A new blogger friend (hello, Megan) wrote me and asked about washing diapers. After I explained, in detail exactly what I do, I got yet another email (hello, Ashley) asking the same thing... so... My wash routine.. with some of the questions Megan and Ashley asked.
-The diaper companies recommend to wash no more than 18-24 diapers together at one time. This is true with both top loaders and front loaders. The reason for this isn't just because of how much waste is being tossed around, but also has to do with the elastic in your diapers. If you let a diaper sit for more than 2-3 days, the ammonia in the diapers starts to eat away at the elastic, and your diapers won't last. A tip for those with front loaders: Most machines will only use as much water as it "thinks" it needs for that size load. Get some large bath towels (5-10) and add them in with your wash.. this will give you enough water to thoroughly clean and rinse your diapers.
-Don't ever use more than the recommended detergent. Some people think because the diapers smell, to use more detergent. This is not true. The reason the diaper smells is most likely due to detergent build up. If you aren't sure if you have detergent build up or not, get your diaper damp (also works on a freshly peed in diaper)... then take a whiff. Does it stink? (Your diaper shouldn't stink when wet!) Kind of a musky ammonia smell? Yep! You have detergent build up. This is not only caused by too much detergent, but is also caused when the diapers aren't rinsed well enough. Even if you are rinsing 2-4 times, it may not be enough. Every person's diaper wash routine is different.
-Use the SUN! It's crazy how much the sun helps your diapers. Sorry for all you folks in the north, but we've been having sun for a while now. Any stains, lingering scents, and dingy diapers become sparkling new in the sun. Really, try it!
-Only use cloth diaper SAFE detergents!!! Never use normal clothing detergent, even Dreft is bad for diapers!
-Only use cloth diaper SAFE rash creams! Many rash ointments are bad bad bad for cloth diapers.
-If your child has a rash with cloth diapers, make sure you are following the steps above... if you have questions, please ask!
Ok... here is my wash routine. (all on the largest and longest cycle possible)
COLD wash with 1 scoop Charlie's Soap
HOT wash with 2 scoops Rockin Green
COLD wash without detergent
Extra COLD rinse without detergent
Many people ask me why I use 2 soaps... honestly, I think it gets my diapers so much cleaner. I never have stink issues, my kids never have a rash (to be honest, Brayden has never had a rash at all!), and I feel Charlie's Soap gets the stains out a little better than the Rockin Green, but the Rockin Green gets any stink out.
An easy way to find out if you still need to rinse.. when your diapers are agitating, if you see any bubbles.. you need to keep rinsing until you cant see any.
As far as stripping yucky diapers.. I found Funk Rock (from Rockin Green) is great at getting any ammonia smells out of diapers. I haven't had to use it on any of my diapers, but I did wash a friend's diaper in the Funk Rock, and it smelled new after I was done.
So... I hope this helps, remember to rinse rinse rinse! Diapers shouldn't smell!! Please ask any questions you may have!