There's a few things about cloth diapers that are really helpful to know about. When it comes to cloth diapers, many people have different ways of doing things and follow different recommendations. Unfortunately, sometimes the recommendations we follow is not always what is best for our diapers.
I've put together a quick and easy to read list of some things that I see people do or complain about with their diapers. By being active in cloth diaper communities, doing my own research and using cloth myself, I feel like I can tell what may or may not work.
Cloth Diaper Mistakes to Avoid:
- Choosing the wrong detergent. Some places try to sell up fancy detergents that are "special" for cloth diapers. While they may indeed work for many people, they don't always work for all people. You can actually use most mainstream brands as long as their are no added fabric softeners, brighteners, etc... Many mothers successfully use Purex, Tide or Seventh Generation, etc... For the best index on safe detergents, Check out Fluff Love University.
- Not using enough water. You have to use a lot of water when you wash your diapers. Make sure for a full load that you do the largest amount of water you can. Smaller loads can get away with a medium setting, but never use less. I always use the largest amount unless I am washing only a day's load.
- Not using enough detergent. For most detergents, you're going to do a full scoop or cup plus half-to another full cup. This just varies with your load. But not using enough can really make for a stink!
- Washing improperly. One cold CYCLE with NO detergent followed by one HOT CYCLE WITH detergent. That's it! And make sure you wash often enough -- maximum of every three days. Waiting too long can become a problem (and you'd have a naked baby anyway).
- Extra rinses. Some people say to add an extra rinse at the end of your cycle. There is no need to and this can actually lead to stink issues because it may stir back up minerals onto the diaper that you don't want (resulting in the diaper not being fully cleaned).
- Using the wrong diaper creams. Try to stay away from any creams containing zinc oxide as the ingredient can harm the fibers of the diaper. Use cloth safe creams and if you are unsure, use a liner between baby's bum and the diaper while using creams. We carry all safe creams and liners in our store!
- Wrong Fittings. Play around with your rise and snaps to get just the right fit. Usually it is best to place the diaper on baby before doing this.
- Not prepping enough. Don't get discouraged if a new diaper leaks. There's a really good chance it just wasn't prepped enough. Organic cottons, bamboo and hemp usually take several hot washes with detergent to be fully prepped (like 6-8). Also remember that a cloth diaper must be changed more frequently than a disposable. Typically that will be every 1-1.5 hours.
- Stripping the wrong way. Sometimes we need to freshen up our diapers and stripping is the route we take. Stripping your diapers can be a very easy process and I usually recommend Fluff Love's recommendations -- strip with RLR or GroVia Mightly Bubbles. DO NOT MIX BLEACH AND DAWN TOGETHER. This is bad advice that many people still pass out. Look on back of the bottles, they say DO NOT MIX TOGETHER (yes it really says this on back of Dawn). Dawn and Bleach create a deadly gas!
- Acting like your diapers are fragile newborns. While yes you should treat your diapers with respect and realize that you want them to last, just know that they are not fragile things. It takes a lot to really ruin a diaper. Like, A LOT. Don't freak out because you used an unsafe cream or because mom brain distracted you and you washed them wrong. Just try your hardest to remember the "rules" but don't think you have to burn your stash because of one booboo.