Eco-friendly Baby Cloth Diapers

To make the read easy for you, some important terms have been highlighted. Please scroll through the post to see what you would like to read.

Context

Cloth was the traditional material used for baby nappies. You may have seen your grandmother using it. Later when plastic entered the market, cloth was replaced by plastic, the convenience of disposal being the prime reason for its popularity. In recent times, the awareness of the damages cause by plastic has come to the forefront. Many are trying to avoid plastics from their lives as much as possible. In this context, the relevance of cloth diapers needs to be highlighted. One needs to know that most disposable diapers made from plastic are toxic. Human waste adds to its toxicity.

Since as you will be reusing the diapers many times over the next few years, it is critical to know the how, why, when, dos and dont’s. Modern cloth diapers come in many varieties so that each family can find exactly what works for them.

Disposable cloth nappy pads eliminates the need for parent to rinse each time the baby is changed. Flushable type pads are also available. Plastic diapers on the other hand can take around 500 years to decompose. Apart from the time it remains in the landfill (where it contributes to toxic emissions) plastic can also leach into soil thus contaminating the soil and any water bodies around the landfill. This article wants to highlight the fact that all plastic diapers that have ever been produced are either lying around in landfills in various parts of the world or have already been burnt and have added toxic gases into the air.

For those that want to reduce their ecological footprint, this article will be of great help. At the outset, it is to be known that there is no single material that emerges as a complete winner since each one has its own merits and demerits. Any cloth diaper will reduce waste in general. When it comes to the environment, there are other factors to be considered as well. It is incumbent upon the individual to decide what is good for them based on their priorities.

Types of Diapers

The types of cloth diapers to choose from are explained below. The one you choose is based on what your priorities are.

Repurpose Old Materials

For eco-friendly cloth diapering, repurposing old materials is the way to go. If you love craft work, this one is for you.

The following options can be explored:

Waterproof diaper covers - Old shower curtains can be cut up to required size and sewn.

Old cotton T-shirts – Can be cut up, layered and sewn together to make inserts. Even the whole T-shirt can be converted to a diaper.

Wool – Knitted wool diaper covers can be made at home.

Flour sack towels - Theses are highly absorbent in nature. They can be folded to put inside a pocket diaper or any cover.

Old towels - These can be cut and hemmed into inserts.

Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers are almost always made from an outer layer of PUL (polyurethane laminate - a polyester fabric which biodegrades in 4-5 years) and an inner layer of micro-suede (or fleece), and 99% of the time come standard with microfiber inserts.

The outer layer is made from TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane – elastic, transparent, resistant to oil and grease) with an inner layer of Grade A 100% organic bamboo fiber. It also comes with 100% organic bamboo inserts. Bamboo inserts are very trim and absorb more than microfiber.

If you’re searching to combine easy usability along with flexibility, a pocket diaper is a good choice. Pockets consist of two parts: a diaper that includes both an inner wicking layer and a waterproof outer layer with a pocket opening between them; and an absorbent insert. The insert is stuffed into the pocket and then put the diaper on your baby.

Pockets require you to wash the entire diaper (including the outer cover) at every change. The pocket opening gives you the flexibility to easily adjust the absorbency of the diaper to fit your needs. You may want to use a thin microfiber insert during the day and a couple of hemp inserts for overnight.

Most pockets have an outer PUL layer, but you can also get fleece or wool. The inner layer is a matter of choice. You can also choose bamboo, microfleece, hemp, or cotton. Pockets come in various prints and colors. Closure can be hook-and-loop, front snap, or side snap.

Pre-folds or Flats with Covers

Pre-folds consists of two parts - an absorbent inner layer and a waterproof cover. The outer layer needs to be waterproof and breathable material that is thin and flexible. Polyurethane laminate (PUL) is found most often. Fleece can be chosen for its thickness and breathability. Wool is an ideal choice when it comes to breathability and absorption. However, it requires special care during cleaning.

