cloth diapering: quick step by step stripping...

I wrote about how we cloth diaper in this post, and after a few comments, I realized I needed to clarify how I go about stripping our diapers.

Before getting into cloth diapering, I had no idea what stripping diapers was or how to do it.  Stripping is a sort of deep cleaning that you do to the diapers every so often to remove build-up from detergents, oils, residue, or any other substance that gets into the diapers and prevents them from functioning correctly.  Some tell-tale signs that your diapers need to be stripped are strong ammonia smell when wet, poor absorption, and leaking.  I have found that I need to strip our diapers every 4 months or so.  It will probably be different for each person.

So, here are the items I use when stripping our diapers:
large pot
baking dish
Blue Dawn Original dish soap
scrub brush
large bowl

Here are some pictures to show how I go step-by-step through this process.  It's a lot easier than it sounds, and it only takes an hour or two depending on how many diapers you have.

First, I bring a large pot of water to boil.  When it's rolling, I add in about 6 of the liners and boil them for 10 minutes.  I poke the liners down into the water often while they are boiling, as they fill up with air and puff out.  Note:  DO NOT boil the diaper covers!  Only boil the liners.


While the liners are boiling, I wet the covers, add a few drops of Blue Dawn, and scrub them really well.


After 10 minutes of boiling, I remove the liners from the water with tongs and place them into the colander to drain.  They are super hot when you pull them out, so be careful!  I add more water to the pot, bring it to a boil, and add in the next liners.


After scrubbing the covers, I place them in a large bowl with a bit of water.  When they are all scrubbed, I rinse them really well, ring them out a bit, and lay them flat on a towel.

Once the liners have cooled a bit in the colander, I take them to the sink, rinse them in cold water, ring them out, and lay them flat on a towel.

After everything is boiled, scrubbed, rinsed and rung out, I throw everything into the washing machine and run it on two to three cold rinse cycles.  I check to make sure there aren't any suds left from the Blue Dawn, then I dry them in the dryer.  In the summer, I will dry them outside in the sun as the UV rays will kill any remaining bacteria and bleach out stains naturally.

Fresh, feels-like-new diapers!

Here is the tutorial I followed if you are wanting more info.  Please know that this is the method I found that works for me, and there are many ways you can strip diapers.


Amy Boyea said...

Good to know! I think we need to strip ours - they smell fine when washed but have a definite stink when wet which wasn't there before.
Also, I see you have the Albert bumgenius. I just got a couple for James (they were sold out whenever I tried before) and I love them! They satisfy the math nerd in me plus the little tuxedo look is so adorable!! :-)

Bon Bon said...

I had to go through this same process too, starting a few months ago! All of a sudden the ammonia smell was soooooo strong! woof! xoxo


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