My four-month-old grandson just recently started on solid foods. It’s a remarkable milestone for us, but not so much for his cloth diaper stash. The easily digestible and machine washable breastfeed poo quickly became a much thicker mess. This is technically good for spraying off the excess into the toilet, but the food protein left in the diapers seems to be more of a challenge to get rid of in my washing machine.
I think I have said it before, but my stash is mainly made up of Rumparooz and bumGenius diapers, one of my go-to detergents is Tide Pure Clean. Our routine of cold pre-wash, regular hot wash, cold second rinse, and machine dry or hang, which has worked wonderfully for my older grandkids, seems not to be leaving the diapers as fresh as they used to.
I strip my covers and prefolds once every 4-5 weeks using the blue Dawn method to ensure no residues left. But even so, I feel like they are not as absorbent lately (I’ve had a few leaks here and there). In addition to the absorbancy issue, a peculiar moldy smell has been floating around my nursery. Not good.
We searched his room and realized it was the diaper insert. This is a problem because inserts, especially hemp (which is the bulk of what I have), are super absorbent. They do not want to let go of the water, making them great for night-time doubling. But even after washing and drying them in the dryer at HIGH heat, they are still not fully dry; therefore, they are much more prone to mold/bacteria buildup than your regular diapers or inserts.
It is so essential to keep them clean to avoid any issues. So I decided to spice up my washing routine. I wanted to find a way to REALLY wash my inserts, not just strip them, but give them a really good cleaning too. So after much research, I decided to take out all of my inserts and wash them with my regular routine, as mentioned above. But instead of drying them, I did another hot wash with a 1/4 cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda. I finished up with a cold rinse, and voila! All of my inserts came out fresh and clean! No more moldy, weird, sickening smell.
I think this is an excellent alternative to just adding the vinegar alone. Most people think vinegar is a harsh cleaning agent, but it’s a mild, acidic agent. Adding the baking soda gives it a little grit and an extra boost, getting the inserts clean. An important note here: I only used this stripping method on my inserts, NOT my covers. It is crucial not to wash your covers this way. I will post next week about how to get your covers ultra-clean! In the meantime, I am enjoying my incredibly clean insert stash.