Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stripping Cloth Diapers

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. Repeat the cycle on hot with no detergent
  4. Check 15 minutes into the cycle to see if there were bubbles (there were)
  5. Repeated steps 2 & 3 until there were no bubbles (it took us 3 cycles)
  6. Dry everything
  7. Test for water repellency (it absorbed immediately, success!)
I'm not exactly sure why the BG3.0s never leaked, maybe it has something to do with the microfiber (all the rest of our soakers & inserts are cotton). But, I have no doubt that they would have eventually had the same problem.

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!


HRH Mommy said...

Love your writing. Look forward to reading more. I'm now following you from MBC. If you have a chance, check out my blog at

The Planet Pink said...

I never felt brave enough to CD (by the time I was inspired to do so I was on Princess #4 and the thought was overwhelming), so I'll live vicariously through you. Love your blog! Looking forward to reading more!

JMN said...

Hi there.

Found you on OrganicMommy from Mommy Blogs.

Just wanted to let you know that your link and your button do not work. The link is spelled wrong and you'll need to give the code for your button.

I'm a new follower and would love if you'd follow me back

I will grab your button - if you'll come and grab mine too!


KimD said...

I loved cloth diapering! Vinegar in the hot water wash also helped strip the diapers. I'm following your blog now. (From MBC)

Barry said...

We used cloth diapers - ugh! I favor disposables

blueviolet said...

I never knew that!!! I'm following from MBC followers group!

Buckeroomama said...

Thankfully we never had to strip the diapers... We used BumGenius as well. We used a barrier cream every time, but we also make sure that have a disposable liner on, so that the cream does not come in contact with the diaper itself.

I'm following from MBC. :)

mangiabella said...

found u via MBC :) and am now your newest follower! would love to have you follow me at - have a great day!

Laine said...

@ HRH Mommy - Thanks so much for checking out my blog, I just started to follow yours!

@ The Planet Pink - Thanks so much for checking out my blog!

@ JMN - Thanks for the heads up, I fixed the typo in the url a little bit ago, and recently added code to grab my badge. Your badge has been added on crispymom!

@ KimD - Thanks for the tip! All is well with our CDs now, but I'll definitely keep the vinegar trick in mind. Following your blog :)

@ Barry - We really do love our cloth diapers, X is prone to diaper rashes with disposables and we're saving a bundle. But I totally understand it's not for everyone!

@ blueviolet - Thanks for checking my blog out!

@ Buckeroomama - I've never heard of barrier cream, I'm going to have to check that out!

Laine said...

@ mangiabella - What a beautiful blog! I'm following you now.

Kimberly said...

I didn't cloth diaper but admire those who do. it seems overwhelming...but I guess once you get used to it. Great blog! I love your name too :-) I'm kind of a wanna be "granola" girl...but have a long way to go! ~Kimberly

Laine said...

@ Kimberly - I thought the same thing about CDing before we started doing it. I think it's SO easy now that we're doing it, but there's so much information out there, it can be intimidating.

Thanks for the compliment about the name! I hope this blog will appeal to mamas who have a little green streak in them, but may not consider themselves super crunchy :). Love your blog, I'm following you!

Cindy said...

Great blog! I love anything green and if my children were still little I would use cloth diapers, they have come along way! I am following you from MBC

Jessica - Mom of all Trades said...

Hi, I'm your newest GFC follower from MBC, I hope you'll take a moment to follow me too at Mom of all Trades!

I am stripping my cloth diapers right now. I use 2 different methods. Today I am stripping them using Dawn (the original blue). Other times I put them in the dishwasher (no soap or rinseaid).

Jenny May McKim said...

Hi I am your newest follower from MBC and I am a CD momma of twin girls who are 1...
We do not use BG but I have had the stripping fun (and not the kind where I might make money lol)
We have a front loader washer (do you?) they are not as efficient at dealing with CD as the top loaders are because of the amount of water they use..
So after our stripping I started adding a good pail of water to the pre soak and the actual wash... it has helped a lot!
I use Good Mamma fitteds and mostly swaddlebees and Fuzzi Bunz pockets and have only ever had the problem with the Microfiber inserts!
We used dawn in the wash cycle and did extra hot washes..
Though once my husband used diaper cream for the day and we ended up having to (or I had to) boil them in a big pot with dawn and baking soda and it certainly turned them fluffy and soft!

Love meeting CD mommas..

OH and I use Rockin' Green.
I ordered a large order to make the shipping of 20$ worth it for me.
She is wonderful to deal with!

Christie@EndlesslyLearning said...

To wash my son's cloth diapers I run them through a cold wash cycle first, then a hot cycle with 1/2 cup of baking soda, then rinse (cold) with 1/2 cup of vinegar. It works great, they never smell, and you don't have to worry about the detergent messing with absorbency. And if you dry them in the sunshine it works as natural bleach to get rid of stains!

Post a Comment