Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Diaper Stripping

Over time, your diapers will accumulate build-up and begin to repel liquid or have a constant offensive odor- usually from the ammonia. For me, it took almost three months to notice the smell. I haven't had extreme issues with absorbency, but I have noticed a few leaks around legs and waist where they never used to show up. I decided two days ago that I should attempt to "strip" my diapers.

I was certainly feeling nervous about the task- there are so many ways that other mamas will suggest to strip diapers, and everyone has their own tailored method. I researched and devised my own plan of action, and I am very happy with the results!

My first attempt only included about one-third of my total diaper stash, because I wanted to make sure that I found a method that would work well and give me the results I desired, without having all of my diapers stuck in the wash for hours on end if something went wrong.

I began with my normal pre-wash: one cup of vinegar and eight drops of tea tree oil in
a large water load. (My washer is top loading, to give you an idea of the amount of water I deal with.) After the pre-wash, I did a second cycle and added one and a half teaspoons of the basic blue Dawn dish detergent. I decided to use Dawn as my stripping agent because I already have it in my kitchen, and it seemed less labor-intensive than boiling all the diapers!

After the Dawn cycle, I ran a third session with my normal amount of regular detergent- in this case, it was two scoops of Tiny Bubbles by GroVia. I finished with a final wash cycle of plain water with no additives, to make sure all of the detergents were cleaned from the diapers. Of note: be sure that your final wash cycle does not show any signs of bubbles from detergent. This is how you'll know you've rinsed them thoroughly.

I finished up with my usual drying pattern- inserts in the dryer on low heat, covers hanging from my drying rack. I am incredibly pleased with the result! No more nasty ammonia smell and my diapers are soft and even look a little bit less stained. I'll let you know how long it is before I have to strip again!

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