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Stinky Cloth Diapers Using an HE Washer?

July 6, 2012

fluffy wishes cloth diaper giveawayIn an effort to get ready for the Fluffy Wishes Cloth Diaper Event (July 12th-24th) & Twitter Party on July 24th, I’m writing to you about stinkin’ diapers!  🙂  If you have an HE washer, you could have stinky diapers.  I know I did.  When we switched from a top loader to a front loader — oh my!  If you’re having issues and have an HE washer, you should consider the following thoughts on getting the stink out.

It’s all about the water…
HE is all about water conservation so if you are able to manually set the water level on your washer, set it for a larger load than what is needed.  This will help provide enough water to get all the ick and detergent out of your diapers.

If you are not able to manually set the water level, (we were not) you can try adding a wet towel to the load so the machine senses that it is a heavier/bigger load and thus needs more water. Also, be sure that on the final rinse (you should be rinsing 2 times after the wash) there are no sudsIf you are seeing soap suds in the water, the diapers need to be rinsed again. If the soap isn’t all out – evidenced by the suds – chances are there are other “unwanted things” still left in the diapers, too. Stink can be the result. It may help to add a new wet towel and remove the first one at this point, to again weight the load so the machine uses a bit more water.

HE machines are VERY good at getting the water out during the spin cycle. This is a wonderful attribute – takes less time to dry your clothes and thus makes them last longer if you’re using a dryer. BUT…if the diapers still have soap in them, the soap will be dried in the fabric and then activated when your child wets the diaper. If you are using a detergent that contains enzymes (a no-no by the way), the enzymes that are not rinsed from the diaper will be activated by the moisture from your little one’s “deposits”. Enzymes are designed to eat away organic matter in the wash. When activated in the diaper, they start to eat away at the “deposits” your child made. Since your child’s skin is also organic matter, the enzymes can start to eat the skin, too! OUCH! You can only imagine what this will look like when you remove the diaper.

Diaper Soap Residue

The above photo is of my very own front loader with only hot water and clean diapers – NO SOAP! Check out the suds! Rinsing completely is one of THE most important steps in laundering cloth [diapers]. With HE machine usage on the rise, it poses a bit more “out-of-the-box” thinking.

Don’t forget to join Fluffy Wishes Diaper Closet (a cloth diaper lending service serving Southwest Michigan providing cloth diapers to low income families who can not afford to diaper their children) and My Cloth Diaper Stash  (a cloth diapering blog) on July 24th for their Twitter party!  You could win big prizes!

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