Choosing to use cloth diapers is an easy choice. Figuring out how to keep them clean can be a bit more difficult. There are so many factors that can affect your washing routine: covers, inserts, style of washer, type of water, detergent....... the list goes on.
Because of this, I can only tell you what works for me. You may have to play around with what works for you and your diapers. Please follow the manufacture recommendations for your diapers and washing machine since some washing methods can void your warranty and/or damage the diapers.
(Read this post to see what cloth diapers I use.)
I normally like to use products that are as natural as possible. Unfortunately, natural laundry detergents and homemade options have not worked for me at our current house. At our current house we have slightly acidic, low mineral well-water. The only thing that I have found to work here is Dawn Original dish detergent and oxi-clean.
I am still trying new methods and if I find a more natural solution that works, you'll be the first to know!
I wash a load of diapers every two to three days. Any longer and I either risk running out of diapers or having the diapers grow mildew. Neither of those things are pretty. On wash day I put the diapers and covers into my top-loading washing machine. I add a couple squirts of Dawn (a little goes a long way) and I set the load size to one larger than I actually need (so normally Large). The more water that runs through the diapers the better. I run a heavy or super wash cycle with warm water. Once completed I take out the covers and let them air dry. Then I add 2-4 tablespoons of oxi-clean and run a hot wash cycle. I usually downsize to a medium load at this point. I want a lot of water to run through the diapers but I don't want to waste water either. Once the second cycle is done I will either dry the diapers on low or hang out on the line. Since all of my inserts are only one layer the load dries very quickly.
To summarize, it's a warm wash cycle with detergent then a hot wash cycle with oxi-clean. The covers are taken out before the second wash.
I like to use cloth wipes. They are very soft, clean effectively, and I get to control the ingredients. Here is the wipe solution I use. I fill a spray bottle with one tablespoon baby wash, one tablespoon olive oil, and eight ounces of purified or distilled water. It is very important to use purified water so the solution doesn't grow mold. To use, wet a wipe or two with plain water and wring out, spray the solution directly onto baby's bottom, and wipe.
Let's face it, diaper rash will happen. When it strikes I have two remedies that usually stop it in it's tracks. If I suspect the rash is just from wetness or irritation I use arrowroot powder. It works just like baby powder but is much healthier to use. I never would have thought to try arrowroot powder but a friend of mine recommended it on her blog, Hillside Blessings. I'm glad she did because it works like a dream! I especially like to use it at night to help prevent any excess moisture.
If I suspect the rash is yeast related I turn to my trusty friend, baking soda. I make a solution of three teaspoons of baking soda dissolved into a pint of purified water. I wet the wipe with the solution and pat onto the problem areas. This usually works within a couple of days.
Remember, this is just what works for me. Please consult your doctor before trying any of these home remedies.
Do you use cloth diapers? What wash routine works for you?
(The amazon links below are affiliate links. These are products I use and love. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon may pay me a small commission for it. This does NOT cost you anything additional. These commissions help support this blog and my family, thank you!)
P.S. This post may be linked up with the following blog hops: The Art of Homemaking Mondays, The Homestead Blog Hop, Homestead Blog Hop, Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, From the Farm Hop, Awesome Life Friday, Simply Natural Saturdays.