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Stripping Cloth Diapers

stripping cloth diapersIf your diapers are leaky and smell funky, then you may have detergent build up.  Stripping cloth diapers restores their freshness and ability to absorb instead of leak.  I'll show you how to strip your cloth diapers, and restore your sanity.   The best part is...it's super easy!  It's just a couple of extra steps added to a regular wash routine.

To keep your diapers from getting detergent build up, you'll want to read Cleaning Cloth Diapers. It's pretty simple to keep your diapers looking and smelling their best!  I'll walk you through the steps of how to wash cloth diapers.  

Stripping Cloth Diapers

I like to strip my entire stash of diapers about once a month.  It's a very simple process, and keeps your diapers at peak absorbency!  You can tell your diapers have build up if there are detergent bubbles in the rinse cycle, if your diapers have a strong ammonia or weird 'funky' smell to them when the baby wets, or if they start leaking suddenly and consistently.  We're going to be removing that build up by stripping cloth diapers and instantly restoring the absorbency!   Here's how:

1) Wash your diapers as usual (one cold wash with your usual detergent), but don't dry them.  If you peek in during the rinse cycle, you may see bubbles (indicating detergent build up.)  Let's get rid of them!  

2) Let the washer fill with the hot water on the highest water setting with the diapers still in the washing tub.  Add a squirt of Ivory or Dawn Dish washing Liquid to the water, and run through a full wash.  Ivory and Dawn contain degreasing agents, and will help to strip off any oils that have built up on your diapers.

Try using Ivory or Dawn to spot treat diaper rash cream or oily build up.

3) Rinse several times in hot water until there are no more bubbles.

4) Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar* into the bleach cup on your washer, and rinse two more times.  Vinegar is mildly acidic, and helps to break down detergent build up and oils, as well as acting as a natural fabric softener.   The vinegar smell goes away as the diapers dry.

5)  Dry your diapers as usual.  I recommend holding the freshly stripped batch of diapers until you've used up every other diaper in the house.  Then strip the dirty load.  This ensures that you've gotten all of them.

That's all there is to stripping cloth diapers!  Check out my cloth diaper journal to see how often I end up stripping cloth diapers.

* If you live in an area with hard water, skip the vinegar.  It can react with the minerals in the water and cause odors.