Stripping Cloth Diapers

Stripping Cloth Diapers


What is laundry stripping?

     Stripping is a method of deep cleaning laundry to remove built-up of heavy minerals, soil, laundry detergent and fabric softener from “clean” laundry with a chemical solution. This type of build-up on diapers can cause rashes, odor issues, and persistent leaking. It is important to remember that stripping is not part of a regular cloth diapering routine and is usually not necessary for general cleaning.

When should I strip cloth diapers?

     Stripping is something you may consider doing on items that have been washed with fabric softeners, used items, items that have a persistent odor, and items that are not absorbing properly after being washed continually in water with a heavy mineral content.

What should I do before stripping?
     Sometimes there are quick and easy fixes to the issues you are having. Before considering stripping, try re-washing diapers in hot water with no detergent .
Most modern washing machines only need about 1-2 tablespoons of detergent in a single load of laundry. Using more than this can result in buildup on your clothing as well as your washing machine .
You can also try repeating your wash cycle with an extra rinse. If items are still not smelling clean or absorbing, stripping might be what you need.
*Stripping diapers of build-up is not the same as sanitizing diapers.

What methods of stripping are there?

1. DIY soak- Borax, calgon, washing soda

     This is commonly seen on social media as a “viral laundry cleaning hack”. After creating your cleaning solution, soak items in the hot water and solution for an extended period of time and then drain and rinse items until clean. This loosens and removed the build-up on fibers and returns them to being soft and absorbent. This method is very labor intensive. Items made of synthetic or waterproofed materials may deteriorate with extended soaking due to the low pH of the solution. This method works best on flats, pre-folds, towels, bedsheets, etc. Also avoid using this method on items that can not tolerate high heat. When using this method on non-white or colorfast items, expect to see color leeched into the water (that is what most of the brown “dirty” looking water is in many videos/blogs)

2. RLR- powdered laundry additive

     This is a pretty straight forward method of stripping. You can add this directly to your washing machine with items needing to be treated. Following the instructions on the package, you can run a hot heavy duty cycle with detergent, and a rinse to remove build-up. You can use this method on any type of item. You can also soak items in this solution, but avoid soaking items with synthetic materials (covers, pocket shells, AIO, fitted diapers with elastic, etc) for extended time. Soaking can be great for inserts and other diapering absorbency options that do not contain elastic. Also household items such as towels, sheets, etc.

3. Might Bubbles- pod laundry additive

     Similar to RLR, this is a product designed to work in your washing machine to remove build-up on laundry. This product is NOT designed to be used for extended soaking outside of your washing machine. This product is in a pre-portioned pod, so if you have very soft water, a small capacity washer, or are treating a small load of laundry, this product may require additional rinses to fully remove the product. This product is not a detergent, and is not designed to be used with detergent. This product can be used on all cloth diapering items, as well as household items. But just like the above mentioned methods, this may cause fading or color bleeding from items that are not colorfast.

If you are having issues with your cloth diaper laundry routine and would like more personalized help, schedule a consultation with me, and I can talk you through options. I offer phone, text , and video sessions. You can book a consultation by clicking here
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