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Adjust to Your Washing Machine

Adjust to Your Washing Machine

Clean diapers should smell of nothing---fresh, beautiful nothing. How do you make sure that happens? Sometimes you need to adjust your diaper washing routine to your washing machine.

Hot or Cold?

You can use cold water to wash cloth diapers. You don't have to use hot water unless you are trying to sterilize your diapers. Even then, you can sterilize diapers naturally using the UV light from the sun.

Use Enough Detergent

You do need to be sure that you use enough detergent. For example, if you cut back according to instructions for a high efficiency washer (generally suggested to use 1/4 of the amount recommended for that detergent), you still need to be sure that you use enough detergent to clean your diapers. If you don't use enough detergent, you may find that diapers smell a lot immediately after your baby wets them.

Don't Use Too Much Detergent

Don't adjust too far the other way. If you use too much detergent, detergent residue can build up on the fabric, keeping the diapers from absorbing properly. If the diapers repel urine, you have a leaky diaper.

Just like Goldilocks, you need to get it not to much, not too little, but just right.

Second Rinse

If you find that you are getting detergent build up, you may need to add a second rinse cycle to your regular wash routine even if you don't have a high-efficiency washer.

High Efficiency Washing Machine

A lot of families are opting for a high-efficiency washer to save on water. With a few minor adjustments, you will still be able to keep your cloth diapers clean and smelling fresh.

Because the high-efficiency washer uses less water, you may want set water levels to highest settings. Or, rather than one long wash cycle you may find that two short cycles give you a cleaner rinse.

If you don't use the two-short-cycle method, you may need to add an extra rinse.

Both high efficiency washing machines and particular types of cloth diapers can vary, so you may need to experiment to find the best wash routine for your machine and your diapers.

The biggest drawback in using a high-efficiency machine to wash cloth diapers is the front loading. It is tough to dump a wet pail into a front-load washer. You may find it less messy to use a dry pail.

Because a high-efficiency machne spins so much water out of your diapers, you will find that they will dry more quickly, which will save you energy through the rest of your wash routine.