or a cap of Calgon for every diaper wash.
    • I’m using Persil Liquid detergent. Pre-wash 1/2 cap. Main Wash 1 cap.
    • No extra rinses required.
  5. Dry diapers

    1. Drying in the dryer is fine but I’m choosing to line dry when I can.
    2. Hang pockets “hot dog style” so it doesn’t put any stress on the elastics.
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