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The Best Cloth Diaper Accessories
Cloth diapers are the ultimate no frills baby item, so there aren’t very many accessories that you will need to buy. However, there are some tools that will make your life a whole lot easier if you choose to to go the cloth diapering route.
- Snappi Diaper Fasteners For Prefold Diapers
- An Airtight Diaper Pail To Get Rid Of Poopy Smells And Stains
- A Low Water Use Washing Machine To Wash Cloth Diapers
- A Centrifigual Dryer To Dry Cloth Diapers Without Wasting Electricity
How To Keep Cloth Diapers Closed With Snappi Fasteners
First off, if you are using prefolds, then you might want to consider using Snappi Diaper Fasteners rather than safety pins. Yes your mother or grandmother would have used regular safety pins, but some new parents may be nervous trying to stab a sharp pin through layers of thick cloth while trying not to stab their baby. A modern alternative that’s safe and easy on the wallet, Snappi’s last for a long time and can be used with almost all cloth diapers. You should check out my detailed review of Snappi diaper fasteners to see how they work.
How To Eliminate Cloth Diaper Odors And Stains
Now this advice applies to all types of cloth diapers, prefolds, all in ones, and covers and liners.Keeping your diapers clean will require a strict laundry schedule. Many people are afraid of ditching disposable diapers for this very reason and fear of messy odors. Well fear not, there is a very easy way to rinse and wash all your cloth diapers so you will never have one that smells like pee and poop.
First of all, you will need to have a diaper bin in your laundry room with a plastic garbage bag inside to store your soiled diapers until you are ready to wash them. There are many models of diaper pails available on Amazon.com and some are even under $20.
However, if you are on a budget, then any trashcan with a lid will work as well. Just make sure that there is a lid so the scent of soiled poopy diapers doesn’t fill your entire house…
What’s the best diaper pail? Find out in my “best of” diaper pail review.
Now before you just throw your dirty diaper into the diaper bin, you’ll want to rinse off as much of the surface crud as possible. The easiest way to do this is with a cloth diaper sprayer like these. Also known as bidet sprayers, they attach to your toilet and you can just spray off any poop right into your toilet and flush it away. However if you have a long removable shower head and your toilet is located next to your bathtub, then your shower head will work too! After rinsing off the diapers you can safely toss them into your diaper pail and wait until you collect enough to do a load of laundry. Not that this will take more than a day or two. Hahaha!
How To Wash Your Cloth Diapers
When you wash your cloth diapers you will want to use warm to hot water to rinse them out. Just do a detergent free run through with your washer to rinse away as much waste as possible. This gets rid of most of the gunk on the diapers and most of the poopy smells. Next you will want to use a detergent that is specially made for washing cloth diapers. Some very good brands are Rockin’ Green (read my review of Rockin’ Green cloth diaper detergent), Nellie’s, and Thirsties.
The reason you will always need to use a special detergent is because of build up and odors. Regular laundry detergents like Tide, will build up on the diaper cloth and this will make your diapers less absorbent.
The reasoning is the same as why you should never use creams and ointments on your baby’s bottom while they are in cloth diapers. The build up coats the diapers which makes them leak. Plus dirty diaper smells will stick to your diapers no matter how many times you clean them.
It goes without saying that you should also avoid using fabric softeners with your cloth diapers. The waxy coating of fabric softeners will absolutely destroy the absorption of the cloth diapers and that stuff is impossible to wash off.
This video will show you why you should never ever use regular laundry detergent on your precious cloth diapers. If you do, you will have to follow the advice to strip the soap off and hope and pray that your diapers can be saved. After you’ve stripped your diapers of all soap and waxy residue with soap nuts, use a cloth diaper detergent like Rockin’ Green in the future.
Can I Machine Dry My Cloth Diapers?
The short answer is yes. Parents of babies are already stressed out and sleep deprived so I imagine they’d rather spend their precious free time doing anything else rather than laundry. Yet while many people machine dry their diapers for speed and convenience, I actually prefer to let them air dry for several reasons.
There is a trick to this though! I have a whole guide on washing and drying cloth diapers without running up your water or power bills.
First, this saves us a lot of money on our electric bills. Cloth diapers need to be washed almost every other day and they are super absorbent so they take a long time to dry. You can imagine how fast this will run up your electricity bill. Plus it really doesn’t take any more time to air dry the diapers instead of machine drying them. In fact, it takes less time because we don’t have to sit around waiting for the dry cycle to finish since diapers left in the dryer become so mis-shappened that they then need to be ironed out before they’re used. Just trust me when I say it’s much quicker to fish the diapers out of the washer and hang them up to dry!
Second, I like to air dry my cloth diapers because this keeps them in good shape for longer. This is especially true if you have diapers with velcro straps and elastics. The high heat of dryers will destroy the fabrics and elastic bands in even the best diapers. I’ve found that cloth diapers started to show wear and tear after only several months when I machine dried them. However once I switched to line drying my cloth diapers lasted for more than a year before they needed to be stitched up or replaced.
And finally, air drying washable diapers will get rid of any unsightly yellow stains and odors. You will need to hang them up outside or in a window with plenty of sunlight. The sun bleaches the fabric and eliminates any remaining scents. If you are worried about how you can air dry your cloth diapers during the cold winter season, just hang them up on a drying rack near a window and a heat vent. The diapers will be completely dried in half a day. There’s plenty of foldable drying racks on sale for under $40. If space is tight you will definitely want to get a folding drying rack that you can put away when you’re finished. Don’t forget to pick up a packet of clothespins too while you’re shopping!
I’m Jane and this is my project to chronicle everything I’ve learned as I raise my little one.