Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Cloth Diaper Geek Explains it all! #2

Welcome to this week's edition of The Cloth Diaper Geek Explains it all! Here, every Tuesday, at Diaper Discussions you'll find answers to reader submitted questions. No question is too big or small for The Cloth Diaper Geek! Post your questions as comments or feel free to use our Reader Contribution Form to submit your question.

Below you'll find some frequently asked questions answered by The Cloth Diaper Geek!

Question: I've heard of stripping your diapers but I've never heard of stripping your washing machine? What does that entail and how do I know if I need to do it or not?

The Geek's Answer: Stripping your washing machine is pretty much just a deep cleaning to remove any dirt, debris, or laundry detergent buildup that may have occurred inside the washing machine. Prior to using/washing cloth diapers you may have used a detergent with additives not suitable for cloth. When washing your diapers there is a chance that the buildup inside your washer can affect your wash load and cause your diapers to repel even though you are currently washing with a diaper safe detergent.

Here's how:
Add 2 cups of white vinegar or 1 cup of bleach to an empty washer. Fill with cold water for the bleach method, hot/warm water for the vinegar method, and run a full wash cycle. This can be done monthly.

Question: I've read that hemp diapers shouldn't get washed with other non-hemp diapers? Is this true? Why?

The Geek's Answer: Good Question. Even the Geek hadn't known the answer to this one until recently. New Hemp diapers will need to be washed at least 2-3 times prior to washing with your regular diaper laundry. Hemp oil (a natural plant based oil) is naturally found in the fabric and washes out after a few washes. If washed with your other diapers the oil could coat your diapers, causing them to repel. This only applies to new diapers which haven't been washed/prepped. Wash them separately at least 2-3 times before use.

Have a question for the Geek? Post your comments below.


Christina's Cookies said...

You can also boil new hemp products for about 20 minutes with a tiny bit of Dawn (as long as they don't have snaps or anything) which I think is WAY easier than washing 3 times! :)

Julie said...

That's great! See you can never know everything there is to know about cloth diapers. Sounds like boiling would save a lot of energy too since you wouldn't need to use the washer.

hosiewosie said...

I prepped my washer with Charlie's soap when we first started using it, as directed on the container. Is that good enough?

Julie said...

Actually if you're using Charlies then yes. It's superb at cleansing yet gentle enough for diapers. But it's recommended that you use Charlies for all your laundry not to go back and forth between it and another detergent.

Christina's Cookies said...

My little brother (22) and big sis have been living with us for the past 4 months. I recently told them they had to start doing their own laundry (I have enough as it is and they are capable enough to do their own- I'm not their mommy!!) so they are using my HE front loader. That is fine with me but they buy their own detergent- my brother uses the cheapest stuff he can get and my sister tends to get SUPER smelly detergents (I am SOOOO not used to scented detergents because both my kiddo's tend to get extremely bad eczema flare-ups so the scent always overwhelms me!!). So everytime before I do a load of dipes I always do a load of our regular clothes in my CD safe detergent (I am currently using Tiny Bubbles-I have 2 boxes to use up!). My question is: is it really bad for my washer to be having 3 different types of detergent used in it, sometimes in the same day? And is this hard on my dipes? THANKS!!!

Jackie said...

great question about the washing machine - I actuallly starting to write a post about this a few days ago and never finished it (haha - little one woke up to eat and then I never got back to it!). But yeah - I do a deep cleaning of my washing machine about once every or everyother month :)

Julie said...

Christina. I think the best way to find out about whether that's bad for your washer is to check out the manual or call their support # and ask. Plus, you don't want to unknowingly be voiding your warranty by doing something they don't recommend. As for your diapers, if your brother and sister are using a lot of fabric softener then yes, it could technically be bad for your diapers. Unfortunately the old saying, "if you want something done right then you usually have to do it yourself" is true. You might have to keep an eye on your family members to make sure they aren't using too much or the wrong detergents. Hope this helps.


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