When you decided to use cloth diapers for your new baby, you made a serious time and financial investment. You want the very best for your baby and you also want to do your part to help the environment, but cloth diapers are not cheap and you want to make sure to keep them as clean, fresh, and durable for as long as you possibly can. There's a lot to learn about cloth diapers, and you could be accidentally ruining their quality and life span without knowing it! Let's go over some of the common mistakes that could be ruining your cloth diapers:
1. You're Not Pre-Rinsing Your Diapers.
Pre-rinsing cloth diapers is an important step in prolonging their lifespan. Urine and feces can break down the fibers in the fabric, causing them to weaken and eventually develop holes. By pre-rinsing soiled diapers, you remove these waste products before they have a chance to do any damage. This simple step can help your diapers last for years, saving you money in the long run. Pre-rinsing also helps to prevent stains and odors from setting in, keeping your diapers looking and smelling fresh.
Many moms purchase an inexpensive and easy-to-install bidet sprayer that attaches to their existing toilet. This way, the dirty diapers can be sprayed immediately and the waste goes right into the toilet bowl.
2. You're Using the Wrong Laundry Detergent.
Not all detergents are created equal! When it comes to cloth diapers, you need to use a detergent that is specifically designed for them. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing irritation or reducing absorption. Regular laundry detergent can be harsh and cause irritation, and it may not remove all the stains and odors from cloth diapers. That's why it's best to use a detergent that's specifically designed for cloth diapers. These detergents are usually gentle and effective, and they can help keep your diapers looking and smelling fresh.
When choosing a detergent, look for one that's free of fragrances, dyes, and other harsh chemicals. You might also want to choose a hypoallergenic or fragrance-free option if you have sensitive skin. And always follow the manufacturer's instructions when washing cloth diapers to avoid any damage. With the right detergent, you can keep your cloth diapers clean and fresh - and your baby comfortable.
3. You're Not Washing Your Diapers Often Enough.
You also need to wash your cloth diapers frequently – at least every other day, or more often if needed. If you wait too long between washes, the stains and odors will set in and become much harder to remove. Plus, the build-up of urine and feces can damage the fabric and cause leaks. So it's important to keep up with a regular washing schedule to keep your cloth diapers clean, fresh, and in good condition.
4. You're Overloading Your Washing Machine.
When you're washing cloth diapers, it's important not to overload your washing machine. If you pack too many diapers into the machine, they won't get clean and the extra weight could damage the machine. It's best to wash no more than 10-12 diapers at a time, depending on the size of your machine. This will ensure that your diapers get a thorough cleaning without overburdening your washing machine.
5. You're Not Drying Your Diapers Properly.
After you wash your cloth diapers, it's important to dry them properly. If you leave them hanging out in the washing machine after a cycle, they could develop mold or mildew. Instead, you should put them in the dryer on low heat or medium at the very most, but NOT on high. You might find that adding wool dryer balls helps with prolonged drying time.
Many say that hanging your cloth diapers out in the sun is the best way. If you have this option, the bleaching agents of the sun rays helps to kill any remaining bacteria and keeps the whites of the diapers nice and bright.
6. You're Using the Wrong Diaper Cream.
If you use diaper cream, be sure to choose one that's safe for cloth diapers. Some creams can cause irritation or reduce absorption, which can lead to leaks. This is especially true of creams that contain petroleum jelly or other oils. When selecting a diaper cream, look for one that's labeled "cloth diaper safe".
7. You're Not Storing Your Clean Diapers Properly.
When you're not using your cloth diapers, it's important to store them properly. If you leave them in a damp laundry basket or wet bag, they could develop mold or mildew. Instead, you should store them in a dry place out of direct sunlight. Many moms like to keep their cloth diapers in a dresser drawer or basket. Don't keep them in an attic where the heat can be extreme, or a bathroom or basement where the humidity is high. Think dark, cool and dry!
8. You're Not Prepping Your New Diapers Properly.
If you're using new cloth diapers, it's important to prep them before using them on your baby. This helps to remove any oils or residues that may be on the fabric and makes them more absorbent. To prep your diapers, simply wash them 2-3 times on hot with a cloth diaper safe detergent. This will help to remove any manufacturing oils or finishes, and make them ready to use.
9. You're Not Changing Your Baby's Diaper Often Enough.
It's important to change your baby's diaper frequently – at least every 2 hours, or more often if needed. If you wait too long between changes, the urine and feces can build up and cause irritation or rashes. Plus, the longer a diaper is worn, the greater the risk of leaks. So it's important to keep up with a regular changing schedule to keep your baby clean, dry, and comfortable.
10. You're Not Using a Liner.
Cloth diapers can be expensive, and you want to make sure that you prolong their life as much as possible. One way to do this is to use liners with your cloth diapers. Liners act as a barrier between your baby's bottom and the diaper itself, and they can be easily removed and thrown away when soiled. This helps to prolong the life of your cloth diapers by protecting them from staining and wear. In addition, liners can make cleaning up after a diaper change much simpler and less messy. Overall, using liners with your cloth diapers is a smart way to save money and reduce waste.
11. You're Not Ventilating Your Diaper Pail
If you're using a diaper pail to store your cloth diapers, it's important to make sure that it's well ventilated. A lack of ventilation can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can lead to diaper rash or other skin irritation. To ensure adequate ventilation, consider using a pail liner with a mesh top or holes punched in the lid. You can also keep the lid open when the pail is not in use. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep your cloth diapers fresh and free of bacteria.
We hope these tips were helpful in extending the life of your cloth diapers! Since cloth diapers have increased in popularity, there is a strong online business of reselling them. The better shape your diapers are in, the better it will be for your baby and you can also resell them at some point and save money that way!
Q1. How long should a cloth diaper last?
Two to three years.
“Plus, you can use cloth diapers for two to three years, on average, and probably longer if you take good care of them,” she says. Another difference with washable diapers for babies is the amount of laundry in your future. Cloth diapers need to be washed every two to three days to avoid stink and staining issues.
Q2. How can I make my cloth diapers absorbent again?
Simply fill the washer with the hottest water possible. Add 3-4 cups of white vinegar. Then soak the diapers overnight - or at least 3 hours.
Q3. How often should cloth diapers be changed?
Every 2 hours.
Any snaps down the front of the diaper make the diaper as big (long) or as small (short) as is needed. Cloth diapers hang down or feel stiff when they need to be changed. You should change cloth diapers every 2 hours to avoid rashes.
Q4. How do you preserve dirty cloth diapers before washing?
The best place to store your dirty diapers is going to be where you get the most airflow, along with the driest room. Humidity and closed-off space can contain or worsen smells and possibly cause mold. You also want to make sure you keep it out of reach of small children and pets.
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