Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stripping!

No, it's not my new job, but I've been doing it to our cloth dipes for 2 days. Adelaide's diapers have been leaking an awful lot, so we decided to do some tests on our diapers. My husband took several of our inserts and ran them under the faucet. Sure enough, there was a lot of beading water with runoff. Definitely not a good feature for a diaper. This means that the diaper is not absorbing liquid as it should. This is usually because a buildup developed on the cotton, from detergents, minerals, etcetera. So, in order to get the absorbancy back, you have to get rid of the residue.

This leads to the stripping, it sounds pretty harsh, but it basically means that you have to wash, wash, wash your diapers. I did a lot of internet research on stripping diapers a few weeks ago after we had quite a bit of residue left on a few of our inserts when we did laundry in a different machine. The general consensus for stripping was hot water washes (4-6), NO detergent, and add vinegar to the rinse cycle if you want. Everything that I read says that stripping is required as regular maintenance for your diapers. I'm thinking that it's a little like getting the car's oil changed, only, I'm not sure how you tell when you hit the 3000 mile mark for diapers.

We have a front loading machine (Maytag 3000 series) and this is how I've done it.
Cycle One: Sanitary Cycle with extra rinse-no detergent, 1/4 cup vinegar (placed in the fabric softener opening)
Cycle Two: Whitest Whites Cycle with extra rinse-no detergent, no vinegar
Cycle Three: Quick Wash Cycle (hot) with extra rinse-no detergent, no vinegar
Took them out and hung to dry.

My husband retested several inserts and we still had beading and runoff, so washing more today.
Cycle Four: Quick Wash Cycle (hot) with extra rinse-no detergent, 1/4 c vinegar
Cycle Five: Quick Wash Cycle (hot) with extra rinse- no detergent, no vinegar

The diapers are currently drying, so stay tuned for news to see if this stripping strategy worked.

I think the thing to know about diapers and laundry is that it takes a little bit of experimentation to get the right routine, manageable, yet gets your diapers clean. Perhaps we need to alter our regular washing routine a bit to make sure that our diapers are getting clean.

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