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Laundry Tips! Cloth diaper launderer, King or Queen-adopt these tips for a truly great clean!
1) Don’t use more detergent than recommended: This can cause residues and build-up. Especially with modern machines that often do not provide adequate water amounts for cloth diapering, be sure to use the recommended amounts. Excess soap can also cause a buildup in your washing machine which can attract bacteria and mold inside the drum of your washer. Consider adding an extra rinse cycle to your laundry or putting your items in while wet to trigger more water amounts based on the weight of your laundry load.
2) Do not overload your washing machine: Cloth diapering requires a little extra care than normal laundry because you are dealing with heavy stains, bacteria and ammonia. Even though I’m sure no one overloads their jeans and towels by shoving all of their items in the wash to save time and sanity…ahem…. overloading may not be the best idea. You want to ensure you have clean water getting into the deep layers of your materials. If you overload, you run the risk of washing with dirty water that may be recirculating and not removing bacteria or deep cleaning your items.
3) Water is your best friend: No matter what soap you use, water will be your biggest supporter for laundry. Water will disperse your soap, dissolve it, make sure it gets to all corners and tabs, swish it around and rinse it all away. If you do not use enough water-the result is pretty obvious for residues but also that bacteria will not be going very far except back into your garments.
4) Know your agitation cycle: Does your washing machine swish? Swirl? Spin around in circles and do a dance? This can contribute to the cleanliness of your garments. Agitation cycles agitate residues and bacteria out of your clothing-if it spins around-guess where that is going? Around and around and rarely out. This is very common with odors in cloth diapering in that soap and water get inside but does not get outside the materials; trapping that bacteria and odor. If your agitation cycle isn’t shaking it’s money maker, you may need to do a little soak and squeeze with warm water to make it a little easier on your washer or soak your garments and diapers before putting them into the water.
5) Know your materials: There are tons of material blends out there; synthetic and non-synthetic each with different combinations of thread counts and fibres. All fabrics react differently to bacteria, sweat, moisture, heat, dirt, grease, oil, acids etc. Synthetic blends often require a little extra laundry care with stains and bacteria. Because synthetic blends are made with partially chemically treated polymers, they absorb moisture and bacteria more readily than hemp or cotton. Because materials breathe differently, they also need to be laundered differently. Soaking is a great method for all materials to swell material and loosen embedded bacteria.
6) Pre-treat your stains: Before throwing everything into the wash-set a pile for treating stains! Once a stain is set by the heat of the dryer-it can be very challenging to remove. By removing or spot treating your stains prior to your wash cycle-your stains will have that extra help.
7) DO not combine detergents: Holy Moly Mama no! Commercial detergents may contain some pretty harsh ingredients and acids. Some companies even have sulfuric acid compounds and bleach-avoid playing mad scientist by combining detergents that may have negative results on your laundry, your machine and your health. If you are experiencing buildup, residues and irritation from your current detergent, always strip your garments of your detergent before changing soaps to be sure to eliminate the possibility of combining or causing further residues on your garments.
8) Wash before you use: Most new clothing manufactures use formaldehyde blends of chemicals to treat your clothing before it sits on a shelf or box. Although it prevents mildew, people with allergies and sensitive skin may have negative reactions. Especially for children-give them a wash before you wear. Some natural fibres like Cotton and hemp have natural waxes and oils which will break down after a few washes and become more absorbant. Washing your items before use may prevent residues and repelling materials.
Posted 16th February 2013 by The Laundry Tarts Inc.