As many of you know we decided to cloth diaper right from the start. We also decided to try out Alva Baby diapers simply because they’re cheap! You can read our whole reasoning behind cloth diapering in this post. The problem with cloth diapers is that they start to show wear & tear over the months of use. Some people complain of stretching elastic, stains, odor buildup & inoperable velcro. We have successfully have avoided all of these issues.
So how have we done it?
Here are my 5 simple steps to keep your cloth diapers looking new:
1. Clean your diapers correctly!
Clean your diapers. Really clean them. Clean diapers shouldn’t retain any smells. If your diapers have a slight ammonia smell after washing, they are not clean! I started off using “Rockin’ Green” and while some people swear by it, it just wasn’t working for us. Our diapers lost absorbency, retained odors, and irritated our baby. A few weeks in and I was already having to strip our diapers. They just weren’t getting clean. After doing some research I switched to regular Tide. I haven’t looked back since. Tide has completely solved the odor and irritation problems. Since switching to Tide I haven’t needed to ‘strip’ my diapers again. If you’re getting your diapers clean, there’s no need to strip them. If you are still stripping your diapers please review your washing techniques!
2. Invest in a diaper sprayer.
Seriously, if you cloth diaper you need one of these. A friend of mine used an old spatula to scrape poop off her cloth diapers… no wonder people think cloth diapering is gross! The sprayer attaches to your toilet tank in less than 5 minutes and saves your diapers. After a poo simply shake off solids into the toilet and then hose it down with the sprayer. It helps your diapers stay stain free, and you can ensure you’re diapers are getting as clean as they can in the wash without having to do any additional washing cycles or soaks.
3. Use an enzyme spray.
Many people don’t do this, but I truly think coupling this step with our diaper sprayer is one of the main reasons we have yet to have any stains on any of our diapers almost 2 years into using them. After a poop, when we rinse, we may not get every single tiny bit off, or the diaper might be slightly discolored (I’m looking at you yellow breastfeed baby poop!). After hosing off the diapers, we would do a quick spray with Biokleen’s Bac Out’s Enzyme Spray. It soaks in, eating away the poo enzymes so that when we finally washed our diapers all the stains vanish (along with any poop related bacteria!)
4. Go with snaps.
Snaps may seem like more of an effort, at first, but a toddler can’t unsnap a snap as easily as they can rip off some worn out velcro. Velcro gets worn down over time so by the 2 year mark your loop & hook is in pretty crummy condition. You’ll probably have a hard time getting it to stay where you want it. Go with snaps. Their functionality and looks totally crush velcro, especially when it comes to longevity.
5. Steer clear of diaper/rash creams!
We never use diaper rash cream when we use our cloth diapers. If Emerson’s bum gets irritated enough for some cream, we switch over to a disposable…which is ironic since it’s usually being in disposables that cause her irritation. Using creams can mess with the absorbency of the cloth diapers since they’re designed to create a barrier for moisture.