Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 5 - Cloth Diapering Week - Now What?

I did the research, and made the purchase and the commitment to try -- I started and now I have a wet diaper in hand ... what do I do with it?

Well, there are many options, I think that I am still perfecting our routine BUT it works! Our house is quite small and the laundry room is very convenient so here is how I handle it ...

I normally do laundry in the morning, so they can get to the line as early as possible! So I usually just keep my morning soiled diapers in a basket until I am done my two loads of laundry. Then my washer becomes my wet pail -- I fill it up, add soap, and put in all my soiled diapers to soak. They stay here until the last change of the night and then I start the wash, put the kids to bed and by the that time they wash is done and ready to hang up to dry!

There are many methods ... wet pails, dry pails, there are also many kids of bags that can be used and laundered also. There are fancy carrying bags, bags that hang on door knobs and lots of travel bags for on the go. Green Mountain Diapers has a complete cleaning system called The Potty Pail and bum Genius has the Diaper Sprayer. Now personally I think these high zoot accessories are just another thing to have around the house but for some it makes life easier! I have added a couple more resources to my sidebar list of others who have cleaning ideas, so look around and find what is best for you.

On the topic of cleaning, one of the most important issues is the type of detergents that you use. This can really make or break your diapering experience. I personally like Charlies Laundry Powder, my local coop sells this in a bag for $8.99 and it does 80 loads, I use it for all my washing needs!

Things you need to remember is that certain laundry detergents and soaps have different agents that may work against your diapers. Diapers will be laundered a lot there for you do not want to use really harsh chemicals that will break down the materials. Also the chemicals are not needed and residue from them can transfer to babies sensitive skins. Also most types of oils which are found in softening agents can make your diapers less absorbent. Click on over to the Diaper Hyena, they have a page all about the differences between detergents and soaps. Again, I think for each of us a little research and a little trial and error is what makes it work!

As for laundering wool: wool needs to be lanolized to keep its moisture barrier properties going. Here is how I do it:
1. After each use I lay out! Amazingly enough that even if they are slightly damp or have a slight smell as soon as they dry they no longer smell! I can not explain this but it is!

2. I only wash my wool covers every week or two depending unless they become soiled or start to smell at all!

3. To wash, I fill my sink with some warm water and Foaming Wool Wash with Lanolin by Sheepish Grins. Swish around gently and then let soak for 15 minutes! Rinse in warm water. Being gentle to to not wring or pull fabric.

4. To lanolize I use a solid lanolin by Northern Essence - I dissolve a glob in boiling water and add to a sink of warm water and soak my wool for 15 minutes.

5. I roll gently to remove some water, then I roll in a towel to remove more water and then I lay flat to dry!
Aside from the soaking time it really only take a few minutes and leaves your hands nice and soft from the lanolin! Again there are many products out there and I am sure there are also many variations of this method. This works for us!

I've added some more links to my sidebar, there is so many wonderful places to collect information about cloth diapering, so go check it out!!!

Now I am going to run because yesterday I was able to get cut out and hand sew three longies and one shorties soakers from the three sweaters that I bought for $1. each! I just have to go get some elastic for the waists!!! I think I will be able to make at least four or five more shorties from the remainders of the sweaters. I have been taking pictures and will share with you the steps I took soon! Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it!!!!!

1 comment:

Tricia said...

I admire that you've made this work and obviously completed lots and lots of research to make it happen. It's great that you're sharing all the information.

Every time I think of cloth diapers, I remember my siblings being babies, before disposables were the norm, and the stench was awful and everything seemed so messy. It sounds like you've found some good and practical ways to eliminate the angst.

I'm really, really, really glad we're not still in the diaper-changing mode though, but sometimes I wish my son's bathroom had a self cleaning toilet, walls and floor...on second thought, maybe diapers were easier than little boys who insist on peeing standing up.