Stripping the diapers

There comes a time for all cloth diapering moms to strip...the diapers. Unless you're ready for the next little nugget to cloth diaper. But that's a whole other blog. Back to diapers. I have gotten to the point where I want to go through and strip the diapers and I've been reading post after post about stripping diapers and while I have learned several methods that the users of that method swear by, I've been left still a little lost. So to help those of you struggling with what to do when it comes to stripping the diapers, here's what I've learned and pieced together from my readings.
There are 4 methods that seem to pop up pretty consistently. I will describe them and my take on them.

Method 1: Rinse and Repeat, a lot
This method is pretty simple in that you just do multiple hot washes to rinse out any lingering residue and/or funk. One suggestion I read was to crank up the hot water heater about 30 minutes before you start stripping. Make sure to put it back down though when you're done with the stripping, and be extra careful if you need to bathe baby while you are stripping the diapers. The Rinse and Repeat method seems to be a fairly all purpose one mostly for maintenance of the diapers. It doesn't really address any specific issues.

Method 2: Blue Dawn
This method uses blue Dawn dish soap and scrub brush or hands to soap up the diapers and then rinse until no more suds appear. You use a tablespoon of Dawn in a sink of very hot water (see Method 1 about cranking up the water heater), or tub depending on how large of a stash you have, and stir. Let it sit until you can comfortably put your hands in the water. Scrub with a nail brush or just using your hands. Then drain the sink and throw everything in the washer. You can add more Dawn at this point if you'd like (approx 1/2 tbsp) and rinse until the suds are gone. Warning: this can take several rinse cycles. Dish soap produces a lot of suds.
The Blue Dawn method seems to be best suited for stripping the diapers of any oil residues like from laundry detergents and fabric softener or diaper rash ointments. My opinion is that if it's good enough for little ducklings after an oil spill, it's good enough for my little duckling too.

Method 3: RLR Laundry Treatment/ Calgon
This method uses a product called RLR Laundry Treatment or you can also use Calgon Water Softener (these are typically found where you'd find Borax and other laundry boosters) and is a good remedy for stink issues caused by hard water. If you use the RLR simply follow the directions on the package. Some people recommended using 1/4-1/2 the package. If you opt for the Calgon treatment then again you just follow the directions except you would use 1/2 the recommended amount of product. This method helps to strip the minerals deposited by hard water that can build up and create some funk problems.

Method 4: Rockin' Green Funk Rock
This method uses Rockin' Green Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer. It specifically targets little ammonia crystals that build up over time. If you have an ammonia problem this is the most highly approved of method that I've found in my search. It works great as a stripping agent and you can also add a little to your prewash cycle for maintenance. This one is another one where all you have to do is follow the directions on the package.

The biggest issue that I've noticed is that we are all told that you have to strip your diapers periodically but no one ever tells you why. Here is my answer to why do I have to strip my diapers? Stripping the diapers allows you to "reset" the material in the diapers. "Stripping" literally means stripping the fibers of any build up that has accumulated over time either through normal day to day use or moments of unintentional abuse. Maybe you accidentally washed your liners with the diapers when you had cream on them, or maybe one of the grandparents was trying to be helpful and wash diapers for you and used fabric softener. Either way build up happens. One of the things that is sort of critical to the success of the stripping process is also one of the hardest for us noobs to figure out. What problem am I having that stripping will fix? If you are just stripping because you strip every month then this is less of an issue. But if you are having some kind of problem and in your quest to find a solution you discover that stripping will solve all of your problems, then you have some trouble. If your problem is ammonia fumes coming from your adorable little nugget's diaper then the Rinse and Repeat method isn't likely to help much. Any method will help a little but by being able to narrow down the list of causes then you are more likely to be able to choose the method most appropriate for your particular problem.

I have noticed that most people with HE washing machines have more trouble stripping their diapers due to the water saving features. If you are going to try stripping your diapers and have an HE machine, do your research! A hour or so of online research may save you hours of endless rinsing with less than optimal results.

I write this because this weekend is supposed to be beautiful here and I fully intend to bust out the drying rack and sun the diapers so I figured I might as well experiment with stripping them as well.

Hope this is helpful to my fellow CD'ers out there.

This is a great site that helped the most when reading about stripping diapers. Diapers


Popular Posts