The inner layer is usually a cotton cloth, bamboo and hemp are also options. Pre-folds are simple and durable. They are also budget -friendly because they can often last longer. They (outer and inner layer).can be washed separately

Pre-folds are sewn with a thicker area down the middle.  To make them into a functional diaper, one has to fold them a bit to shape.

Flats are large, flat pieces of cotton. To fold them the right way and to use them, a bit of practice is required.

Both of the types of diapers are secured in place by a clip that holds the two sides and front of the diaper together.

The type of closure is a choice between hook-and-loop, front snap and side snap. Hook and loop is easy to adjust. The downside is that it is easy for babies to pull off themselves. Side snaps are trim and secure. Front snaps are long-lasting, very secure, with less flexibility in size.

This category of diapers are the least expensive, mostly because you can reuse covers for multiple changes.

Fitted with Covers

This system is exactly like pre-folds, but without the folding. This comprises of absorbent material shaped into a diaper, complete with closures.  Closures are hook-and-loop and snap. They are made of cotton, hemp, synthetic materials, bamboo or blends. They come in various prints and colors.

All-in-ones (AIO)

If you choose to go for the disposable diapers, then AIO is the right one for you. The entire diaper is in a single piece - the waterproof layer, the absorbent layer and the wicking layer are all sewn together.

For those who value convenience, this one is stuffing–free.

With many options for materials and colors, this is a choice by many. Closures can be hook-and-loop, front snap, or side snap.

All-in-twos (AI2)

In AI2, there is a snap in or lay in soaker.  When you change the diaper after the baby pees, the soaker can be removed and replace it with another (if the shell did not get wet).  Since the soaker is external, AI2 also has a much faster drying time.  Inserts come in various styles and sizes and can snap right into the cover.

Materials

The choice of material is dependent on which stage your baby is in. Just to make it super simple, the factor to be considered is whether you want the inner material to be wicking or absorbent. Microfleece is good when you want your baby to feel comfortable and mostly dry between changes since it is wicking properties are excellent. Potty training phase is a troublesome one. Herein, you may want the baby to feel wetness a bit. Bamboo and cotton are the best choice here. Minky is a super-soft type of material that babies love. Look for all-natural, organic materials like organic cotton and hemp, if you have to factor in allergies.

Having said that, a general understanding of materials and how they function is not be enough to make a decision on what is best for your family, especially for your baby. Little knowledge can turn out to be dangerous. Outlined below is comprehensive information on the various material options available these days. You will be glad that you read this.

Bamboo

Bamboo fiber is a very absorbent material. It can resist the growth of bacteria. Bamboo can grow rapidly – some varieties as much as 1m in a day. It can be labelled as a sustainable crop. However, the process of manufacturing fabric is chemical-laden, possibly doing more harm to environment than good. Hence it cannot be called ‘organic’.

Although very comfortable to wear, pure bamboo fabric is fragile and will wear out easily when washed in the washing machine. It is suitable for clothing when it is used in combination with cotton as cotton is a much stronger fiber. It is also in face pads, nursing pads, cloth diaper inserts and other products that are worn directly against your skin.

The types of fabric made from bamboo are described below:

Bamboo linen

Mechanical separation of the bamboo fibers produces a product that is woven into bamboo linen. It is hard to find and can be very expensive.

Bamboo rayon

Bamboo fabric is made with bamboo and rayon/polyester through the viscose process where carbon disulfide solution and other chemicals are used to dissolve wood pulp into a rayon fabric.  Sodium hydroxide (also called caustic soda) and sulfuric acid are also used during processing. Caustic soda has been approved for textile manufacturing by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). (https://meraqi.co/pages/global-organic-textile-standard-gots). When handled and disposed of appropriately, this product should not pose health risks to humans. Though recovery of waste can be done, claims in this regard are to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Bamboo fabric is a mix of synthetic and natural fabric. It can wick moisture away from the body. It absorbs 70%  more water than cotton diapers. Bamboo is able to absorb about 3 times its own weight in water. The fabric breathes and is comfortable for your baby even when it is wet.

