Trial and Error: A Cloth Diapering Story

Harper has been in a cloth diaper her entire life. Well… maybe I am slightly fibbing because she was in a disposable the first 10 days of her life (just until her tummy button fell off), a week in while traveling to Ohio, TMD weekend in Michigan, and for a few hours a week ago when her auntie couldn’t figure out the pre-folds. She is pretty close to 10 months old, so I call that pretty close to her ENTIRE life. Not only is she cloth diapered, she is in pre-folds. Those of you who CD know I may be just a tad crazy for deciding to use pre-folds and even more crazy for using them for damn near a year. There are only two reasons she is still in pre-folds: (1) They were CHEAP (read more about that HERE) and (2) She is TINY. She is only 14.5 pounds, so she still fits into the ones that she wore as a newborn. I have pockets that we use also when we are out and about or I am slacking on laundry. I don’t mind the pre-folds at all. I actually like them a lot.

Washing diapers on the other hand…. Let me just start out by saying this: I HATE LAUNDRY. Hate is probably not even a strong enough word for my thoughts on the chore that is LAUNDRY. Diaper laundry does not make me hate it any less or any more. My complete loathing for laundry does not sway me against cloth diapering in any way. Diaper laundry is actually easier than regular loads because there is no sorting or matching socks. Washing diapers, for me, is way easier than buying disposables at the store once a week. All that being said, I will be very honest when I say that find a wash routine that works has been quite the science experiment. We have a front loading HE washer and HARD WATER. The lack of water that goes into the washer mixed with the fact that the water that goes in is hard makes it very difficult to get super-fresh diapers. The diapers are clean but it takes a bunch of work to get them “fresh.” I have tried so many different cycles, soaps, routines that it is a little challenging. I think after it is all said and done I may be pretty close to being a freaking chemist. I am now using Rockin Green for Hard Water along with their Eliminator. When I strip my diapers, I do it outside in a kiddie pool. I have to do at least three extra cycles (one wash and two rinses) to really make sure they are good to go. I learned that vinegar does not get the smell out with hard water; it can actually make it worse. I notice if I don’t wash the diapers every four days or so, then the problem worsens (I have enough diapers to last a little longer than a week). I think I am finally to the point where I am nailing this whole cloth diaper thing!

Moral of this story: If you are having similar issues with your diapers, you will get there. It can takes some trial and error, but eventually it will click.

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  1. Brittany R -  September 28, 2012 - 10:49 pm

    I have a front loader HE washer too. I dislike them with a passion and still haven’t mastered which cycle and soaps to use, and I have been CDing for 9 months. The first 3 months were washed in a top loader and it was much easier to get clean with more water and you can pick HOT HOT water when you want it.

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