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Cloth Diaper Care

image of cloth diaper care sheet
Before wearing...
Wash all diapers at least one time before use. Washing and drying your hemp and natural cotton diapers at least 3 times before use will wash away the natural oils that inhibit absorption. You can add them to your normal white laundry for the initial 3 wash/dry cycles, to save on water and energy. Diaper changing station... Shake solids into toilet after each diaper change. Store your soiled Thirsties® Cloth Diapers in a DRY diaper pail. A standard 52-quart garbage pail with a lid works great and can be purchased at your local department store. Be sure to line your pail with a Thirsties® Deluxe Diaper Pail Liner to avoid having to clean your pail on every laundry day. Simply dump the diapers into the washer and throw in the pail liner for every cloth diaper load. If you have a second liner on hand, place into the diaper pail, and you are ready to add more diapers while the others are being laundered. Store you’re Thirsties® Fab Wipes on or near your changing table along with Thirsties Booty Luster, or your favorite wipes solution. Toss soiled wipes into your pail along with your diapers. Pre-wash... For optimum cleanliness, limit the size of your load to no more than 18 M/L or 24 XS/S diapers and wash every other day (plus inserts and wipes). Use COLD water for the pre-wash cycle with 1/2 ounce Thirsties® Pre-Wash solution, to help pre-clean your diapers. If you do not have a pre-wash cycle on your washer, a short or quick wash cycle will work just as well. You may alternately use 2 TBLSP of detergent in the prewash cycle (2 TSP for HE machines). For HE machines, we suggest a load of 12-15 diapers. Diapers need a good amount of water to clean them properly. Adding a wet bath towel to your diaper laundry will trick the washer into adding more water. Thirsties® Pre-Wash and Super Wash is HE safe and has been custom formulated for use on cloth diapers. Wash... Choose a HEAVY cycle and wash on HOT for the main wash. Use 1/2 ounce Thirsties® Super Wash, or the recommended amount of cloth diaper safe laundry detergent per load. Please make sure that the water is 130 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Please do not use the sanitize cycle on any diapers with components. Avoid all soaps, many "Free & Clear", and popular baby detergents. Most detergents on the market will leave a residue on your diapers that will affect the absorbency and will cause odors and diaper rash. Be sure not to use chlorine bleach or fabric softeners. Oxygen bleach is safe for occasional use. Dry... Hang your cloth diapers to dry or dry in dryer on low. Inserts, flats, and prefolds may be dried on higher settings. *Drying in the dryer will hasten the life of any diapering product. Add a dry towel to the dryer to speed the drying process. Drying in direct sunlight is the very best method for drying and disinfecting. Hang drying also helps to preserve the textiles of your diapers and is great at getting rid of stains. Cotton and hemp diapers will be somewhat stiff when hung to dry. One option to soften sun-dried textiles made from natural fibers is to use the dryer while still slightly damp, and adding a wool dryer ball. Stripping... Even if you follow all the rules above, you still might end up with occasional stinky and less absorbent diapers due to water mineral residue. Simply replace your regular detergent with 1/4 cup Calgon® water softener (found at your local grocers) or 1-2 Tablespoons of Dawn dish soap (2 Tsp. for HE machines -check with the manufacturer as this may void any warranty). Add an extra rinse or two, and make sure the diapers are thoroughly rinsed. This process is often referred to as diaper stripping. Strip your diapers as often as needed, but not at every wash as it is a bit harsh for your diapers and your baby’s skin. Stain removal... If you use Thirsties Prewash and Superwash with your new cloth diapers, it will naturally brighten and help to keep stains at bay. Staining and cloth diapers unfortunately go hand in hand. We here at Thirsties always try to stay up to date on laundering issues, and suggest the most eco-friendly and safe methods for cleaning diapers and covers. Here are a few natural solutions for lifting stains... Prewash on cold. With every load of laundry, we suggest a prewash with cold water.  DO NOT dry in the dryer as heat will set staining. Add Thirsties Prewash to the prewash cycle to help lift stains and fight odor. *Although soaking can aid in stain removal, we do not recommend soaking anything but natural fiber diapers for any longer than 10 minutes. This is due to the fact that it can eat away at lamination, and lock in odor. Dry in the sun. This works 99% of the time. The UV rays of the sun fade the stains away. We recommend drying in the sun as a normal routine as it helps to deodorize, lift stains, and disinfect naturally! 50/50 solution of lemon juice/water: You can mix them in a spray bottle, spritz on the stain, and put in the sun for a few hours. Add the item to a prewash with your other covers and/or diapers. Do not wash on Hot or dry in the dryer if the stain is still visible.  Repeat process if necessary.  Please make sure that the products are thoroughly washed and rinsed after stain removal is finished. Sourced from
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