Pure bamboo fabric is naturally antimicrobial and 99.8% antibacterial, lessening odor and infections. The anti-bacterial property is retained even after many washes. Diapers made with bamboo and charcoal also have the above mentioned properties. Besides, they are also soft on baby skin – it feels like silk.

In the larger context, bamboo does not require any pesticides and chemicals to grow. The plant uses much less water than cotton. The bamboo plant is incredibly fast growing and therefore is often farmed with little negative impact on the environment around. In achieving a green, sustainable lifestyle, these environmentally friendly properties go a long way. Manufacturing bamboo fabric is not perfectly environment friendly. Yet it is still a sustainable fabric and better for the environment than synthetics made from petroleum or conventionally grown cotton. They are biodegradable and compostable.

To buy

https://meraqi.co/collections/frontpage/products/5pcs-reusable-bamboo-cotton-cloth-diaper-inserts-washable-5-layers

 5Pcs Reusable Bamboo Cotton Cloth Diaper Inserts Washable 5 Layers

https://meraqi.co/collections/frontpage/products/5pcs-reusable-bamboo-charcoal-insert-baby-cloth-diaper-4-layer-each-insert

 

5PCS Reusable Bamboo Charcoal Insert Baby Cloth Diaper 4 layer each insert

 

Bamboo fleece

A knit fabric, this is often used as the center layer of diapers and doublers. This ensures more structure for the diaper and increased absorbency. It has a flat side and a fleece side, and is very easy to work with.

Bamboo terry

This fabric comprises of thousands of small loops. Stretchy and very absorbent, it is often used on the outer layer of bamboo fitted and pre-fold cloth diapers.

Bamboo velour

A soft, absorbent kind of knit fabric it is often used as the inside layer of the diaper. Wicking moisture is not its greatest strength. Yet, the baby skin feels comfortable even when wet. This is a fabric that is difficult to sew because of its slipperiness.

Charcoal Bamboo

During the manufacturing process of these fabrics, nano-particles of charcoal are added to the bamboo rayon create the dark grey color. Some claim that the charcoal is antibacterial and also helps with stink in cloth diaper. This is still being studied.The major benefit of the charcoal is to make the insert a dark color. Another thing to be aware of is that many charcoal bamboo inserts are just bamboo on the outside with microfiber sandwiched within. The dark color hides any stains. 

For more on bamboo as a material, check   https://meraqi.co/blogs/oc/tagged/bamboo-fabric

Microfiber

Microfiber inserts are made from synthetic (manmade) materials.  They are super absorbent and is often used in pocket and overnight diapers. They dry very quickly. They are the most inexpensive inserts there are.

It has been found that microfiber has a lifespan of about a year. This is less than inserts from other material. Leaking could start after a year and replacement is required. Since it is not a natural material, odor remains.

Microfiber inserts come with full absorbency and no preparation is required. It is best to wash them once to eliminate any production related materials.

Microfiber inserts are so absorbent that they will pull of moisture to the extent that it will cause skin to become red and probably rashes. They should never be placed directly against baby skin as it can dry out baby skin.  To be on the safer side, there should be some fabric between the inserts and baby skin.

Depending on the number of layers used to create the insert, microfiber inserts can be great options for overnight use or heavy wetters. Microfiber material has a thicker texture than bamboo or hemp. For lighter inserts, hemp and bamboo are better.

Pros

  • absorb quickly
  • dry quickly
  • most economical

 Cons

  • should not be placed next to baby’s skin
  • compression leaks are to be expected
  • don’t last a long time
  • holds diaper stink

 

Hemp

A natural fiber that can be used as an insert is hemp. It is antimicrobial, absorbent and trim.  It can hold about 2.5times more fluid than microfiber. They do not absorb as quickly as cotton or polyester.  They are very effective during night time when used behind microfiber inserts. Extreme durability in another property. Hemp gets softer and more absorbent the more it is washed. You will often see hemp/cotton blends in inserts. Hemp takes a long time to dry and becomes stiff after drying.

