You may ask: how should I wash my diapers? I will preface my response with this is what work for us. Keep in mind that each diaper brand has their own recommended washing instructions and not following these instructions may void any warranties those companies offer. Also keep in mind that every brand we use has different washing instructions, and I personally do not find it feasible to wash them in separate loads. So, this is what works for us:
Extras: A couple of times a month I add a generous splash (</= 1/4 cup) of bleach to the water in my load of laundry to help with the smell when my nose starts to detect a wet diaper. I haven't seen any damage or fading. Also I have heard (and plan to employ this soon) that a couple drops of dish soap in the wash is one method for 'stripping' diapers. Generally, diapers become more absorbent the more you wash them, but depending on your water and what you are washing them in you may need to 'strip' the diapers of any build up (much like when you can tell you need to switch shampoos for a while...).
|This is pretty much exactly what our laundry room|
looks like on diaper day.
|Trash can with a loose-fitting lid|
Warning to any expecting moms out there: babies require a LOT of laundry, whether you are using cloth diapers or not. The first few weeks we had our little guy home we must have done a load of laundry every day as we all changed outfits often (which is probably the next best thing to the showers we didn't have time for). And its true that cloth diaper laundry is additional to do a couple times a week. I would say that we really have it in our routine at this point, and don't notice it at all. Occasionally, we forget to do it, so we use our back-up disposables with only minor guilt.
Wow: looking back on the length of this post, you might think that caring for cloth diapers is difficult, but really it isn't. Spending a few minutes on mini-research for how to care for your diapers up front is worth it... as it similarly would be for any new garment you purchase. They'll last longer and perform better. And once you know, you won't spend a second more on this load than you would any other load of laundry.