Hello Softbums friends! Are you having problems with your diapers smelling? Leaking? Or are you just curious what everyone is talking about when they say they're "stripping?" Well, you've come to the right place! Whether you use Softbums exclusively or have a variety of different brands - stripping is all the same. Below you'll find an easy step by step guide to getting your diapers back in tip top shape.
There are a lot of different methods out there for stripping cloth diapers, but I find that the simplest is the most effective. If you decide to go a different route, my only advice is to NEVER EVER put your diapers in the dishwasher. That's the only stripping method that I'm completely against because 1.) fire hazard and 2.) Eww.....
Just follow this simple plan instead:
1. CLEAN DIAPERS - If you want to strip your cloth diapers and they're all dirty, just run through the first part of your wash routine. Do your cold (or warm) rinse and your hot wash. Otherwise move on to step 2 if you've already got clean diapers.
2. HOT WASHES - Stripping is just a way of removing build up (from either detergent or rash cream) from the materials of your diapers and pods/inserts. To do this all you need to do is wash your diapers on HOT with NO DETERGENT. Repeatedly - until you see no more detergent bubbles. Remember: bubbles from your detergent and bubbles from your agitator are different. Don't confuse the two or you may do more washes than you need. The third wash is a good time to start checking for bubbles and go from there depending on what you see.
3. DRY - Do whatever you normally do to dry your diapers. I prefer to hang outside in the summer for the added benefit of the sun (did you know it's like a natural whitener and disinfectant?!) or dry my inserts/pods/etc in the dryer and hang shells and covers on a drying rack. Do what works for you.
4. ANALYZE - There's really no step 4 (gotcha!), but it's a really good time to think about your wash routine and what could be causing your problems. If you have to strip your diapers - something's not right, ya'll. Especially if you're stripping every month. Whether that means switching detergent (Softbums recommends Purex Free and Clear), using less or more (using less would help with build up and using more usually solves the stinky issue), or changing around the amount you wash at one time with the correct water level. Didn't you know using cloth diapers involved science? ;)
SPECIAL NOTES ABOUT ADDITIVES:
I'm definitely one to avoid additives when washing/stripping, but there are a few things you can try if the above steps just aren't working. Please keep in mind that using the below additives will void your warranty and/or contribute to early wear. You want these babies to last don't you?
Blue Dawn - If someone got a non-cloth diaper safe rash cream on your beloved Softbums and you've got a spot of repelling that didn't go away with the above stripping method, you can scrub the spot with a toothbrush and a LITTLE Blue Dawn Dish Soap. Dawn is a degreaser so it should remove any stubborn rash cream but IT WILL void your Softbums warranty and possibly your washer warranty, as well.
Bleach - You're going to find people who use bleach on their cloth diapers and those who don't. I'm normally in the "Don't Camp", but would consider using it if I needed to disinfect because of an infection like yeast or because I was completely at my wits end washing diapers and I was going to quit and use disposables. I'm no quitter. Again, just remember that the use of bleach will void your Softbums warranty, so use at your own risk.
Let's Connect!: In the comments let me know if you've ever stripped your cloth diapers and what method you've used. If you've never had to - what's your wash routine?! Feel free to ask any questions, too. I'll be sure to stop back and answer! Cheers!
Curious about who's writing for Softbums now? Well, that's me! My name is Jenny and I'll be contributing to the Softbums blog weekly. Check back every Wednesday for a new post about Softbums, cloth diapers, and other parenting topics. Like my writing and want to read more? You can find me over at my blog - According to Jenny. I'm not currently active there, but you'll find lots of good stuff in the archives. I've also written for several cloth diaper retailer blogs including Kelly's Closet, Squishy Tushy, Earthy Crunchy Mama, Cloth Diaper Outlet, and the Little Monkey Store.