As some of you may know, I've become a mom last year. When I got pregnant, I chose not to talk about it all that much on here, figuring it wasn't of much interest to whoever might have been reading my blog up to that point. And somehow after Coco was born I kept the same attitude, which of course led to less and less posting because, let's face it, my life pretty much revolves around motherhood now. Which means I haven't shopped for myself in a hell of a while and therefore have been wearing the same clothes for a few years now (but then again, what would be the point of shopping when between the pregnancy and the post-pregnancy weight loss I haven't been the same weight for more than 30 seconds for about two years), I haven't eaten out in even longer, and I've completely lost the habit of wearing jewelry. To top it off, not only am I a mom, I am a granola one at that. Which means not only that I'm overly interested in all things baby, I am addicted to things like cloth diapers and woven wraps. And well, as far as that is from the college student who started this blog 14 years ago, I can't deny that is me now, and if I'm to keep blogging, I may as well include this new me in my posts.
So, to start it off, I'm going to talk to you about cloth diapers today. Or actually, about the cloth diaper washing lie that causes so many to ditch cloth diapering entirely.
If you ask (most) manufacturers and (most) cloth diaper stores, here's what they'll tell you about washing your diapers : you need to first rince on cold to remove all the things you don't want in your main wash, then wash on hot with very little cloth-safe detergent (because commercial detergent will damage your diapers, and too much detergent will build up on your diapers which will over time cause them to stop absorbing), and then rince again on cold to make sure you're removing all detergent that may be lingering on your diapers.
When we started cloth diapering and didn't know if we'd go for it in the long run, we bought a used lot from a local lady who included the detergent she had been using. It was Motherease's Kind detergent. I couldn't find much info on it, but it doesn't seem to be a cloth safe detergent. I figured if she had been using it without a problem I could probably at least use up the leftover she gave me and then choose a detergent I would like. So for a few weeks, my wash routine was pretty much the one I described above. I only used one tablespoon of detergent. My diapers didn't smell or repel, although they did get stains. I was told it was normal and the stains came out with sunning, so I didn't mind too much.
And then I heard that some people used Tide and other commercial detergents on their diapers. I was thrown back and started reading about that. Those people are of the opinion that it doesn't make sense to use LESS detergent on such heavily soiled items such as diapers (makes sense) and that detergent, as opposed to soap, is formulated not to build up on anything (again, makes sense). Moreover, they say that washing on hot is only optional as no water heater heats water up enough for the water to actually sanitize anything. And finally, they see no point in an extra rince after the main wash - because detergent will not build up.
It all made SO MUCH SENSE I figured I'd try it even though I didn't have a problem with my routine. I was scared though, so I started by doubling the amount of Kind detergent I was using. And, lo and behold, I stopped getting stains altogether. Look at that: my diapers were actually getting cleaner and still not smelling or repelling.
When I ran out of Kind, I bought a small box of Tide Free & Clear and started using the recommended amount of detergent. And guess what? Nothing happened. My diapers remained stain and smell-free. After three months, I ran out of Tide, and the price tag (and the smell!) led me to use Gain. And again, nothing happened. Diapers still perfect. I started washing on warm, see if I could save some money… and still nothing happened.
Then my mat leave came to an end and I started having to wash later in the evening (instead of in the morning), after Coco was in bed, when I didn't have as much time to pre-rince, wash, and rince again. So I gradually eliminated the final rince. It's been months now and…. yup, you guessed it, NOTHING WENT WRONG.
Coco is now almost 17 months old. Taking into account the fact we started cloth when he was 2 months old and we used disposables for 3 months when we went to Australia and New Zealand, he's been cloth diapered for 12 months. His diapers have never been washed in cloth-safe detergent and are not excessively and pointelessly rinced anymore, and his bum is just fine. And when I log onto Facebook cloth diapering groups and see the problems people are having (ammonia burns, horrible smells) certainly because they are NOT WASHING THEIR DIAPERS, it makes me crazy! Sure cloth diapering is not for everyone, but how many more people would be using them if they knew they don't have to abide by a time-consuming wash routine? When you stop all the nonsense, it's no more complicated to wash diapers than it is washing regular clothes, and you get none of those scary problems everyone seems to be having all over the Internet….