Thursday, August 20, 2009

FAQ - Why & How to "strip" diapers?

A procedure often heard of in the cloth diaper world is to "strip" your diapers. What is this? Why do you have to do it? and How is it done? are all questions that follow.

WHAT? - To "strip" your diapers is to remove various types of build up from the inner layer of your cloth diapers.

WHY? - It can become necessary to "strip" your diapers for several reasons, all of which can cause your diapers to leak and lead to recurring rashes (neither of which are desirable for you or your baby!). The leaking occurs due to build up on the inner layer of fabric causing that fabric to repel liquid rather than wick it away from baby's skin. Build up can be caused by several things such as, diaper creams that aren't cloth diaper safe, detergents that contain additives that can build up on the fabric over time, or use of fabric softeners and dryer sheets. It is my opinion that attentive care of one's cloth diaper stash can prevent, or at least lessen the need/frequency of having to "strip" the diapers.

HOW? - In nearly 2 1/2 years time, we have only had to "strip" our diaper stash 2 times....both times we could directly connect the problem to the source. The first time, it was due to "over the counter" diaper cream and the second, well....we were kind of experimenting with ways to freshen our stash and got a little over zealous with the Borax! :) (FYI, less is better.) Here is how we do it.
  • Fill the sink with Hot water and the diapers.
  • Using a grease fighting dish liquid, we chose Dawn since we had heard it suggested most often by other cloth diapering parents, squirt a small amount on the inside of each diaper and scrub with a dish brush. (we suggest labeling this brush "for diapers" so it doesn't end up being used on your dishes later!) ;)
  • Allow the diapers to soak in the sudsy, hot water for 30 minutes - 1 hour after scrubbing.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Run through your regular diaper wash/rinse routine, and you should be ready to go again!
It really isn't hard, just takes a bit of time. And when in most cases can be prevented, it's worth taking the measures to prevent the issue and save that time for something fun....like cuddling your baby!

Best wishes for healthy, leak-free cloth diapers!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Monkey N' Around!

Fun Pirate Monkey prints! We love these!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

FAQ - What detergent is best for washing cloth diapers?

We try to offer answers to lots of different questions from our customers and cloth diapering friends. Many of these questions are often the same, so we are going to begin "FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions" posts to highlight some of these in hopes that it can be helpful to others.

THE ANSWERS PROVIDED ARE SIMPLY OUR SUGGESTIONS BASED ON OUR OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. THERE ARE MANY, MANY DIFFERENT IDEAS ABOUT WHAT IS BEST, AND WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU READ THE LABEL & CONSIDER THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF YOUR FAMILY FIRST.

FAQ #1 - What detergent is best for washing cloth diapers?

Why it matters: Function and healthy skin. Detergent additives can cause build up on the inside of your diapers. This build up creates a barrier that will often repel liquid, causing leaks. The biggest culprits of this type of build up are softeners and oils, as well as, dry sheets...you don't want to use any of these with your cloth diapers.
In addition, diapers washed with detergents containing perfume or dyes can often become irritating to baby's skin and cause rashes.

What we recommend: We believe it is best to use only additive free detergents for your diapers to function properly and endure lengthy use. Additive free means no softeners, no bleach, no perfumes, no dyes, no oils....just plain ol' washing goodness! We have chosen to use Charlie's Soap http://www.charliesoap.com/ We use this detergent for all of our laundry and being a family with sensitive skin, we love that it gets the job done while still being gentle on our skin. It costs around $8 for a bag that washes 80 loads, and if using this only for your diaper laundry, would then last for 160 loads.

What we've heard from others: There are other detergents that we have heard also offer a great option for cloth diaper care. These include Allen's, Country Save & Free & Clear detergents. With Free & Clear detergents, again, we suggest that you read the label, as we have heard some reports of the Free & Clear detergents still containing some additives that over time caused build up on the inside of the diapers, in turn causing leaks.
We've even heard of families that continued using the same detergents they always had....some with no problems, others had to "strip" their diapers from time to time to remove build up.
Being that cloth diaper loads only require half the suggested amount of detergent, any of these options are going to be long lasting and cost effective.
For those looking for an even less expensive option, we've heard of mixtures of common household items like Dawn dish liquid, baking soda & vinegar, so you can certainly be creative since there really are many possibilities. (we just chose the simple route!) :)

POINT TO REMEMBER: Less is more! Stay away from perfumes, dyes, softeners, oils and other additives when choosing a detergent for your diaper care system.

Concerned about stains and lingering odor? Want to know how to "strip" your diapers when necessary? Stay tuned for our next FAQ posts!

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