The first step of my cloth diaper-laundry routine begins long before the diapers see the washer or dryer. When I take off Cooper’s cloth diapers, the first thing I do before tossing them in deluxe pail liner, is to secure the aplix tabs to the laundry tabs on the sides of the diapers. This prevents the aplix tabs from sticking to the diapers and inserts in the washer, thus helping to protect the aplix from damaging the diapers and helps them to last longer.
I wash my diapers about every other day, sometimes I go a full two days in between washings. It depends on how many diapers I’ve needed to change. I have about 30 diapers and now that Cooper is four months old, he’s no longer pooping at every feeding. I’d say I change his diaper an average of eight times a day. So when my diaper duffel is full and we are down to our last few clean diapers, I bring everything down to my laundry room. I toss each diaper into the washer one at a time, double checking that the velcro laundry tabs are fastened (both on my diaper covers and my duo fab fitteds). I used to pull the inserts out of my duo diapers when I put them in the wash. Then I read on the Thirsties website that if you leave them in, they will agitate out during the washing process. I tried it and they do!
Once the diapers are in the washing machine, I measure out my Thirsties Pre-Wash and run a “Quick Wash” on cold. On my washing machine, this takes about half an hour. Once the pre-wash cycle is finished, I leave the diapers where they are add the Thirsties Super Wash Detergent and run a “Normal Cycle.” On my machine this is a hot wash with a cold rinse and it takes about one hour.
When the washer bell dings, I start moving the diapers to the dryer. A full dry cycle takes about 40 minutes on my machine, but if I remember, I take all of my diaper covers out after 20 minutes and then let the duo-fab fitteds and inserts dry longer. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’ve been taking them outside to dry. Direct sunlight is great for fading stains and some of my diapers have a few, though not many. Since I don’t have a clothes line, I had been draping the diapers over any and every possible thing I could find–laying them on the woodpile, the play structure, the patio chairs. But today, I realized the ultimate hanging drying rack has been there all along. The hammock. So there they are…swaying in the breeze and drying in the fresh mountain air. I wish I could join them but I’ve got a diaper to change.