how to wash bamboo cloth diapers
How to Wash Bamboo Cloth Diapers
Are you a parent looking for a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to disposable diapers? If so, you might have come across bamboo cloth diapers. These diapers are made from organic and sustainable bamboo fibers that are soft and absorbent enough to keep your baby dry and reduce diaper rash. However, with regular use, these diapers accumulate fecal matter, urine, and other contaminants, which can lead to unpleasant odors, stains, and bacterial growth. Hence, it's crucial to know how to wash bamboo cloth diapers correctly to prevent these problems and ensure their longevity. In this article, we'll provide you with a 5-step guide on how to wash bamboo cloth diapers effectively, including the dos and don'ts.
Step 1: Prepping the Diapers
Before you wash your bamboo cloth diapers, you need to prepare them adequately. First, dump or rinse off any solid waste into the toilet using a diaper sprayer or showerhead. Then, toss the diaper into your dry pail or wet bag until it's laundry day. It's essential to keep the diapers dry or wet depending on your storage preference to prevent mildew or bacteria growth. Also, avoid using fabric softeners, bleach, or detergent with enzymes or fragrances as they can irritate your baby's skin or damage the bamboo fibers' absorbency. Instead, use detergent specifically designed for cloth diapers or organic soap nuts that are all-natural and gentle on the fabric.
Step 2: Sorting and Pre-Washing
When you're ready to wash your bamboo cloth diapers, it's best to sort them according to their level of soiling and color. Separating the light-colored diapers from the dark-colored ones ensures that they don't bleed or stain each other. Also, pre-washing or rinsing the diapers before the main wash cycle removes any residual soil, urine, or detergent buildup that might interfere with the cleaning process. You can either run the diapers under warm water in the sink or rinse them in the washing machine using cold water and a short cycle.
Step 3: Main Washing Cycle
The main washing cycle is where you clean the diapers thoroughly to remove all the stains, bacteria, and odors. You should set the washing machine to a hot water cycle with a heavy-duty or cloth diaper-specific detergent. The temperature should be between 140-160F to kill any germs and bacteria effectively. Too high temperatures can damage the bamboo fibers, and too low temperatures won't sanitize the diapers correctly. Also, don't overload the washing machine, as it can affect the agitation and rinsing performance. As a rule of thumb, you should wash not more than 12-15 bamboo cloth diapers per load.
Step 4: Rinsing and Drying
After the main wash cycle, you need to rinse the diapers thoroughly to remove all the detergent residue and prevent rashes. Set the washing machine to a cold water cycle with an extra rinse option. It's also helpful to add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to eliminate any remaining odors and boost softness. Once you're done with the rinse cycle, you can either hang your bamboo cloth diapers to air-dry or tumble dry on low heat. Avoid exposing the diapers to direct sunlight or high temperatures, as they can shrink or weaken the fabric. You can also add wool dryer balls or a dry towel to the dryer to speed up the drying process and fluff the diapers.
Step 5: Storing and Reusing
Once your bamboo cloth diapers are clean and dry, it's time to store them for reuse. You can either fold them neatly into a drawer or stack them in your diaper bag or changing station. It's important to stipulate a specific area for storing the clean diapers, away from pets and children. Also, make sure to wash your bamboo cloth diapers every 2-3 days to prevent bacteria buildup and maintain their absorbency. If you notice any issues with the diapers, such as leaks, rashes, or stink, you might want to check the fitting, wash routine, or detergent usage.
In summary, washing bamboo cloth diapers is not rocket science, but it requires careful attention to detail and a consistent routine to keep them clean and fresh. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your baby has a comfortable and healthy diapering experience while reducing your carbon footprint and saving money. Happy washing!