Since we had our first experience today with stripping diapers, I thought I'd share our experience.
A few days ago we went from being in CD utopia to Defcon 5. It seemed like every diaper we put on X leaked within an hour, and I'm not talking about a little wet spot around his legs, it was as if the flood gates had opened. He was getting drenched all up his back, or his side, or me depending on the luck of the draw.
So first things first, I started to trouble shoot the leak. Our BumGenius 3.0s hadn't leaked, so initially I didn't think detergent build up was the problem. Plus, we use Planet detergent, very CD friendly according to the detergent chart over on diaperjungle. We played around with how we were putting on his diapers, making sure they were tight enough around his waist and legs. I tried adding boosters and using different inserts. Nothing.
Then I finally decided to see if they were repelling water. So, I took one of our grovia soakers, put it under the bathroom sink faucet, and turned on the slightest little trickle I could. It puddled.
I wish I could tell you I said something like "Ah Ha! By jolly I've figured it out", instead it went something like "#$^^&$& *(^&* $%^!!!!!".
You see, I've heard horror stories about stripping diapers. A good friend of mine used Arm & Hammer detergent and had to run twelve cycles before the build up was rinsed out. Insane.
I should back up here. Incase you haven't been completely assimilated into the cloth diaper cult yet, stripping refers to getting rid of build up typically caused by excess detergent, but it can also be caused by really hard water, body oils, or using a CD unfriendly diaper rash cream. If it's just detergent, hot water should take care of the problem. But, if it's something more complicated you might need to use a little squirt of dawn, vinegar, oxi-clean, or the blood of a two headed goat. See here for details on all those fun options.
Ok, back to the fun. Once I fully accepted the situation, here's what we did:
- Wash dirty CDs as we typically do, but cut down to a quarter of the recommended amount of detergent instead of the half we were using.
- Take out just the covers & shells, throw them on top of the shower rod to dry, leaving all the inserts, soakers, and boosters in the washing machine (I should mention that we only have pocket & hybrid/all-in-two diapers, no all-in-ones)
- Repeat the cycle on hot with no detergent
- Check 15 minutes into the cycle to see if there were bubbles (there were)
- Repeated steps 2 & 3 until there were no bubbles (it took us 3 cycles)
- Dry everything
- Test for water repellency (it absorbed immediately, success!)
For now we're going to keep using Planet, but cut down to 1/4 of the recommended amount. It's the only CD friendly detergent I can find locally, so I really don't want to have to change and exclusively order it online. If that doesn't work I guess I'll break down and order Rockin' Green.
Have any tips for preventing build up, or tricks to strip your cloth diapers? Leave a comment below!