...diapers you sicko!

SO I've been asked numerous times how I strip my cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are more work then disposables, but as I've said in previous posts, for me- the benefits outweigh the costs, so I personally, do not mind the extra work.

Are you ready for the super masculine metaphor?

Cloth diapers are like cars. You need to wash your car, you need to keep your car in working order which means getting regular maintenance done (ie: oil changes, tire rotations etc...). If you maintain your car, you will get more life out of it. Well, the same goes for cloth diapers. There are some basic 'rules' if you will, that will extend the life of your diapers and give you (and your child) a more enjoyable experience with them. When do you know you need to strip your diapers? If they have a slight smell (even after washing), if once soiled they have an ammonia smell, if you are experiencing leakages, if you don't wash your diapers for a week because of finals...... . . . . . . . *oops*

The Basics (ie: all you CDing Mom's should already know):
  • You must use additive-free laundry detergent. Click HERE for an exhaustive list of the good/bad/ugly detergents... I use ECOS but I have Nellie's on my list for the New Year.
  • Follow the instructions ON your diapers.
  • Hang dry whenever possible- and in the sun...this will help with an odor issues as well as any staining. If you cannot hang to dry- then use the lowest setting on your dryer.
  • Store soiled diapers in a DRY container. Back in the day a wet pail was used- it is now not recommended. If the smell bothers you (it shouldn't because you should be doing diapers every other day) but if it does- sprinkle some baking soda on them, or put a few drops of tea tree oil on a tissue in the bottom of your container.

Ok- that's pretty much common sense up there- but I just wanted to reiterate so that we are all on the same page. In addition to The Basics, stripping your diapers (every few months) should be part of your maintenance plan *even if they don't smell or are leaking*. For those who are unsure on HOW to do that, or for those who have yet to do it- here is a step-by-step guide (with pictures!). I recommend doing ALL your diapers at one time- which means your little one will probably have to be in disposables at least for a day. It's taken me 2 days *shame* to do mine...I could have done it in one day- but I'm busy...hehe.

So- without further adieu...

Step #1.
Collect all your diapers. Wash the dirty ones normally according to the instructions.

Step #2. *this is my own personal step. I spoke with reps from both FBs and BGs and they said this was acceptable*
Remove all the diapers from the wash. Start a soak cycle for the liners, add about 1/4-1/2 cup of chlorine-free bleach and let them soak while you scrub the diapers themselves...

Step #3.
Using the Original Dawn (blue in colour, it's hard to find but most Dollar Stores carry it) scrub each diaper thoroughly, using a scrub board, a scrub brush or an old toothbrush. It usually takes me about 2-3 minutes per diaper. (2x26=52minutes)

Step #4.
Rinse and spin the liners. Add the diapers and do HOT washes until there are no bubbles left in the water. It can take anywhere from 5-10 HOT washes to get to this stage. This is the most time consuming part of stripping your diapers.

Step #5.
Hang to dry or dry on lowest setting in your dryer.

So there you have it folks. Pretty simple but a little time consuming. For me- it's worth it...
If you want MORE information on stripping your diapers, you can click HERE or HERE or comment and I will do my best to answer your question or send you in the direction of someone who can!

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


  1. Can I use the Dawn in my front load washer though? I don't think so. I'd probably have to rinse them really well first and then throw them in the washer...
    Thanks for the tips though Erin, I was wondering about stripping the CDs! lol I have 3 so far to try out, they are so friggin' cute...I can't believe I have to wait SO LONG...40 weeks is too long (OK OK 28 weeks now). lol

  2. You are absolutely right Sara. You cannot use Dawn in front loaders because it generates too many suds and it could *potentially* ruin your diapers. You could just do hot water stripping- which is exactly what I posted MINUS the scrubbing with Dawn. Or, you could scrub them with Dawn and then rinse them yourself (really really really well) and then proceed with all the hot washes. That being said, you could also go to a laundromat. They often have bigger washing machines and hotter water...some Mom's sweat by it! :) I also heard of one Mom boiling her diapers...not sure I recommend that though...

  3. haha- I said ruin your diapers when I actually meant ruin your washer...

  4. lol I knew what you meant! I was just thinking...I could always just do it at my mom's place, she has a huge heavy duty washer that would do the trick!

  5. Great minds think alike eh... :)