Because they're filled with poop, many people are intimidated by cloth diapers. But as anyone who reared cloth diaper-wearing kids can tell you, they're really not a big deal -- as long as you know how to clean them! Take this quiz to see if you have the knowledge to take on the challenge of cloth diapers.
You really want to be careful with the kind of detergent you use when washing cloth diapers. Avoid using detergents with additives or bleach, and don't even use a fabric softener, as this will decrease the diapers' absorbency.
The wet pail method is exactly what it sounds like: a special pail that's partially filled with water in which diapers are soaked before washing.
A diaper sprayer is a handy tool that you can hook to your toilet to spray the solid waste from the diaper into the toilet. It resembles the detachable water faucets that are in many kitchen sinks.
If your cloth diapers get a buildup of detergent, you will need to strip them in order to get their absorbency levels back to normal. To do this, send the diapers through a hot wash cycle without using detergent. Then rinse them until there are no bubbles in the water.
You will want to wash your cloth diapers at least once before using them. Depending on the brand and the material they're made of, you may need to wash them multiple times before putting them on your baby, as this removes some chemicals and increases absorbency.
You want to use a quarter to half the recommended amount of detergent to prevent buildup. Detergent buildup is one of the leading causes of decreased absorbency in cloth diapers.
You should wash a load of cloth diapers every two to three days to prevent odors and stains.
When first purchased, diapers made of cotton or hemp should be washed at least five to six times before use. This helps remove some of the chemicals and increase absorbency.
If you need extra help eliminating odors, add baking soda or vinegar to the prewash cycle.
You should avoid using diaper rash creams because they tend to stain diapers.