Hemp is another sustainable material since they grow rapidly. Very little water is required for it to grow. Pesticides are not needed or hemp crop. Hemp can be grown in a wide variety of places. The process of turning it into a fabric is done mechanically or chemically. The chemical process raises more environmental concerns than the mechanical process. Therefore some varieties of hemp fabrics are considered better than others.

Pros

  • most sustainable option
  • very absorbent (than bamboo but less than cotton or polyester)
  • trim
  • strong fiber (when compared to bamboo)
  • can be harvested multiple times a year
  • pesticides and chemical are not required for crop production
  • sequesters carbon dioxide and produces about 35% more oxygen than a lot of other plants
  • water-efficient crop production

Cons

  • slow to dry (than cotton or bamboo)
  • most expensive
  • feel stiffer
  • requires more water to wash (than organic cotton)
  • high absorbency can lead to stains

For more on hemp as a material, check https://meraqi.co/blogs/oc/tagged/jute

Cotton

Cotton is the most commonly used plant based fiber on earth.  There are varied types of cotton mostly based on how it is grown. Companies which grow GMO cotton claim they do it to meet demand. GMO cotton can be harmful to farmlands and the surrounding environment.  To get cotton that is produced the most environment friendly way, one has to check for organic certification of the fabrics.

For example OEKO-TEX® Certification (https://meraqi.co/pages/oeko-tex-certificate) is considered the gold standard in textiles that are free from harmful substances.

Advantages

  • Cheap
  • Very soft fiber
  • Very strong fiber (often used in combination with bamboo or hemp)

Disadvantages

  • High water usage for growing the crop (compared to bamboo or hemp)
  • Pesticide usage is high during production
  • Bulkier than other options

Cotton inserts are an economically viable. Its versatility can be found in either organic or non-organic as well as a variety of different finishes. Fabrics like terry, French terry, flannel, or jersey are likely to be cotton or a cotton blend. Cotton pre-folds folded into thirds are used for stuffing in pocket diapers.

If you are considering the environmental impact, then conventionally grown cotton is pretty resource-intensive to grow. Water in traditional cotton production can take about 10,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of cotton fabric. Pesticides are also required in huge quantity. Organic cotton significantly reduces the negative impact on the environment and is much more sustainable.

Modal

Modal fabric is made from the wood pulp of beech trees. Modal has the ability to retain its silkiness even after a long time. If you have issues with hard water, modal is a good fabric since it is resistant to mineral build up. This fabric is highly absorbent and can hold up to 50% more water than a comparable amount of cotton. However, the manufacturing process that reconstitutes the wood fibers, modal cannot be termed as ‘organic’.

Polyester

Polyester is a manmade (synthetic) material made with chemicals and petroleum. This fabric is quite absorbent, but wears out over time, losing the ability to absorb.

PUL (polyurethane laminate – a polyester fabric which biodegrades in 4-5 years) is thin and breathable. This can be made in a variety of prints and colors. TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane – elastic, transparent, resistant to oil and grease) is another popular materials for the outer layer of a cloth diaper. These materials may not be environmentally perfect, but have made cloth diapers a viable alternative. 

One significant merit of polyester is that it can be used immediately (no prepping needed). It is also a durable material which can withstand being laundered multiple times. This is not to say they will last forever since they do lose their absorbency and ability to hold water over time. Most absorbent polyesters cannot be worn directly against the baby’s skin because of the irritation they will cause. Odors are another issue that can become bothersome.

