A while back, I wrote a post about how I stored and cared for my gDiapers and it looks like it was helpful to a few people so now that we have a new baby, a different home and a different washing machine, I thought I’d do an update post on how we care for our g’s now. I don’t think one is better than the other; just different now that I’m in a different place. That’s the weird part about cloth diapering. There’s no one size fits all solution. Every situation is a little different and you have to tweak until you get it right for you and your family. I’m going to use some pictures from the last time I did this because some of it’s the same and the pictures still apply. Here goes!
I store my gDiapers folded with the velcro attached, lined up in one of these bins from Ikea. In a second bin, I keep a bunch of pouches. I put both bins in a drawer underneath the changing pad where I change my daughter in her room.
I stack my gCloth and other cloth inserts in another drawer along with some disposable inserts for nighttime use. I also have disposable wipes, and a spray bottle on top of the dresser and cloth wipes in a drawer underneath. All together, it looks like this:
When it’s time to change my little one, I grab a new pant, snap in a pouch, and lay in a cloth insert while she either smiles at me or screams at me to hurry the heck up. Since they’re in the drawer below where she is, I can safely assemble the diaper because my body blocks her from rolling off the dresser and changing pad. I’d definitely recommend keeping the diapers within arms reach of where you change.
Once the diaper is assembled, I grab a cloth wipe (also in a drawer below her changing pad) and spray it with water to wet it. I’m trying to cut back on how much we send to the landfill so I’ve been trying to avoid using disposable wipes at home. So I just bought about 15 of these simple washcloths (cost between $.16-$.25 each) and a spray bottle ($.99). With my older daughter, I used to make a solution of 1 TBSP baby wash, 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 cup water and store that in the spray bottle. But for Super S, I’ve just been using water and it’s worked just fine.
After wiping baby, I replace her diaper and clean up. If the diaper is just wet, I drop the cloth insert into my diaper pail. I use a cheap-o plastic swing top garbage can with a Planet Wise pail liner inside. I have two pail liners that I alternate between so there’s always one available while the other’s in the wash. The diaper pail is next to the dresser so I can reach it while she’s on the changing pad. I “vandalized” it with my gMum stickers. My favorite one says “No Landfill Required,” which I like because it’s a garbage can but I don’t use it for garbage – see how that works? 😉 I also have a step top lid garbage next to that so I can trash disposable inserts or disposable wipes when I use those.
If the diaper is a dirty diaper, I unsnap the pouch and after putting the baby down somewhere safe (like her crib), I take the pouch with the cloth insert and wipe inside to the bathroom sink and rinse them all out. Because my baby is currently EBF, the mess can safely go down the drain. When she gets older, I’ll use my diaper sprayer to drop the mess into the toilet bowl. The insert and wipe then get dropped into the diaper pail and the gpants and pouch go into the dirty clothes basket in baby’s room. I like to fasten the gpants as if they were on the baby and turn it inside out.
On wash day, I just take the pail liner out of the can and turn it inside out into the washer. We now have an LG front loading high efficiency washer, which means it conserves water when compared to a traditional top loading washer. While it’s a great washing machine, it’s not ideal for diapers, unfortunately. A traditional top loading machine allows more water into the wash, which cleans the diapers better. To further complicate things, we have hard water here in Southern California. I battle the hard water with Calgon Water Softener. Really important is to find a good cloth diaper safe detergent that works with your water type and machine. This chart is really helpful. So here’s what I do (and this is going to sound a bit complicated but once you start, it’s no big deal):
- Prewash: Cold with a squirt of Bac-Out
- Wash: Hot with Ecos Free and Clear and Calgon water softener, along with the “Water Plus” setting. I use half the amount recommended on the Ecos and Calgon bottles. The Water Plus feature allows more water in the wash,.
- Extra Rinse and Spin on cold.
And here’s a totally not helpful picture of what my washing machine looks like when I press all the buttons to accomplish this. I just noticed you can see me holding my little one in the reflection on the rim of the washer. Ha!
To help ensure that all the detergent is out, when the wash is done, I do an extra rinse and spin cycle. Now this might be overkill but I do want to make sure that the diapers are clean and we’ve been using the cloth inserts for over three months now with no signs of build up or needing to strip. So it’s working for us. The drawback? This super routine takes about an hour and a half in the washer. That doesn’t seem terribly earth friendly but I won’t compromise on sanitizing when it comes to baby.
The load then goes into the dryer on high for 35 minutes. No dryer or sheets or anything else to two-step with. Just cloth inserts and wipes. Dryer sheets will deposit junk onto your inserts so don’t use them.
The pouches and gpants get washed with the rest of baby’s laundry. I throw all the gPants into a undergarment wash bag, zip it up and start the wash. You can either just fasten the laundry tabs to prevent the velcro from sticking to everything else in your laundry (as seen on the right below) or fasten them as if they were on the baby (as seen on the left). I also like to turn them inside out.
I used to put all the pouches into a separate undergarment wash bag so that they would be easy to fish out but I’ve found that they aren’t getting as clean as they should when they’re in the bag in our new washer. gPants and pouches are washed on either warm or cold (not hot – it will deteriorate the waterproof lining on the pouches over time).
When the wash is done, I sort out the pouches (inevitably one will get past me and end up in the dryer) and grab the bag of gPants. I throw all the pouches on top of the washer to dry and hang up all the gPants using this octopus garment hanger from Ikea.
Just like the hot water, the dryer will eat at the waterproof liner of the pouch over time so laying flat to dry is recommended. My older daughter sings an octopus song to it whenever she sees it – we both think it’s cute.
When the pants are dry, I fold ’em and put ’em back into the drawer. It sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes routine. I usually do two to three washes of inserts a week and currently have (more than) enough pants and pouches to get me through about a week. Hope this helps! What’s your routine?