Meredith reminded me in her comment yesterday that I never answered the big question about how I handle poopy cloth diapers.
First – we were told that we needed to pretreat the cloth inserts prior to use. The instructions on the packaging also said we had to pretreat. Pretreating consists of washing and drying the inserts. Apparently this helps the cotton inserts to absorb more. I didn’t quite understand that so I googled it and it has something to do with removing the oils that were used to treat the cotton. Whatevs.
So – how do we handle messy cloth inserts? Well, the pee soaked ones don’t really need any special treatment. You can just toss them in the washing machine. As for poop, we can actually do the same thing. Because Annie is only eating breastmilk, her poop is still quite liquidy and washes off easily. When I change her diaper, I just throw the soiled cloth inserts into this wet bag.
It makes clean up easy because I can just toss the soiled inserts into the washing machine with the wet bag.
When Annie moves on to solids, we’ll have to rinse off the cloth insert prior to throwing them in the wash. Many cloth diapering bloggers use a diaper sprayer:
It attaches to your toilet and you just rinse the cloth insert over the toilet bowl. I also read that you can just dunk the insert in the toilet bowl.
We’re not there yet so I can’t say if dealing with pre-rinsing stuff is a pain in the ass or not. Currently – cloth diapering is still very easy for us but the 8 cloth inserts aren’t really cutting it. It doesn’t account for the nighttime. I’m trying to determine if I want to just keep disposables on hand for night changes. I don’t know. Baby steps, I suppose.
I found this great site that outlines what is needed to clean cloth diapers. Hopefully this answers your questions!
Oh – and I guess I should add that I generally wash all the inserts and diapers separately from other laundry in hot water. However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes toss some of the inserts (if there are only 1 or 2) in with a regular load. Having 2 dogs and now a baby has pretty much made me immune to poop. It doesn’t gross me out and I have no issues with throwing them in my washing machine that I use to wash my clothes. I wash poopy things in hot water to hopefully kill off the bad stuff. And I also periodically clean out my washing machine by using Tide Washing Machine Cleaner (although in an effort to go “green” – I’ll probably just clean it with vinegar).
So, there’s the scoop on poop. I hope this answered your questions without grossing you out.