Thursday, June 2, 2011

My First Strip

Last week I decided to strip my diapers for the first time in eleven months. I always read about people who strip once a month, and have been very thankful we haven't had to do that. After three nights of leaking and a couple leaks here and there during the day or at nap time, I was getting very frustrated with my diapers. I figured it must be time. 

Stripping can be used when you have leaking diapers due to repelling (when the diaper isn't soaking up liquids) or when you start having the stinkies-a strong ammonia smell. The need for stripping is usually due to a build up of detergent in your diapers. It's important to make sure when washing your diapers that you do not see any suds in the rinse cycle-that means you still have detergent in your wash.

There are many ways to strip your diapers. You can find multiple ways to strip them here:, one of my favorite go to resources for cloth diaper questions. 

I chose to use Dawn. I decided this after much internal debate. First, using Dawn creates the need for multiple rinses to make sure all the suds are gone. Second, I have a front loading washing machine, so it can be even more of a PITA. I have never heard anyone that stripped with Dawn where it didn't work though, so I had made up my mind. I wanted to make sure my diapers weren't leaking and I wanted the ammonia smell from Baby J's overnight diapers gone. 
It's important to make sure you use Dawn Original to strip your diapers. You don't want one with added fragrance.

Because I have a front loader, I chose to use my bathtub to give my diapers a good soak in a couple squirts of Dawn. Our water heater is turned up high, so I made sure the water was really hot-always another good way to strip. While the diapers were soaking, I went one by one with a toothbrush and scrubbed the fleece liners on all my pockets. I used a little bit of dawn on each one and scrubbed away. I was amazed at how white my diapers looked with that little scrub. It made me feel like I could see the Dawn working before my eyes. Maybe it was just the suds, but I like to believe I could see magic happening!

After each diaper was scrubbed, I tossed it in my pail so I could throw it in the washer. Then I washed and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. All day long I rinsed. Every time the cycle was done, I would smell the diapers. They still smelled like Dawn, so I knew there was still some soap in my washer. 

I realize now that this was not the best method. So, after rinsing all day, I washed the inserts which were still soaking in the tub the next day. First, I rinsed them by hand. I think that helped a ton. Then I used the washer. This saved a lot of time and a lot of electricity. 

I have been happily surprised with my diapers ever since. The smell is gone. However, I realized after all that work that they were leaking due to the fact that I needed to adjust the elastic in my Fuzzibunz One Size diapers. My baby is a mover and her legs are getting thinner. I'm glad I finally took the plunge to strip my diapers, but I wish I would have realized the leaking problem sooner!

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