Monday, April 8, 2013

I am a Stripper

Okay so this post might not be as exciting as the title sounds.  Actually there isn't anything exciting about it.  But it is informative if you are a cloth diaperer.

Why strip your diapers?
Stripping your diapers can help with removing mineral or soap build up.  It can help if you are having stink issues.  It can help if you are having repelling issues and leaky diapers.  Basically, it can help if your diapers aren't working the way they are supposed to.

Three methods I have used to Strip my Diapers
First of all let me preface that by saying we have extremely hard water where I live so treatments like vinegar and even bleach don't do much for my stink issues I have had.  We had a lot of problem with ammonia buildup until I got a better washing routine worked out.  If ammonia build up gets bad enough, it can cause very bad rashes as well.  Those without hard water should feel so very grateful.

The first method I have tried is to do a bunch of hot water washes checking each time until you don't see any soap bubbles or residue in the water on clean diapers.  It is better to do hot washes and warm rinses, but of course my washer doesn't have this option so it takes longer.  I only had limited success with this method though.  It just didn't seem to get enough of the minerals, soap, etc out.

The second option that worked well was putting a squirt or two of blue dawn in the hot wash with your clean diapers.  Then you continue rinsing until you see no more bubbles.  It takes a number of rinses to do this and warm or hot rinses work better.  Blue Dawn is a degreaser and helps break up all the things clinging to your diapers and inserts.  (Interesting animal science major tidbit, it also kills fleas on animals although you can't use it much or else it can really dry out their skin.  But it does work well.)    

The third option is to buy RLR.  You sprinkle this in hot water with your clean diapers and then do rinses until their are no more bubbles and soap residue left in the rinse water.  I prefer this method more than the other two because while the Blue Dawn works, it takes more rinses than the RLR.  More rinses equals more water which equals a higher water bill (although the cost difference probably equals out when you figure how cheap blue dawn is if you prefer that method.)  See here for a detailed post about stripping with RLR since that is my preferred method.
Picture via Kelly's Closet

How to prevent having to strip your diapers regularly:
  • Make sure to rinse every diaper even just pee diapers before putting them in the wet bag.
  • Wash every couple of days even if you only have a few diapers.
  • Figure out a good wash routine that uses enough soap, but not too much soap to cause buildup.
  • Use only cloth diaper safe ointments or make sure to always use liners.
  • Avoid using fabric softeners or static cling sheets on your diapers (but it can also help to avoid using them in your machine all together.
  • Avoid over using additives in your wash routine.
Feel free to ask me any stripping questions you might have!  haha

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