Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Going Nuts For Cloth Diapers by Allison Silver
We have officially been using cloth diapers for almost three weeks! When we started this adventure I had no idea how much of a learning curve there would be. These past three weeks have been full of trial and error!
I have learned so much about cloth diapering in these past three weeks that I might be able to get a graduate certificate in it! I have learned about diaper rashes, washing cloth diapers in HE machines, diaper sprayers, and detergent issues.
First off, HE washing machines are supposed to make our lives easier, but since they use less water it’s a bit tricky to figure out how to wash cloth diapers effectively in an HE machine. Luckily, there is the Internet so I was able to remedy this situation pretty quickly. It’s actually not too hard and just requires doing an extra wash cycle.
Our second issue was with the diaper sprayer. Many people suggested that getting a diaper sprayer would make the whole process easier. Well, unfortunately we had a problem with the diaper sprayer leaking. Since we are renting our current residence my husband didn’t want to alter the plumbing, so we canned the diaper sprayer and have been using flushable diaper liners! These things are beyond awesome!
My third irritation was literally an irritation! Within a few days of beginning to use cloth diapers, Charley had a rash on her bum and her diapers reeked of ammonia. I was a bit discouraged and frustrated because she never had a rash with sposies. (FYI – That’s what cloth diapering people call disposables). It’s situations like this that I thank God for the Internet. After doing a bit of research and talking with some friends, I discovered that Charley had ammonia burn on her bum. This was most likely due to me using too much detergent when washing the diapers.
Turns out that cloth diapers require very little detergent, like a quarter of the recommended amount. After several attempts of using our regular 7th Generation detergent I was having no luck so I decided to try something new. I did a bit more research and discovered that soap nuts are a great way to clean your cloth diapers.
If you are anything like my husband you are probably saying to yourself, “Soap Nuts? This lady is nuts!” And I have to tell you I thought the exact same thing. But after doing more research I learned that soap nuts are actually a dried berry that naturally produce soap. The soap that it produces is so mild that it won’t irritate sensitive skin and doesn’t leave residue. Perfect for cloth diapers! I also really like that they are completely biodegradable and sustainably harvested. Plus the cost is very reasonable, so I figured what the heck and ordered some from EcoNuts.
When the soap nuts arrived I was eager to try them. The company recommended stripping my washing machine of all previous detergent before using the soap nuts. Stripping my washing machine? I had never even heard of that before. So I followed the recommended directions. It’s actually a very simple procedure. You just run a hot cycle with no clothes. I was completely surprised at how much detergent was in our machine. Holy cow! There was a ton of bubbles!
After I purged the poor washing machine of all detergent residue, I then did a load of diapers with the EcoNuts. Once I began diapering Charley in the diapers that had been laundered with the EcoNuts, her rash began to go away. Success!!
It’s funny, but I do feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that we are doing well with our cloth diapering adventure. In some way it’s almost like a challenge that we’ve conquered!