If you are environment conscious, then this is not the material you.This is because, polyester fabric shed microplastics which go down the drain and possibly enter water bodies. The recent studies show that these microplastics are ending up in our oceans where the fish and other creatures ingest them. The  researchers have also found that there is microplastics in table salt, human guts and stool. 

microplastics sources

Polyester Fleece 

Polyester fleece comes in many weights and varieties.  For breathable and water-resistant covers, the thicker fleece  is useful. For the inner layer, thin fleeces work best. Fleece does vary in quality and therefore can be prone to compression leaks.

If your baby tends to get rashes, polyester fleece is a better option for you than PUL. It can be washed and dried in your machine along with the rest of your diaper laundry. It is not very expensive and has high breathability.

Wool

Wool is a natural and breathable material available for use in diaper covers. Wool is naturally absorbent. Wool absorbs 3 times its weight in liquid before it leaks which makes it an excellent outer layer for a diaper When lanolized (wherein lanolin is added to water and the wetness activates the natural soap thus making it self- cleaning with natural odor fighting properties) it becomes super absorbent. For those who are keen on using eco-friendly products, wool is a good choice. It’s also antibacterial and odor-resistant. Therefore it lasts longer than other types of covers. However, it requires special care when cleaning. It is best to wash by hand, re-lanolize regularly, and lay flat to dry. It’s also more expensive than the other options. If you are looking for overnight use, breathability and all natural fibers, then go for wool.

"Stay Dry" Fabrics

‘Stay Dry’ materials are suede cloth, microfleece, and athletic fabrics. These have enough porosity and are not designed to absorb liquids. It is used inside a diaper as the layer closest to a baby's skin. The urine passes through them - thus keeping the moisture away from baby skin - into the absorbent layers of the diapers.

Organic-cotton

Organic cotton is a delicate fabric and it will almost always show wear when compared to other materials.

Organic Cotton is grown with lower overall impact—and without any pesticides or fungicides. No GMO seeds are used. Weeds are removed using field and water cultivation. Good soil is maintained through crop rotation. Removal of leaves are by freeze drying or water unlike traditional cotton where leaves are removed with toxic chemicals.

Low impact dyes are used which are based on vegetables, minerals and clay.

To manufacture one pound of organic cotton, less than 700 liters of water is required. Up to 2000 gallons water are required to produce 1 pound of cotton/ one T-shirt.

The downside of 100% organic cotton all-in-ones is that they take a while to dry.

You may want to look for the certifications labels

GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) (https://meraqi.co/pages/global-organic-textile-standard-gots) or

FairTrade (https://meraqi.co/pages/fair-trade) or

Soil Association (https://meraqi.co/pages/soil-association)

Difference between Inserts, Doublers and Liners

Inserts

Inserts are the main absorbent layer stuffed into a pocket diaper or laid in a waterproof cover.

Cloth diaper inserts come in a variety of materials to suit every lifestyle and price point. The four main types are microfiber, cotton, bamboo, and hemp. Although microfiber, cotton, bamboo, and hemp are the most common, occasionally you might find inserts made from other materials:

Velour inserts - OBV (organic bamboo velour) - are made of cotton or a mix of cotton and bamboo. They are soft like minky but more breathable.

Minky is made from polyester like microfiber. Unlike microfiber, this can be safely placed next to baby’s skin. It absorbs well, and is fairly stain-resistant. Besides, it is soft on baby skin.

A mix of natural and manufactured fibers called Zorb is highly absorbent and designed to reduce compression leaks. This is quite expensive. Zorb inserts should only be used as the middle of a fabric.

Inserts made out of individual layers of different materials sewn together are also in use. When layering, microfiber should be kept on top since it absorbs liquids the quickest. Hemp and bamboo are to be placed at the bottom as they hold the most liquid. For overnight use, multiple inserts/doublers are required.

The most common styles of inserts include:

  • Prefold – A flat diaper that has been pre-folded, sewn into shape; used on its own or as an insert.
  • Pad – Multiple layers sewn into a thick pad shaped to fit the diaper
  • Trifold – A wider style of insert that is folded into thirds before stuffing
  • Petal-style – Two or more thin inserts sewn together at one end
  • Flat – A large square of fabric that can be folded into a pad shape before stuffing the diaper
  • Snake-style – A long strip that can be folded to fit the diaper. This can also help in customizing absorbency.

