About 3.3 million tons of disposable diapers end up in landfills every year. Each one of these diapers takes up to 500 years to decompose while releasing toxic chemicals and gases into the environment. So, when you shift to cloth diapers, you naturally end up making a massive difference. But this difference largely depends on the way you launder the diapers and the detergents you choose. Aside from the environmental factors, the best diaper detergent also ensures a perfect wash and remains fully safe for your little one’s skin.
Which Detergents Should You Choose?
From commercial cleaners to DIY ones, here are some of the best detergent choices for washing your baby’s cloth diapers:
Washing Greens Detergent
What you choose to launder a cloth diaper with decides how well it is cleaned and the kind of environmental impact it leaves behind. BabeeGreens' bio-degradable, 100% natural detergent caters specifically to baby diapers. It is made of four simple yet powerful ingredients – sodium bicarbonate, soda ash, organic tea tree and lavender oils, and pure castile soap.
Sodium bicarbonate, castile soap, and soda perform the task of a thorough cleaning. Whereas essential oils infuse the fabric with anti-bacterial components alongside fully neutralizing the odor. Each box of Washing Greens detergent is enough to perform 48-96 loads of laundry!
BabeeGreens Wool Wash
It is critical to get your diaper cleaning technique right. But have you given thought to efficiently cleaning those wool diaper covers?
Crafted from a blend of organic oils and pure castile soap, and infused with organic lavender and lanolin, BabeeGreens Wool Wash is perfect for cleaning diaper covers and any wool fabric your little one wears. Lavender offers moth-repellant properties and calms your little one down before bedtime. The lanolin inside provides leak protection (although, it's still recommended to lanolise the wool fabric periodically). Each wash with BabeeGreens wool wash will leave your baby’s diaper covers and woolen clothes soft and fresh.
When looking for a commercial laundry detergent that is safe for your little one. Consider some of the tips below:
- Look for free and clear detergents
- Go with one that doesn't contain fabric softeners.
- All-natural detergents that are free of harsh chemicals, dyes, and artificial materials.
Remember, some natural surfactants can create layers of buildup on the diaper. Make sure you rinse the diapers well after each use. When using all-natural detergents, it’s important to increase the “detergent doze” for every wash.
DIY has become a popular choice for parents wanting to save money and the environment. Three of the most important ingredients here include sodium bicarbonate, borax, and washing soap.
Sodium bicarbonate or washing soda helps soften the water and aids in spot treatment. Borax is a naturally occurring element that whitens fabric, removes odor, boosts the power of bleach (if you choose to use it), and disinfects the cloth diaper. Washing soap can be deployed either by grating a soap bar or using liquid soap. Soap, however, is not typically recommended by diaper wash.
Which Products to Avoid
The best diaper cleaner wins in three categories - the quality of cleaning, your little one’s skin, and diaper wear and tear. Here’s what to avoid when you’re shopping for a cloth diaper cleaner:
- Delete fabric softener from the list. It not only coats the fabric but also lowers diaper absorbency.
- Restrict the usage of chlorine bleach to only a few times a month. Regular use of bleach can end up irritating your baby’s skin. It can also shorten the life of the fabric.
- Cleaning supplies infused with excessive bleaches, fragrances, dyes, and other chemicals that may prove harmful to your baby’s skin.
How to Wash Cloth Diapers the Right Way
Knowing what to wash your baby’s diapers with is not enough. Here’s how to wash them:
- Start with removing the solid waste either by swishing the diaper in the toilet bowl or using a diaper sprayer.
- Store the dirty diapers (after removing the poop from them, of course) in a pail until it’s time to wash. If the smell is a problem, you can always keep a diaper pail deodorizer handy.
- Plan your laundry days. You can either wash them every day or once in 3 days.
- Make sure you wash no more than 12 to 18 pieces at a time.
- Run two wash cycles. One cold or “speed wash” cycle with no detergent to avoid staining. The second, a hot or warm cycle with detergent.
- Line dry the diaper or use the combination of partial air drying and line drying.
Ensuring Cloth Diapers Live a Long Life
A quality cloth diaper that is well cared for can last until your baby is potty trained. Here’s a quick guide to lengthening the life of your sunshine’s diaper:
- Fabric softeners are a big no-no.
- Use bleach to a minimum.
- Ditch the dryer and hang dry the diaper overnight. Or, go for the partially dry + hand dry option.
- To maintain diaper softness, don’t dry on the hottest dryer setting.
- For whitening, use half a cup of lemon juice.
- Keep them out in the sun as much as possible. Even if the weather is cold, sun them to remove stains and keep them fresh.
- Pay special attention to diaper elastic when it comes to line drying. Hang them in a way that ensures the wetness doesn’t stretch out the elastic.
Cloth diaper hunting and cleaning can be a journey in itself. Sometimes, you’ll need a little bit of experimentation. At other times, you’ll simply find something that “clicks” instantly. If you’ve only just begun your search for the best cloth diaper cleaners, this would be a great start!