Build-up. It’s an ugly word in the cloth diapering community. And if you have any experience with cloth diapers, you know why. Leakage, stink, stains are all par for the course when you have detergent build-up on your diapers.
Here is the million-dollar question; how do I keep my diapers clean and build-up free? Well, first off, always make sure that your washing routine is a good one! A typical washing routine is a cold pre-rinse to get rid of all of the yuck. A hot wash with cloth diaper recommended detergent, an additional cold rinse. (a total of two final rinses).
The type of cloth diapers you own will determine the kind of detergent you use. It is always essential to use the recommended detergent for your diapers. Not only will it help them last longer, but it will also allow you to send the diaper back to the manufacturer in case of a faulty elastic, bad snap, or any other manufacturer defect due to normal wear. When you purchase new diapers from an authorized retailer, most cloth diaper companies will repair or replace your diapers for free with proof of purchase.
If you find that after establishing a good washing routine, you are experiencing problems with build-up, the most straightforward and most benign method for stripping your pocket diapers, your all-in-ones, fitteds, hybrids, and inserts is using blue Dawn.
Yes, good ol’ blue Dawn. The stuff that cleans penguins caught in oil spills also helps cloth diapers! Yay Dawn! Nearly all modern cloth diapers can be stripped this way: Follow the washing routine described above. In addition to detergent, add a squirt of blue Dawn in the wash cycle. You will see bubbles galore if you open your washing machine during the rinse cycle. That is normal.
The blue Dawn binds to the build-up and oils trapped in the pores of the cloth and helps wash them away (same as the penguins). Once you are done with your two rinses, you will have to keep rinsing until you see no more bubbles in the wash. My washing machine is about two more rinses (in addition to the two after the wash, a total of 4 rinses). For super tough build-up, you can add a tiny drop of blue Dawn to the spot in your diaper where you are having trouble (perhaps a side that always leaks?) and scrub it with a little brush before putting it in the wash. Check out this video by smartipants where this technique is demonstrated.
Follow this routine to kick the build-up in your cloth diapers to the curb! Have you ever stripped your cloth diapers using the blue Dawn method?