Stripping Cloth Diapers

Before using cloth diapers, they need to be stripped of their natural oils so that they can become absorbent.  Unbleached cotton prefolds (that’s what I have) will need more stripping than bleached ones.  There are a couple of main methods for doing this: boiling and washing.  Both involve lots of hot hot water.  Boiling the diapers for 10 minutes will do the trick, as will putting them through 5-6 hot wash cycles in your washing machine (with optional drying in between to make them fluffy).  I decided to trying boiling AND washing because I’m so obsessive thorough.  So, I got out my two biggest pots, filled them with water, set the burner to high, and put a few diapers in….

I realized right away though that this was going to be a pain and take a long time (I could only fit about 3 diapers in a pot at a time and I had 24 to do), so I quickly started the washing machine on a warm/warm cycle and dumped the rest of the diapers and the two pots of diapers and boiling water into the machine.  The information I found said that it would be ok to add a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oils (I thought this would interfere with stripping, but it said that it would help with stripping), so I tried some lavender oil.  The dipes should smell amazing!

I ended up washing the prefolds a total of 6 washes and rinses and drying them twice (they didn’t dry well on sensor mode, so I think I’ll need to do it on timer, once I figure out how long they actually need). They are all nice and quilty and fluffy now. 🙂

For my AIO’s, I put them through two washes and then dried them. They took awhile to dry as well. My understanding is that they only need a couple of washes, but I may double check that….. I plan to just wash my covers for the first time with the rest of the baby clothes.

Confession: pre-washing all this stuff is so weird for me because I really never wash new clothes before I wear them…..

I can’t wait to get some nursery furniture so I have a place to fold and put all these nice clean diapers! Until then, I’ve stashed some here in the pack n play changer, which is where we’ll probably need them first anyway:


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tiff
    Nov 26, 2012 @ 09:14:13

    I plan to cloth diaper, some of it is new to me ,I understand some of it. So I know about the pre folds, are you using covers on top of those ? I like the site green mountain diapers…I believe its called. I’m not pregnant yet, but we might go for it in the next year.


    • travelnole
      Nov 26, 2012 @ 17:58:57

      Great, I love to hear that people plan to cloth diaper 🙂 Yes, I’ll use covers over my prefolds!


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