by Kelli Martinelli
photo by Amy Darling McDonald

photo credit Amy Darling McDonald

 

What’s so exciting about laundry day? Is it the routine, the zen motion of folding fresh and clean cloth inserts, stacking them up or stuffing them inside gPants, ready to be used on your sweet baby? Is it the musical playlist you created to accompany you as you grab your laundry bag and get to it? Is it exciting because someone else does it for you? Whatever the reason, it is a ritual, and we as people (and mostly, we as parents) tend to take comfort in ritualized tasks.

If you’re strictly using disposable inserts, or mostly anyway, your wash routine is going to be pretty simple. gPants only need to be laundered when they get soiled, or at your own comfort level. The snap-in pouch is the piece that will be swapped out most often. And since you’re mostly using disposable inserts, which get flushed, composted (wet ones only) or tossed, you don’t have cloth inserts to launder. So here’s your laundry list:

  • unsnap the pouch from the gPant
  • close the velcro tabs so they don’t come undone and snag other bits of laundry, (like that groovy mesh top you wore to last week’s 80′s day at the office)
  • machine wash on cold or warm
  • line or machine dry the gPants
  • air dry the snap-in pouches (they air dry in minutes)

Then grab that fresh-smelling pile of gPants and pouches, snap the pouches into the pants, tuck in a disposable insert to each and have them ready to go so baby can dirty them up again for you. (cause she most certainly will)

If you’re using gCloth inserts exclusively or mostly, the routine is going to be just a tad more involved. But not much. gCloth inserts are perfectly-sized to tuck into gPants, so there’s no folding required. Please bear in mind that caring for your gCloth will be a lot easier if you treat them kindly. No diaper creams, no bleach, no detergents with added softeners or enzymes. Pretty much if it will affect the cloth fibers, be cautious.

Here’s what one diaper therapist, suggests:

“There are a couple of different methods for storing your cloth diapers before laundry day.  You can use a wet pail, a dry pail or a wet bag.

In the wet pail method, all cloth diapers are placed in a pail filled with water. Storing the diapers in water (usually accompanied by baking soda) is said to help prevent stains from setting. When wash day comes, the water is drained in the bathtub or toilet and then the diapers go into the wash. This method has lost much of its popularity due to odor issues that arise from stagnant water, and the potential for messiness and mildew.

The dry pail method seems to be the preferred method (and the one I used). In this method, wet and soiled diapers are placed in a covered pail with no pre-soaking. Odors can easily be controlled by sprinkling baking soda at the bottom of the pail.  I used a 5 gallon bucket with a lid that you can purchase from any home improvement store.  It worked great!

A wet bag (or laundry bag) is a waterproof bag that you fill with your baby’s soiled diapers.  On laundry day, you can just put the whole bag inside out and wash everything in your machine (different bags have different care instructions, so please read the label).

We actually don’t recommend any specific detergent for the gPants.  You can use whatever you normally use.  However, if you are using gCloth you will want to use a cloth diaper friendly detergent.

There are a lot of factors that go into what you choose.  Is an “eco” detergent important to you?  Do you want something you can purchase locally?  Do you have hard water?  Is price a factor?  As you can see, it’s a personal choice, you just want to choose something that will be kind to your cloth.  We like to send people to the Detergent Chart at diaperjungle.com to see how detergents are rated for cloth diapers.

For cloth diapers, it’s a good idea to use HALF the amount of detergent that you would use in a regular load of the same size.  A little bit of detergent, hot water, and the agitation from your washing machine is enough to disinfect your cloth diapers. A second rinse cycle may help remove excess detergent, but isn’t necessary.  Using too much detergent will lead to detergent buildup and an inconvenient “stripping” process.” (more on that in another blog post)

Here’s what one diaper therapist has to say on it:

“Cloth is funny because everyone does it differently!
My routine with the gCloth I’m currently using on my son is:

From wet bag:

  • throw all cloth inserts in washer
  • throw in gPants (with pouches unsnapped) and pouches in a mesh laundry bag.  The mesh bag means no sorting- it’s all in there to be washed, but you can then remove the gPants and pouches easily if you choose to do a hot cycle for the cloth inserts (which isn’t necessary nor recommended for the gPants and pouches)
  • I do a cold or warm wash first with a tiny bit of cloth safe detergent (to help avoid stains)
  • pull out the mesh bag with the gPants and pouches and dry them (air or dryer for pants, air dry for pouches)
  • then follow up with a hot wash/rinse (no extra detergent) for the gCloth left in the washer to extra sanitize and make sure all detergent is rinsed out

*Hint for drying the gcloth in the dryer: throw a big dry towel in there too! It helps move the cloth around more and soaks up some dampness form inside the drum, so it all dries faster!”

Thanks ladies. It’s really nice to have people around who’ve been there. And if you want to chat with either of our diaper therapists in person, just give them a buzz or send an email, info@gdiapers.com. 1.866.553.5874.

about the author Kelli Martinelli - Kelli has been with gDiapers since its infancy in 2006. She writes the gDiapers blog, email campaigns, web content, manages social media and customer service and supports PR. She occasionally takes a stab at her own blog It’s Me, Kelli, where she chronicles her waste reduction efforts and her stories as a single mama to two kiddos. Stay in touch on the gDiapers bloggoogle + and twitter.