Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cloth Diapering Saga

There are definitely pros to CDing. I feel good about not adding to landfills as much. I LOVE saving money. I enjoy the convenience... I know most people think disposables are more convenient... But I hate going to the grocery. I like not having to worry about running out! Plus... They are just so darn cute!

That all being said, it's not been completely easy either. Changing them is a breeze. The extra laundry doesn't bother me at all. The biggest problem for me has been that Free and Clear Detergents are not free and clear! I didn't know that. Raiden has very sensitive skin to begin with. He has pretty bad eczema. When he was first born he rashed more than any of my others did eventhough he was completely breastfed. But once he got down to 1-2 BMs a day... The rashes stopped for the most part. Then we started CDing. I started out using Tide Free and Clear (he). I started reading and found out it contains enzymes and brighteners that some babies can be sensitive to. Also, about two weeks ago, 2 months into CDing, our diaper pail started having a horrible ammonia smell and when he pees there is am immediate odor. I found out this can be due to detergent build up in the dipes. Living in a small town my choices are very limited. Our Walmart doesn't carry any truly natural detergents. I found one called Sun and Earth at Martins, got it, got home, looked it up. It doesn't have any additives but some say it's prone to build up... GREAT!!! I've decided to use it anyway, starting out with a tiny bit of detergent and increasing until I figure out the right amount to get them clean and then rinsing ALOT! I spent all day yesterday stripping them of the old detergent. This just in tales washing multiple times with no detergent. Some say to use vinegar... I chose to hold off on that so I know what's really effective. I took out my pocket diapers and just put the inserts through one sanitizing cycle. Having a frontloading washer may make it sound a little more complicated because I can't just set my soak, wash, and rinse cycles at the temps I want in one fail swoop, so I have to do multiple cycles. It doesn't bother me. My old routine was...

Step 1
Cold Clean Cycle with Auto Soak with no detergent... That soaks, washes, and rinses, all in cold. It's probably over kill, I could stop it after the soak, sometimes I do. 

Step 2
Whitest Whites Cycle with 2nd Rinse with detergent. That does a hot wash with 2 cold rinses. 

Until I run out of the Sun and Earth detergent I'm going to add one more cycle. I read a warm rinse is actually better at getting out detergent residue my only option for this I a warm wash, warm rinse so....

Step 3
Express Wash Cycle on Warm/Warm with a 2nd Rinse. This also has and extra fast spin at the end to get a lot of the water out before drying

I then throw the inserts and wipes in the dryer and hang the pockets. This will increase their life since I want to use these through the next one. 

The only other problem we are having is night time. I will give it another go once we have the detergent/rash/smell worked out during the day. At first I was having trouble just getting him to be comfortable in them all night. Raiden sleeps A LOT. He goes to bed at 8 every night and sleeps until around 10 the next day! I bought some hemp stay dry nighttime  doublers for absorbency and a wool cover for breathability. We don't have leaks and he sleeps fine but he's red and stinky in the AM. So like I said we will get rid of disposables altogether... eventually. Just like everything else in my life... It's an evolving process!

Now on to wipes... Scott for some reason refuses to use cloth... I don't know why... My system is simple. We get flushable wipes for Ronan anyway so he just uses those. I'm sure he get much more poop on his hands than I do! Lol. I keep dry wipes in an old disposable  container. Then I have two bottles filled with wipe solution. I bought Diaper Lotion Potion concentrate but I don't like how it smells so I'll be making my own when it runs out. I'm actually just going to use a few drops of baby oil in plain water. One of my bottles is a fine mist sprayer. If the poo was solid or if he just needs a little freshening, I spray it directly on him then wipe with a dry wipe. My other is actually an old peri-bottle. The one I got when Raiden was born. (I was soo glad I got a new one for me in my HB kit!) it works really well for soaking a wipe for messier jobs. I try to use the front of the flushable liner to get some of it off him. At first I rinsed them in the toilet before putting them in the pail, but now I don't worry about it unless there is a hunk.

 I have a pair of tongs and a soft scrub brush I use if needed to rinse a wipe or if the liner didn't catch it all. I've toyed with the idea of getting a diaper sprayer and doing away with the liners. It's like a super forceful sink sprayer that attaches to the toilet. I didn't want to dive in too deep too quick. I'm probably spending $5 a month on liners though.

I'm still glad I made the switch. Just like breastfeeding, it does take dedication at first but then becomes second nature. 

Have a Fluffy Day!


  1. Hello! You know The Eco Chic just did a series of posts on her washing regime and cloth wipes.
    They can be found here:
    Cloth Diaper Laundry Do's and Don'ts
    Going All The Way With Cloth Wipes

    For me, I use only Charlie's soap for cloth diapers because it has no enzymes which can cause buildup and stink. Most of the other cloth diaper mamas I know use either Rockin' Green or Charlie's.

    For a cloth wipes, I use a solution of water, Dr. Bronner's peppermint castille soap (can find at nearly any store, even Target now), and about 8 drops of tea tree oil to 4 cups of water. Sometimes I add aloe vera concentrate if I have it. I dip the dry wipes in the solution, wring them out, and fold them up into a wipes warmer where they stay until I use them. The tea tree oil prevents mildew and is antibacterial.

    At night, I use BumGenius All-in-One pocket 3.0 or 4.0's and I stuff them with 1 microfiber insert, 1 hemp/cotton blend insert, and one organic prefold. It's really fat but it keeps him dry most of the time (unless he sleeps with his butt in the air, which can cause gaps in the elastic around his legs). He is a little red in the morning but it goes away immediately when I change him. The ammonia smell from overnight diapers is normal - it's what all urine would smell like but disposables use chemicals to mask the smell. It should come out in the wash, if it doesn't I would examine the detergent you're using and perhaps strip the diapers and try a new one....

    Good luck!!

  2. Thx J, I did see the EC's 1st post... I was waiting to read it all before I made a decision on detergent. I'm going to have to order online. I read Charlie Soap causes rash is some and with raiden being so sensitive I was afraid. I can get Country Save off Amazon in bulk so I'm considering it.

    Can you get tea tee oil at Walmart? I have a wipes warmer but wasn't going to start using it until the new baba getts herebecause we don't use mant wipes now and I was worried about mildew.

    I think ones we get the deter worked out I think we will be fine at night. It's good to know about the redness bc he does clear up by next change.

  3. I use Rockin' Green Detergent too, and it works really well- I got it here:
    I'm not sure about Walmart, but I got some tea tree oil for my wipes at a local natural foods/products store. We just use that and water in a spray bottle, and that works pretty well. :)