Today's "New to Cloth" post is all about stripping, and no not taking off clothes, but taking off residue. :) Sorry, just a little humor injected by the side of my brain that makes sure to censor what Hubby may try to say.
So, every now and then cloth diapers may need to be stripped. Stripping is needed when there gets to be a build up of residue on diapers. This can be from the detergent you use or just from normal washing and drying. Fabric softener can actually cling to your dryer drum and then transfer onto cloth diapers when they are drying in the dryer. This can cause build up. If the detergent you use isn't completely made just for cloth diapers, it can cause a build up after many washings.
Okay, now on to the meat of all of this. Stripping can be very easy to do. One of the easiest ways to strip your diapers is to wash like normal but then rinse, rinse, rinse, until you do not see any more soap bubbles in the rinse cycle. When your washer is in the middle of the rinse cycle and it has been agitating the diapers for a moment or so, open the lid or otherwise stop the machine. If you see bubbles that are caused by soap and not just the agitation, you need to keep rinsing. Once you reach the point that you no longer see bubbles, you can finish out the rinse and then dry and you diapers are stripped.
One thing I like to use when stripping my diapers is vinegar. Vinegar is great for cutting through residue and it also acts as a natural fabric softener. I would use it in every wash except that it can break down elastic faster than normal wear.
I have heard of the Dawn method and I tried it once, but it really isn't the greatest. It can actually do more harm than good. Dawn is meant for the sink and it can hurt a washing machine. So, now I avoid the Dawn method and just do the rinse method with some viegar as my primary mode of stripping my diapers.
If you have ever heard of Rockin' Green detergent, you may also think about buying a sample of their product and use it to soak your diapers. It can remove a whole ton of dirt and residue from your diapers. I use it all the time now with the diapers and I really don't have to strip my diapers now.
When I do use Rockin' Green to soak my diapers, I fill my tub with super hot water and 3-4 tbsp of Rockin' Green and my diapers. Then let them soak for as long as you can. I like overnight. Then drain and wash like usual, not using any soap. if you don't want to use your tub, just do this in your washer, and stop the agitation process for the length of the soak you want. When you are ready to wash the diapers, just let the wash cycle finish up with the two rinse cycles.
I hope you have found this post to be of some help. It took me weeks to check out a bunch of different ways to strip my diapers when I first started, and everyone had different opinions. This is what I have found works the best and easiest.
Until next time....Happy Diapering!