Stripping Cloth Diapers in the Dishwasher | Sanitize and De-Funk #ClothDiapers
This post DOES come with a disclaimer at the bottom!
I buy most of Jett’s diapers previously owned. When I get them, I wash them really good usually using really hot water as well as tea tree oil or something similar to disinfect them before putting them on his bottom!
I’ve never really had a big problem with buying diapers that are funky, but ocassionally, I’ll get a diaper, that no matter what I put in the initial wash, it comes out (wet) with that funky buildup smell. When that happens, I strip the diaper (sometimes with a drop of Dawn, sometimes, with bleach, if i just MUST, and sometimes, in the dishwasher) before putting it on him.
Over the weekend, I stripped his diapers, because of a few factors. We had yeast, he’s been teething, he had a little stomach bug, and because they have just built up to funky. We use mostly BumGenius right now (it’s what works!), and microfiber is really hard to get super clean. When you hear about stink issues in diapers, 9 times out of 10, it’s because of microfiber.
So, Hawk and I loaded the dishwasher (with previously washed diapers, of course).
Of course, I made sure that it was set to “air dry” so that the heating element didn’t come on when there was no water shooting through. I also made sure that my diapers were folded in half – inside out, and tabs up so that there was nothing hanging down touching the heating element.
Why do I use the dishwasher? My thought behind this method being the best, is that water is pushed UP and THROUGH the diapers, rather than the diapers sitting in the same water, being drained while catching most of what was just boiled out of them, and then rinsed. With the dishwasher, water is pushed through, up, and back down to the bottom, and diapers aren’t even sitting in standing water to catch what was just washed out of them.
While you’re doing this, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan for diapers. Sure, you can use disposables (and we used some during this period, I won’t lie), but wouldn’t it be better to get creative and use what you already have? This is a great time to bust out the prefolds, flat folds and receiving blankets!
Ok, back to stripping. Once the dishwasher cycle was done, I ran a rinse cycle in the washer to make sure the water was clear. It was.
I proceeded to line dry so that the sun could naturally bleach the stains and disinfect.
After about 4 hours on the line (it wasn’t a terribly hot day yesterday, or they’d have been dry already), I brought them in and threw them in the dryer to not only finish drying, but to soften them up as well. (We prefer soft diapers, rather than the not to soft feeling of air dried diapers.)
…and we are BACK in business!
Disclaimer: The dishwasher stripping method is controversial, but if you think about it, what ISN’T controversial when it comes to cloth diaper care? Pick your battles and do what works best for you! You can use this as a last resort if you’d like, but because PUL was invented for medical purposes, it was made with the intentions of needing extremely high heats to sanitize. I’ve never had a problem with this method, although, it’s not something that I do every day! This is a once-every-six-months-to-a-year process and it will probably void your warranty, only because it’s an unorthodox method of stripping —— however, so will bleach, and vinegar, and Dawn dish soap on most major brands!