Washing Adult Cloth Diapers

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The Complete Guide to Washing and Caring For Cloth

Basic Washing Instructions:

Everyone likes a quick start guide, right? Check out the basic details on how simple it is to wash cloth incontinence products, then let’s dive into a deeper explanation.

Perform a cold water rinse
Run a Hot Wash Cycle -
Use Detergent You Trust.
Dry on MediumThat’s it!

In a nut shell, washing cloth breaks down into a simple routine that can fit into any lifestyle. But then questions start to percolate... What do I do with my briefs until it’s time to wash them? How many can I wash at one time? Can I was them with regular clothing loads? Will they smell?Don’t worry. This is an in-depth guide that will answer questions you don’t even have yet. Switching from disposables to cloth can be seen as a dramatic change, but with enough education, you will be well prepared to make an informed decision.

What Do I Do with Used Cloth Diapers?

Having a system in place to handle your used briefs will greatly reduce the stress involved with making that important decision... could I, SHOULD I - switch to cloth? Daily changes will cause soiled briefs to accumulate and need to be set aside until laundering. We recommend using The Dry Pail System.

The Dry Pail System involves a pail with a lid. The soiled item goes in the pail to await its inevitable laundering date. Typically people chose a white garbage pail with a flip top lid, purchased at your local hardware or department store. You can line this pail with a cloth-diaper worthy "Pail Liner" 

Can You Use Cloth Diapers With Bowel Accidents? 

Yes you can. A diaper sprayer can be used to minimize any additional hardships that cloth diapering can cause a person with bowel incontinence. This device taps into the clean waterline that feeds your commode, before the water reaches the bowl. Its original purpose in the United States was to allow Americans the luxury of a bidet, in hand held form. Women could use it to clean themselves during a postpartum season or menstrual cycle, and men and women alike could use it to cleanse after their constitutional. The diapering community saw a much greater purpose for this ingenious gadget. To clean and pre-rinse soiled cloth diapers. To further process on making cloth diapering clean and simple, Spray Pal developed a spray guard that eliminated any possibility of back-splashing. This plastic shield clips your Diaper Pad Set in place while you spray any soil into the toilet. It folds flat for discreet storage, and can be used to squeeze excess water from the insert before placing into your dry pail.  

Can I Wash Cloth Diapers with Other Clothing?

With just one or two pairs of briefs in your rotation you can easily wash then with other clothing. The in-depth guidelines developed around washing cloth are based on a high ammonia and soil content in the load. Washing one, two or even three pairs of briefs and inserts with other clothing greatly reduces the amount of soil saturation in the load. With a low volume of briefs, feel free to incorporate them in your regular laundry routine. If you do choose to wash your cloth diapers with clothing, I recommend adding them to a load of towels or jeans. These heavy fabrics trigger your washing machine to use more water, and that's exactly what is needed for washing cloth diapers. 

What's The Best Way To Wash Adult Cloth Diapers?

ash Your Cloth on a routine. Routines make life simple. They put things on auto pilot and remove the need to think. Developing a daily or every other day wash routine makes moving to cloth far less intimidating.

When its time to do a load just dump the contents into the washer, then add in the pail liner. If your washer has a pre-rinse setting, the routine gets even easier. Simply set your preferences with soap, water level and washing time, then walk away. If you don’t have a pre-rinse setting, just run a “quick wash” on cold with no soap, then come back in 20 minutes to set the washer with your proper wash settings and soap. After dinner or before bed your cloth will be ready to transfer to the dryer.

Standard cloth diapers are thick and bulky and will possibly need two dry cycles, but Threaded Armor's diapers are designed to wash more thoroughly and dry in one cycle. Simply press the start button on your dryer and walk away! If you don’t return to the dryer until morning, no worries. You will have a fresh clean load of cloth ready for use. 

Folding is not necessary. In fact, many people simply unload their briefs into a laundry basket and take them to their private bathroom. They use the briefs right out of the basket, or place them flat and stacked one on another in a dresser drawer. 

How Long Does It Really Take To Wash Adult Cloth Diapers?

If you have incorporated cloth diapers into your life then its time to set up a washing routine. You can expect to spend on average less than 10-15 minutes per day of active time on your wash routine.

Most people do not fold their cloth diapers, so you save a lot of time there!  You will need to plan on doing 1 load of laundry every 1 or 2 days.  Never go beyond three days. Letting ammonia sit in the fibers of cloth too long can lead to ammonia burn. 

We find its best to settle into an evening routine for washing your cloth.  Sart a load before dinner, transfer them before, enjoy fully clean goodness in the morning! 

Is There A Specific Detergent to Use?

The general rule of thumb is to use a detergent that is free of any bleach or fabric softener. “Free and Clear” detergents are generally not recommended, as they often have additional cleaning agents in them that can cause buildup. We have had great success using Tide Original detergent.
If you have hard water, we suggest using a liquid water softener (commonly found in the laundry care aisle at most discount chain stores). Mainstream Detergents Which are currently considered as the best performing detergents to wash cloth diapers include, but are not limited to:

Tide | Arm & Hammer | Purex | Gain | Country Save | Persil

Use a detergent that you feel comfortable with. If you find that it's not cleaning your briefs and inserts well enough try adding a little extra detergent. You may need 2x the amount of some plant-based detergents versus the recommended amount on the container. If you notice your diapers aren't smelling fresh out of the machine then mix 1-2 tablespoons of bleach in with a cup of water and adding it to your bleach dispenser. This can shorten the life of your briefs by a month in the long run, but is well worth the payoff for crisp clean briefs, and will mitigate the need for maintenance.

How Do I Deal With Ammonia Build Up?

You don't need a super power to handle ammonia build up. 

Ammonia is found in all urine. The longer it stays on fibers, the more it can burn into the fibers. Three days is a maximum amount of time any cloth item should go before being laundered, if it has urine on it.

Your level of hydration can immensely affect the concentration of ammonia in urine. A well hydrated person can wash every three days, while a more dehydrated person should wash their briefs nightly or every other day. There are acceptable amounts of ammonia and if your briefs only smell strongly after a few days in your pail then this is quite normal, though you may want to increase the frequency of your washing to prevent a problem. If the smell is acrid and “knock you over” strong this should be addressed with our maintenance program.