Friday, March 25, 2011

Cloth Diapers & HE Washing Machines - HOW TO:

High Efficiency washing machines are wonderful. They use 1/2 to 2/3 the water, they use less detergent, my clothes come cleaner, but... it is not as easy to get your cloth diapers washed. Have no fear, it is possible to use your HE machine to wash your cloth diapers.

Have you ever noticed when you wash a regular load of laundry, there are 3-4 inches of water sloshing around in the bottom of the washer with your clothes ~ when you wash 20 or so diapers, there is no water? This is because your diapers have absorbed all of the water. At that point you are just spinning wet diapers around in your washer without washing anything. The trick is to make sure you get enough water in the drum to really move through your diapers.

1.) Pre-wash or rinse. Use the cold setting with no detergent. If you have a no-spin option, use it. The point here is to get the diapers as wet as possible. This will allow the water in the wash cycle to move through the diapers instead of soaking them.

2.) Normal Wash or Whitest Whites Wash. Use the Hot/Cold setting for the longest amount of time you can. Use the recommended amount of detergent - Usually 1 Tablespoon. Be sure to use a HE formulated product. We like: Charlie's, Nellie's and Rockin Green.

3.) Normal Wash with no detergent. This is to get the rest of the detergent rinsed through your diapers. Use the fastest spin cycle possible to reduce drying time.

Tips & Tricks:
  • Do not wash more than 20 diapers at a time.
  • Use the sanitary cycle about once a month. This will keep your diapers fresh without wearing them out to quickly.
  • Use a little Rockin Green Funk Rock with the pre-rinse (I do a 30 minute soak with a teaspoon between the rinse & wash steps) or soak with 4 tablespoons once a month.
  • Extra Water Tricks:
    • Add water through the detergent dispenser after the cycle has started
    • Add a wet towel or 2 to the load to make it heavier - the washer thinks you have more in it
    • Use 2 shorter washes, increasing the amount of clean water you use
Ammonia Smell (urine eventually turns to ammonia)
  • If your diapers smell when they are removed from the. dryer, try using a little more detergent, hotter water setting, or use the tricks above for extra water.
  • If your diapers smell ok when you remove them from the dryer, but smell bad when you take them off of your baby, then you need a better rinse method. Use the tricks above for extra water, run an extra rinse cycle after the wash.
  • If you have hard water, try the Rockin Green Hard Detergent. This is specially formulated for hard water.
  • It may be time to strip your diapers - check back on this blog, as I will be explaining stripping in another blog.

1 comment:

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