Lately, I have heard a lot of buzz about stripping cloth diapers, so I thought I’d give you all a quick rundown of my own process. Please understand, I just landed on “my process.” While it has really worked for me so far, there are a lot of factors that can impact its effectiveness with your diapers.
In my post about how to strip diapers, I outlined several other methods for stripping diapers (it was news to me back then that there were so many ways to strip cloth diapers!). Uf this doesn’t work for you, you have other options – promise.
Okay, so here goes. My process:
1. Washing Machine Rinses: First, I rinsed the heck out of my diapers in the washing machine. I mean, I probably ran seven or eight normal cycles without any detergent alternating hot and warm. In between almost all of those, I ran a soak or a rinse/drain/spin cycle (warm). The diapers were quite literally in the washing machine for two days straight. I checked the suds level during every other cycle and after about one whole day of rinsing, I removed the diaper shells so only the inserts were rinsing.
2. Drying: I dried everything in the dryer. (I actually don’t know why I dried them – not necessary).
3. Boiling: I boiled every one of my inserts in a large stockpot on my stovetop. I know, it seems weird to put poop-catchers in the same pot you make chili, but I think it helps kill any remaining bacteria. I did my inserts in batches, so they weren’t overcrowded in the pot. I placed six or so in each batch and I let each batch boil for 10 minutes. Note: the inserts tend to puff up in the pot (which I can only assume is a good thing, it means boiling water is getting inside!). I made sure to keep pushing them down into the pot with a wooden spoon.
4. Draining/Cooling: Straight out of the pot, they are obviously hot, so I drained the inserts in a colander next to the stove in a baking pan for several minutes.
5. Rinsing (again): Once they were cool enough to handle, I rinsed each insert in cold water. I wrung each one out and laid flat on a kitchen towel to air dry a bit.
6. Scrubbing: While the inserts were boiling or draining, I scrubbed the inside of each diaper shell (the white part that catches all of the excrement) with blue Dawn dish soap and a small nail brush (a new one). I rinsed each shell thoroughly and laid out to dry.
7. Washing Machine Rinse: For good measure, I ran everything through another rinse cycle in the washing machine to make sure everything was thoroughly rinsed.
When I was finished, my diapers seemed cleaner than they had ever been. It was like starting fresh. I couldn’t believe I had used those diapers for so long without doing this sort of stripping. I vowed to repeat the process every couple of months. I have since repeated steps 3-5.
What’s your stripping method? Which steps work? Which aren’t worth it? How often do you strip your diapers? Join us on Facebook and let us know!
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday.