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 cuddling your baby!

Best wishes for healthy, leak-free cloth diapers!

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