Thursday, July 19, 2012

Let's Strip!!

No, we don't want you to take your clothes off. We just want you to get all the ammonia, detergent, and other build up out of your diapers!!! There's a whole lot of advice about stripping diapers out there, and we want to make sure you have a place where you can go that you trust and know is safe instructions to follow! So, here goes!!!

When you should strip
Stripping IS NOT something you should do on a regular basis. Unless of course you get paid for it (seriously, how many times can I make this joke before y'all get bored?) Stripping diapers is not good for them. It can damage the PUL and/or elastics and puts some major wear on your diapers. Unless you've got a majorly messed up wash cycle (if you do, EMAIL US! We are happy to help you figure out a detergent and wash cycle that works), you shouldn't need to strip very often. In fact, just as a reference - I've been using cloth for just under 2 years - for 7 months I had 2 in diapers - and have stripped once. ONE SINGLE TIME in 2 years. And that time? Was because we had a yeast situation happening. So let me reiterate... Stripping is not something you should do on a regular basis. But sometimes, it's all you can do. If you've tried RLR, and have tried multiple rinses, and are STILL having issues with stink, buildup, or the dreaded yeast, it's time to strip.

How to strip
Research (through reputable sources!) and my own personal experience have led me to believe that the best way to strip your diapers is with Dawn Dish Detergent. It can be bought at your local grocery store... and usually a pharmacy or even a gas station! Make sure you get the blue kind. I'm not sure if there's any technical reason for this... but it worked for me and half the internet... so just go with it!!

Do a cold rinse of the diapers you are going to strip. Then do a regular wash cycle (I do hot wash, cold rinse)... but instead of using any detergent, add 2 Tablespoons of your blue dawn to the wash. Now comes the fun part. Rinse, and rinse, and rinse, and rinse some more. You'll need to keep an eye on your diapers during the rinse cycles. If you see ANY bubbles in the water while they are being agitated you need to rinse again. Just keep rinsing until you have no bubbles!!

If you have yeast
Yeast is a special kind of ugly animal all on its own. Dawn may not be the only solution to yeast (though I'd still suggest a final strip with dawn once the rash is cleared). You'll also need to use a little bit of bleach. I know how scary that sounds!! Make sure your washer has a place where detergent/bleach can be mixed with the water. You don't want to pour bleach straight onto your diapers!! If it doesn't, just wait until the washer fills with water and add it then! When using bleach, you want to do cold cycles - bleach works better in the cold - and you'll want to use as much water as possible. Even if you're only doing a couple diapers, I'd suggest telling your washer it's a large load (if that's an option!). When you actually add the bleach, you don't need too much - usually only about 1-3 tablespoons. Even watered down, that should be enough to get the yeast out of your diapers.

When you shouldn't strip
You don't always need to strip. RLR Laundry treatment is great for getting buildup out of diapers. It's much less stressful on your diapers and is a great solution if you need some help! You also don't need to strip if you've had a not-quite-right laundry cycle and are finally finding your mojo. Just keep at it and your diapers should show signs of improvement rather quickly.

As always, if you've got questions please feel free to ask on our facebook page, in the comments here, or email us! (beth@liltulips.com)

17 comments:

Stephanie said...

I've read that using Dawn in a front-loading washer voids the warranty so when I needed to do a Dawn strip (ammonia buildup) I did it in the bathtub and then did my final rinses in the washer, once most of the bubbles were out in the tub.

Danielle said...

Great, informative article! Note to self: Strip as a last resort. I see RLR suggested often for build up. I'm hoping I can get a wash cycle down when it's finally that time. I find myself a bit overwhelmed with all of the detergent options out there, but I'm sure I'll find something that works great for us. Four and a half months 'til it's time for me to find my cloth diapering and laundering groove!

Anna Claire said...

This is so helpful! As a newbie CD-er, I've been wondering about stripping diapers b/c there's so much conflicting info online!

Olivia L said...

I've seen blue Dawn suggested, but I don't know if I can use it in an HE machine. Any tips?

Courtney Fritchen said...

It seems like my diapers started to get ammonia buildup after switching to rockin green from tide. I think I'm going to need to invest in some RLR!

Clarissa said...

I bought some gently used cloth diapers off of Craigslist... this is just the information I need to strip them! I've heard all about it but still wasn't sure how to go about doing it. I feel that it should be done mainly cause they're used and I don't know what the previous owners washing routine was (fabric softeners, non-CD safe detergents, etc.) Thanks for the information!

nicole said...

Ha, stripping jokes - never gets old! I've never had to strip my diapers, even in 2.5 years. I sometimes feel like I'm missing something.. Good to read here that I won't ALWAYS need to do it.

Meg said...

This is good information to have right now! I feel like the humidity this summer has left our diapers a little funky. We line-dry everything, and with the rain and dampness, I felt like there were times when the diapers didn't dry as quickly as I would have liked. Combined with toxic toddler pee, I'm sure the stash would appreciate a good deep cleaning!

Kiri Jane Morley said...

That is so interesting! Thank you for the post, everyone is always talking aout stripping diapers, but this is the most comprehensive article that I have seen! Thank you!!!
especially you saying we shouldnt do it too frequently... I rarely hear that.. so its greatly needed info :)

Britni Bradford said...

One questions I have about stripping that I haven't seen answered anywhere is this: if you use CD on child #1 and then have down time in between, should you strip them before using them on child #2. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on how to prep diapers for reusing them on future children. We started CDing at 6 months and haven't had to strip yet. I think DD will potty train early, so just wondering the best way to store and prep diapers for future use.

Christine M Tubbytelly said...

I have stripped a lot. Some of my diapers are showing the stress. What is RLR? I should have been using that instead.

Michele said...

My last strip cost me all but 3 of my SoftBums stash. I thought doing the strip at the laundromat was a great plan... not so much, I ran to the store next door to grab a drink, came back and my stash was gone *from the washer*.

Careful where you strip. :/

Jennifer Noel said...

I have heard of having to strip cloth diapers. I won't start cding until our lo gets here in February. But I will be saving this as a reference. I have never heard of RLR. .. what is it exactly and what makes it work so well?

Melissa Gomez said...

I have trouble with ammonia but it's detergent build up..i also use calgon buy i think i just need to switch detergents..

Christina Simpson said...

Great information! I usually using stripping as a last resort. I use RLR before I resort to stripping :)

Lisa J. said...

Oops, I have been stripping WAY too much. I rarely use Dawn though. I usually just do an extra hot wash cycle without detergent or anything and then rinse, rinse, rinse like crazy.

How often do you recommend using RLR? We have hard water so I think that's part of our problem, but we get leaks about once ever 4-6 weeks so that's how often I strip.

Ruth V. said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been CD'ing for 3 months and haven't had to strip yet but have some blue dawn on hand for just such an occasion. I think if I put 2 tablespoons in my front loader it would probably never rinse out - I think it also might void the warranty (so I've heard). I'll probably just strip in the utility sink if necessary.

Post a Comment