Over time, your cloth diapers will steadily accumulate build up after being subjected to so many changes. This is only natural! There is certainly nothing wrong with your cloth diapers; however, it is important to fix this problem as soon as you notice it in order to help extend your cloth diaper's lifespan of usage.
How do you know if your cloth diapers need stripping? Here are a few clues I have learned:
- "Barnyard smell": Your diapers start smelling like a wet dog pretty much-or worse! Even after they come out of the wash.
- Leaks: Your diapers will start leaking regularly if the pores become too clogged.
- Discoloration: Discoloration will happen more often as your diapers are unable to clean as well as they once did while in the washer.
So, now we know what to look for, why do these things happen? Some common causes are:
- Using too much detergent: Causes detergent to build up in the diaper.
- Using too little detergent: Causes poop and pee to build up in the diaper.
- You're using the wrong detergent.
- You've used diaper cream not specifically made for cloth diapers.
- Not using hot water for the wash.
- Not using the rinse cycle before and after your hot wash.
Now, here is what to do about it. Proper stripping instructions will vary from site to site, but there is one clear method that is the most popular to use. You will need:
- 1 tablespoon Dawn liquid dish detergent (the BLUE kind) for regular or top loading machines OR 1 teaspoon Dawn liquid dish detergent (the BLUE kind) for high efficiency or front loading machines.
- 1/2 cup of bleach
**Note: You do NOT want to strip your diapers too often as it will wear them down. Bleach is abrasive and should only be used for bad cases of build up and barnyard stink!**
Now that you have your ingredients, wash your cloth diapers on a hot wash using the Dawn and bleach. After that wash, wash for TWO more times on hot with no detergent or Dawn or anything at all!
Dry as you normally would and there you have it! When in doubt, please check with the manufacturer of your brand cloth diapers.