Use it up, wear it out: Getting the most out of cloth diapers
Cloth diapers, just like your household towels and favorite t-shirts, will eventually begin to show signs that they are well loved parts of your family’s daily life. Here are some tips for keeping them in great condition for as long as possible:
Tip #1: On Hybrid Hook/Loop Shells, ALWAYS use the Tuck Under Tabs before laundering!
Avoid laundry “diaper chains,” damage, and premature wear and tear. The Tuck Under Tab is one reason the GroVia Hybrid is so beloved by cloth diapering families. Just trust.
Tip #2: Hang or lay your GroVia Hybrid Shells flat to dry.
By the time your Soaker Pads, Prefolds, and All in Ones have finished tumble-drying, your Shells will be dry or almost there. Not exposing them to heat from your dryer protects elastics, snaps, and Hook/Loop materials from becoming worn or warped.
Tip #3: Have a large enough rotation.
One Size diapers are worn around the clock by a single child for sometimes more than two or even three years! Having a large enough rotation—at least 36 diaper changes per child in diapers—will prevent the need to repair or purchase replacements before your child is out of diapers.
Tip #4: Keep your wash routine SIMPLE!
Soaking in water, detergent, or enzyme cleaners, performing unneeded extra rinses, and/or using too little detergent, followed by frequent and involved “stripping” processes are some of the top reasons cloth diaper families experience premature wear and tear on the products they have invested in.
Tip #5: Rinse and wring out your overnight diapers before placing them in your diaper pail.
By diluting what your baby’s overnight cloth diaper has been holding onto for 12+ hours, you are ensuring that your simple wash routine with plenty of good-cleaning detergent will be ALL it takes to get the whole load clean on the first try. It’s JUST like your nicest jeans or tops: the less laundering your cloth diapers have to go through, the better they will hold up over time.
Tip #6: If it’s time to buy a new washer and dryer, choose HE.
Whaaaaaaaaat??! Doesn’t everybody say a standard washer with an agitator (and HEAVY water usage) is better for cleaning heavily soiled laundry like cloth diapers?
Some do say that, BUT if you’re using enough of a good-cleaning, HE-friendly detergent, and your detergent is in contact with the soiled fabrics for ~45 min., your diapers will get clean. Organic cotton does not always love a mechanical agitator.
Tip #7: Consider No Prep Soaker Pads or O.N.E. if longevity is your #1 priority.
The materials in both No Prep Soaker Pads and in the O.N.E. Diaper by GroVia were chosen with families who highly value longevity in mind.
Proper care and stash size still matter (within reason), but these materials are inherently more stable than some of their counterparts. If you’re building a cloth diaper stash for a first baby and anticipating using the same One Size cloth diapers to diaper another child, take a look at No Prep Soaker Pads and O.N.E. first.
Tip #8: Smooth out the wings of your Hook/Loop Tabs before you hang or lay the Shells to dry.
This goes a long way in keeping them nicely shaped and functioning beautifully.
Tip #9: Buy new.
There are lots of good reasons to purchase secondhand #clothdiapers, but if longevity is a priority for you, buy new. New #clothdiapers from authorized GroVia retailers come with our GroVia warranty (one full year from the date of purchase) and have their full life ahead of them. You also have complete control over how they’re cared for.
Tip #10: Unsnap organic All in One and O.N.E. Diaper Boosters before tossing in the diaper pail.
This will prevent stress points from forming in the fabric around the snaps as well as ensure best agitation of all pieces of the diaper. *Note: There is NO good reason to take the time to unsnap rise snaps before laundering. Don’t bother!
Tip #11: Use the sun.
If part of your longevity goal for your #clothdiapers is to keep them in re-sellable condition, you’ll want to keep them as free of stains as possible. Fortunately, that’s not difficult; the sun erases organic stains from organic cotton, while a good-cleaning detergent with enzymes will attack protein stains.
Tip #12: Between children, store your cloth diapers well with longevity in mind.
Clean them thoroughly. Sun any stains. Make any repairs needed. Store in a breathable container, like a pillowcase. (Air-tight, plastic storage is actually not the best choice.) Store in a climate-controlled part of your house. Take out to launder 2-3 times a year to keep elastics from becoming brittle and allow fabrics to remain clean and dustmite-free.
Tip #13: Don’t stress TOO much about it.
A basic paradigm of care ordered toward protecting your investment in cloth diapers will keep you covered—if a Shell makes it into the dryer once on accident, all is not lost. ;)