Monday, October 10, 2011

Mailbox Mondays: Wet Pail vs. Dry Pail

Mailbox Mondays button

First I want to say thanks to all who have submitted a question for Mailbox Mondays.  I am going to try to answer your questions as fairly as possible, starting with the most urgent.  If I don’t know the answer to your particular problem or I don’t feel qualified to answer it, I will either pose the question to the readers, or I will send you a personal email.

Todays question is from Holly Stowell.  She writes:

I have been soaking my cloth diapers until wash time. Is it necessary to soak them or will they be okay just taking them off my baby and putting
them in the laundry basket.  What I do is have a bucket, put a table spoon of our chosen detergent (Rockin Green) and fill the bucket.  When I do my wash I rinse them, and wash as directed per detergent instructions.  I ask because years  ago
when I cloth diapered my oldest (20 years) we soaked them and {gasp} they were only pre-folds

I want to preface my answer by saying that you should always refer to and follow the manufacturer recommendations for washing your chosen brand of cloth diapers.  Keep in mind when taking washing suggestions from others that it may void your warranty {if there is one} and you don’t want to put that in jeopardy!

The preferred method of storing soiled diapers today is a dry pail.  For most brands that I know of, the manufacturer recommends that you not use a wet pail or soak your diapers.  Some of the modern synthetic fabrics do not respond well to soaking.  {See more washing tips here}.

This is especially true if you are using pocket diapers or diaper covers with a PUL/TPU waterproof outer shell.  The laminated fabric can delaminate if constantly soaked.  Sometimes you may get build-up on your diapers and feel that you need to soak them or strip them.  This may be true, but you should only soak the inserts.  Occasionally washing microfiber inserts with a little bit of bleach may also help, but you should never do this with the outer waterproof shell of your diapers.

One popular way to keep diapers de-funked is “rockin’ a soak” using Rocking Green detergent.  If you “rock a soak” you should do it only with your inserts.  If you must soak your pockets/covers, it should be for a very short time.

Personally, I use both a diaper pail with a pail liner and a wet bag to store my dirty diapers.  I keep the diaper pail next to the changing table.  If the diaper only contains pee, I simply separate the insert from the pocket and throw it in, along with my cloth wipes.  I keep a hanging wet bag in the bathroom.  If the diaper is poopy, I spray off the solids into the toilet with a diaper sprayer, and then toss the insert and pocket (or prefold and cover) into the wet bag.  On wash day I dump everything into the washer and they are cleaned together.  The wet bags and pail liners are designed to contain odors and wet messes.  {You may find this better than just using a laundry basket}.

It is recommended to wash every 2-3 days.  This will help keep odors at a minimum, as well as prevent the “soil” from setting into your diapers too much.  It also ensures that your diapers will not have pre-mature wear from being washed constantly every day.  Personally, I wouldn’t go more than 4-5 days between washes if you are trying to wash as little as possible.  Most people don’t have enough diapers to go that long anyway!

I hope that helps!  Do you have any other advice for Holly?  Did I leave something out?  Leave a comment so Holly {and others} can be sure to benefit from your experience!

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