Deciding on how to wash your cloth diapers can be daunting when you start reading about all the possibilities. Everyone has his or her philosophy. Honestly it really depends on the type of diapers you use, your water source, and your washing machine. If you can find the right combination of detergent type and amount for your situation you will rarely if ever need to strip your diapers.
I recently tried to modify my wash routine and shortly after we wound up with that distinct smell of barn and ammonia when the diapers got wet. Yuck! Even though I made the switch to another reputable cloth diaper detergent, we still ended up with stink issues because it just wasn't compatible with our water type; what works for many others may not necessarily be a good combination with your water and washing machine either.
I probably could have gotten the new detergent to work had I played around with the amount of detergent but the reason I switched was to cut detergent costs. Adding more detergent to the wash would have defeated that purpose.
For reference, we use city water here in Los Angeles and a high efficiency LG front load washing machine. Our diapers are fitteds made from natural fibers that include cotton, organic bamboo fleece, and hemp bamboo fleece. If you also have hard water and a high efficiency washer this washing routine is worth trying.
REGULAR WASHING ROUTINE
Every 4-5 weeks I wash on the SANITIZE (extra hot) cycle instead of HOT
Using the routine above, I went 7 months without having to strip the diapers (I might have gone longer but I made the mistake of switching detergents and had to strip to get rid of our barn smell). I truly believe you shouldn't have to strip your diapers very often if ever as long as you're optimizing detergent amount, water temperature, and number of rinse cycles. If you already have a smell issue, look for the upcoming post on stripping cloth diapers for help.
Notes and things to keep in mind:
summer vacay Announcement
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Thank you for your patience :)