Bamboo inserts

Made from a natural fiber, bamboo inserts can be put directly against baby's skin while using covers. A second insert can be used to double the absorbency. The softness of bamboo inserts and its absorbency makes it a long-life item. They can also hold a lot of liquid without irritating the skin. Bamboo is absorbent but not nearly as absorbent as hemp.

More expensive than microfiber and cotton, bamboo inserts are silky soft, trim, and absorbent. Also found as bamboo velour or charcoal bamboo, rayon from bamboo wicks moisture away from baby’s skin at three to four times the rate of cotton.

Pros of Bamboo Inserts

  • Very soft
  • Time and absorbent
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Easy-to-grow crop
  • Renewable fiber
  • Lower environmental impact than petroleum-based fibers
  • Easy to grow

Cons of Bamboo Inserts

  • Manufacturing process is often environmentally unfriendly
  • More expensive
  • Often greenwashed (deceptive marketing with claims on environmental friendliness)
  • More sensitive to detergents than cotton or hemp
  • Line drying recommended than dryer heat (which is good for energy saving)

Doublers

Doublers are defined as extra layers that are added to increase the absorbency of the diaper. They are also called boosters. They are used in the following ways:

  • Laid on top of the insert in an All-in-2 (AI2)
  • Added to an All-in-One (AIO), fitted, or hybrid diaper to increase absorbency.
  • Kept inside a pocket diaper

Liners

Liners are a thin layer laid on top to protect the diaper’s lining from rash cream, poop, and/or to keep baby bottom dry. These are normally a thin layer of flushable cellulose. Liners are available in disposable or reusable types. They are not conceived to add absorbency. Fleece is the common material for reusable liners. It acts as a stay-dry layer and thus protect the diaper from damage. 

Hybrids with Organic Cotton Inserts

Hybrid/all-in-two diapers are one of the best systems for eco-friendly cloth diapering (not better than buying used or repurposing your own materials).

Hybrid system is based on two-piece diapering system consisting of a waterproof shell and an absorbent insert that sit or snap inside the shell.  It is convenient in the sense that you can reuse the cover through multiple changes. You can just take out the wet insert (unless there is poop involved), wipe the cover down, and put in a dry insert. The numbers of single inserts goes into the diaper pail will reduce dramatically. Probably one or two cover changes will suffice for a day. Besides, the number of times you do the laundry could also go down and that essential means you are saving water, electricity, detergent and of course, time!

Another reason why hybrids work well is that the inserts are bought separately. You have the choice to buy either synthetic or natural inserts as per your wish.

For eco-friendly parents, the option to avoid disposable diapers is a big one. Even while travelling, biodegradable inserts can be used and even thrown away without feeling guilty.

Best Practice 

It goes without saying that diapers are to be changed every two or three hours. More than that, could cause infections or rashes.

Diapers should not be left in the diaper pail for more than a day. They start to smell. It becomes more difficult to remove stains and clean properly.

Be sure to first dump any feces from the diaper into a toilet. To reduce risk of spillage, wrap up the used diaper tightly.

Human waste is filled with bacteria and other pathogens that spread disease. When composting, it is to be noted that the average compost pile does not get hot enough to kill these organisms. Compost made with diapers is never to be used in a food garden. It is safe to use for flowers, trees and bushes.

A nappy containing poo is problematic since the science is not established yet. Some compost bin manufacturers advise on shredding the biodegradable plastic first.

Diapers should not be thrown into the recycling bin. Dirty diapers are considered garbage and hence recycling is not done. In the United States alone, around 15 billion disposable diapers are used annually. In terms of weight, this is 2.4 million tons of waste.

There is no expiry date for a diaper, in general. Over time, slight discoloration could happen.

