Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The "rinse" cyle

Okay....I may sound completely stupid for having to ask this, but....how do you add something to the "rinse" cycle of a wash? Everything I read about washing cloth diapers seems to recommend doing this at some point, and I have never done it before. It's not like the washing machine conveniently says, "Hey, I'm about to do the rinse cycle...did you want to go ahead and add something?" But that'd be pretty cool if it did. So, does this mean I have to watch the wash like a hawk, waiting for the dial to turn to the "rinse" sign, or do I do an extra rinse altogether?

And...can you really throw the diapers in the wash, with poop and all? It seems like it wouldn't get clean.

I wish my mom would've let me do laundry growing up. She probably will laugh when she reads this, but she definitely took care of all things domestic, and never nagged or made us do much of any of it. I don't blame her....I know I'll be the same way. It's just kind of funny that I don't know how to do a lot of these sorts of things around the house :)

I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


Christina said...

Buy a Downy ball. they sell them in the laundry soap aisle. I put my vinegar in a downy ball and it magically releases during the rinse cycle when I am washing diapers! how cool is that? and yes, you can put poopy diapers in the wash. especially newborn diapers. washing machines today are so much better at cleaning things than they were twenty years ago. the only thing i have ever done is when baby starts into solids, their poop changes. so then you "dump" the diaper right after changing baby (into the toilet) and wash diapers as normal.

Christina said...

Here is an email I sent to a friend about 6 months ago. This is how I wash diapers (and, honestly, I just use regular laundry soap and vinegar. that's it). The only thing I would add is that if you have the opportunity to hang them outside in the sun that will whiten your diapers nicely (I don't know what kind of diapers you are using, either... i used chinese prefolds with pro-wrap brand wraps... mine were handed down from sandy:)

washing diapers:

if you can, buy one of those diaper duck things.
I don't soak my diapers. When I change petros, I use cloth wipes (which are really baby washcloths because I received a ton of them when Pavlos was born). So I wet one or two (or more depending on what's in the diaper) and use them to wipe up Petros. That way, I can put the whole diaper, including cloth wipes, into the diaper bin without having to seperate out the disposable wipes! Anyway, change diaper, dump whatever can be dumped or use your diaper duck to clean diaper (and it is ok to put a soaking wet diaper in the diaper pail) put in diaper pail. No need to soak the diaper in water. We keep our diaper pail on the back porch.

When washing diapers:
put diapers, wipes, and wraps in washer. Run on cold water without soap.
When washer is finished running, switch to hot water, add soap (like you would for clothes) and fill a downey ball about 1/2 full with vinegar and throw it in the washer.
Throw diapers into dryer. sometimes I take out the wraps and hang them to dry but sometimes i throw those in the dryer, too. hanging the wraps to dry is probably better for the wraps.

never bleach your diapers because it will make them less absorbent.

Did you buy chinese pre-fold diapers? if you did, you are going to have to wash those three or four times before the baby comes in order to get them to become absorbent (we use chinese prefold diapers). I believe you wash them on hot and i can't remember if you use soap or not.

Anonymous said...


I did laugh when you said you wished I made you do the laundry!!Believe me, you wouldn't have wanted to do the laundry when I was dealing with diapers!! That was over 18 years ago- and Christina probably has more up-to-date advice on dealing with diapers. I guess I did things wrong, I soaked my diapers in bleach & water in the diaper pail- before washing them.
( and of course did rinse out the soiled ones- in the toilet- before putting them in the diaper pail.

such lovely conversation- but important details to know!!


Susan said...

I remember once when I was working Petros put a poopy diaper in the diaper pail. Well, I ran the load, and got poop all over everything!!!Washers are better than they used to be, but, I would always rinse before putting them in the wash.
Disposable diapers were just coming out when Katherine was a baby. Never used them.
I always used Ivory laundry soap because it made them so soft. I too soaked them in bleach and water. Lois, we both were wrong!!!
Folding diapers is very relaxing. It was always theraputic to me. Every evening a load of diapers to fold...ready for the next day:)

Christy Sumerfield said...

Once again....great feedback! I will definitely do the Downy ball with vinegar trick...I like "magical" things. So, it sounds like it's good to do put them through the wash twice, once without soap, once with. Is that right?

Carrie T said...


If you happen to forget your Downey ball, you can always just add Vinegar and do an extra rinse cycle after everything is done. An extra rinse is a good idea anyway when washing dipes.

Costco has a great price on white vinegar, btw.

Mimi said...

I also had a diaper pail with bleach water and I'd put them to soak, and then basically just do it like Christina does.

And, yes, flush the solids once there are solids to flush.

Carrie McCoy said...

This is why I do disposable! :-)

Priscilla said...

I second that!:) although I've learned a lot from all the posts:)

Christina said...

yes, you wash the diapers twice. the first time with cold water, no soap, no vinegar. the second time on hot water with soap and the downy ball with vinegar:)

happy thanksgiving!

Michele @ Frugal Granola said...

You definitely want to flush the poopies first.

I just add the vinegar to the "fabric softener dispenser" or "bleach" slot (depending on the type of washer I'm using).

Here's a post on my blog about cloth diapering/washing: http://tinyurl.com/5pwdry

By the way, I've seen the vinyl wall "stickers" at the Dollar Store too. :)


Helenrr said...

Hello Christy! :) I found your blog through Christina's...we sure missed Daniel and you at thanksgiving, 'sigh' perhaps next time?!
I rinsed, then soaked poopy diapers in water and borax in a bucket. The only #1's went in a 'dry' bucket. I then dumped the 'dry' bucket and the entire soak bucket into the washer. I used ivory snow and borax. Vinegar would be a good addition too(that would be the softener! Bleach was too harsh and the kids reacted to it...you could use oxyclean for whiteness as well...just add it at the beginning.
Take care and God Bless!
Aunt Helen