Many people feel apprehensive about cloth diapering because of ‘all the cleaning!’ In reality there isn’t much more cleaning than with disposables and all my friends who switched to cloth diapers find it pretty easy.
What about the smelly poop?!
If you are new to motherhood you might not know yet that as long as baby is breastfed their poop actually has no bad smell and is a beautiful bright yellow color (although color variations are possible and normal) and is very similar to cottage cheese or ricotta :)) in texture. Sometimes it even smells a bit like honey-cakes :)… I hope I haven’t ruined honey-cakes, ricotta and cottage cheese for you 🙂
So when you get breastfed poop on a diaper it is very easy to rinse off straight into the toilet with a help of small plastic brush. Next give it a quick hand-rub with soap, run hot (as hot as it comes) water over stained areas and leave it soaped up till your next diaper laundry (we do ours once a day). All and all it takes just few minutes.
As you start giving baby grown up food the poopies do start looking and smelling more and more like the real poop. In most cases it is very easy to remove most of it with some toilet paper, flush down the toilet and the rest is just as described above – quick brush to get the sticky bits off, quick rub with soap, hot water and let is seat soaped until your daily laundry run. But sometimes things can get messy, especially as baby grows and so does the volume of poopies. Again, Elimination Communication is great help to reduce dirty diapers. But when it happens best way to rinse the inserts off is with a help of one of those Diaper Sprayers plus a little cheap plastic brush.
And then there are those epic incidents when to be honest I just tossed away the insert, as it was too much of a mess and I was rather tired. But in general it is quite easy to clean.
And even thought it takes a bit more cleaning – it does make a significant difference in treating our environment gently an not leaving colossal piles of poppy-filled diapers behind us for the next 500 years.
Washing the diaper inserts
We use organic soap nuts to do all our laundry including diapers. Works great and is very cost effective! If your diapers do develop funny smell, which happened to us on two occasions in the last 2 years an overnight soak in RockinGreen detergent got rid of the funky odor. I don’t use it all the time, just on those rare occasions.
Air drying outdoors
If you can then line dry your inserts outside. You can even dry your laundry outside in winter. It will freeze, but once defrosted it’ll be just damp and you can let it finish drying inside. Laundry that dries outside always has really nice truly fresh smell about it. And if the inserts get stiff from line drying, just give them a good wringing once dry.
Cleaning wool covers
The wool cover I recommend is the organic ones by by LoveyBums. They are great at water-proofing and very easy to use.
As far as caring for covers – you only need to wash them if poopies get on them plus a rare rinse from urine. I recommend wool soap. If you wash it right away the stain gets off easily. No need to rub, just soap soiled part and squish the fabric with your fingers. Once you are satisfied, rinse and place on a bath towel and roll the towel to absorb the water. Then take your cover out and spread on a drying rack.
As the woollies do get stretched a bit I run them through a wool/gentle cold water machine cycle once in a while. It helps them to restore their shape.
Many people and will cover brands recommend regularly applying lanolin to your covers. I actually never do it and never had an issue with water-proofing.