Some brands claim that they have 50% less chemical gel than other eco-disposable, nappies and a high percentage of starch – a natural absorber which is 100% biodegradable. Biodegradable material could be made from maize, starch and cellulose fiber, both natural materials. It is best to compost biodegradable nappies rather than dispose them into landfill. Waste experts say that a biodegradable nappy could take up to 50 years to decompose. It is important to know that disposable diapers need to be exposed to oxygen and sunlight in order to decompose.

In general, 5-6 hot washes (while preparing for first use – no fabric softeners) is recommended.  Detergent is optional but recommended. About a teaspoon of detergent is needed for each prep wash.

Prep-washing is important for the natural oils of cotton and hemp to be removed. This makes the materials to become fully absorbent. Hemp, organic/unbleached cotton and bamboo products are to be washed separately. Leaking is likely to occur if proper prepping is not carried out.

Synthetic cloth diapers and those made with natural fibers are not to be prepped together. This is because they contain different levels of natural oil. The oils can wash onto synthetic material (especially on the stay-dry layers of pocket diapers made from suede cloth and microfleece. This can leave a build-up that will lead to repelling – liquids are not absorbed)

Covers/Shells: Covers need not be ‘prepped’ since they are not absorbent. These will work right out of the package. One time washing along with dirty laundry could be done just to clear up any packaging residues.

Regular washing

This following process works, irrespective of type of cloth diaper or machine.

  • One cool/cold water prewash
  • One hot water wash with detergent (add vinegar and/or baking soda for odor issues)
  • One additional rinse cycle 

Baking soda will damage bamboo diapers, beginning the process of breaking down the cellulose.

Fabric softeners are a no-no because they coat fabric and thereby reduce absorbency.

Detergents that are cloth diaper friendly are available along with regular laundry detergents. Manufacturers recommend detergents that can be used for their products. Follow the directions on the packaging for your machine and load size.

Chlorine bleach is to be avoided on a regular basis since they are likely to irritate your baby’s skin. Fibers such as cotton, hemp and bamboo break down and shorten the life of the diapers. Some manufacturers give instructions for the use of bleach. If bleach is being used, the number of rinses in the wash cycle has to be increased.

Drying the diapers

Sunning your diapers can help remove stains and brighten them up. With the least energy consumption, sunning also helps sanitizing. The wet diapers could be placed upward on cloth and let them dry in the sun.

Too much exposure to sun is likely to damage the cloth diaper.

Indoor drying should not be done in damp areas.

Build-Up/Residue/Odor Problems

Detergents do not work well in hard water. Water softeners are generally used in such conditions. Rinsing thoroughly is a must.

Hemp tends to retain mineral build-up in hard water conditions. Bamboo rayon is very sensitive to chemicals that you may require to wash I hard water. The chemicals have to be removed or else the diaper may break down. Cotton is the best option in such circumstances.

Calcium and magnesium are usually found in hard water. If not rinsed properly, these can cause build-up and cause odor.

Stripping Diapers

This is to be done in the following conditions:

  • Diapers smell immediately after getting wet
  • Diapers leak or repel frequently

Stripping diapers achieve he following

  • Removal of mineral buildup,
  • Removal of additives or residues
  • Correction of improper wash methods

How to strip diapers

Various methods that can be adopted are outlined below:

Method 1: 4-5 hot water  washes with no detergent will remove most residue

Method 2: Yeast infection can be safely tackled by adding 1/4 cup of bleach to the wash cycle. Manufacturer’s instructions have to be strictly adhered to.

Method 3: Fabric softeners, diaper creams and any other stubborn stains/oils can be removed with the help of dish soap. Handwashing is recommended. Dish soap is not advised to be used in the washing machine.

That’s it, folks!

Ultimately, the best diaper choice is based on several different factors - your baby’s sensitivity to wetness and to synthetic/natural fibers, your laundry routine, budget and personal preference.

Wish you a happy diapering experience throughout the baby phase!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment