Stripping Cloth Diapers: the when & how

Strip Cloth Diapers

Stripping cloth diapers can be intimidating. Not to mention the question of when you need to do it or how to do it. OR if you’re new to the game, you’re probably like “STRIPPING?! What the heck is that?!” So let’s break this down after some basic stuff:

Stripping diapers is not the way to get them clean. It’s a way to bring them back to life and a correction process to issues your diapers may have.
Your wash routine should be getting them clean! Repeated stripping is HARD on cloth diapers. They’re soaking in a formula removing all the oops’s, uh-oh’s, minerials, and detergent left behind. When you strip them, you’re breaking them down to the bare minimum (aka fabric)  and it can be damaging on the fabrics. Diapers are cleaned when you wash them in DETERGENT. If you don’t have clean diapers, you need to examine your wash routine. If your wash routine is correctly, you should never have to strip those babies!

Reasons why cloth diapers need to be stripped:

 1. Hard water
2. Not absorbing
3. Smell
4. Unknown wash history of the diaper (untreated hard water)

Reasons why NOT to strip cloth diapers:

 1. A few washes in hard water
2. Changing detergents when the previous one worked great (you may need to revisit this post if you have issues after switching)
3. Non absorbing pieces (examples: covers, pocket diapers, grovia shells, etc.)

Hard water is a huge issues when it comes to cloth diapers. Hard water is full of minerals that doesn’t allow your detergent to clean effectively. I’ve noticed on diaper repairs when the cloth is being washed in hard water, the thread doesn’t want me to open it and the elastic is tough and brittle. If you need to treat hardwater, Calgon combats it and softens it so you’re detergent can clean.

Not absorbing is a major issue. That’s kind of the point of cloth diapers, right?! So maybe you need to make sure no one doing laundry threw any fabric softener or dry sheets in with you diapers multiple times. If they did, you may need to strip them. A reason for not absorbing is the mineral build up from hard water. If there’s so much mineral build up, they won’t absorb. Do you see how hard water is a big problem?

Stinky diapers. This could be barn yard smell, ammonia smell, or just a smell that isn’t pleasant. this could be because of mineral build up from hard water, bacteria, or not a solid wash routine. And I highly recommend examining your wash routine BEFORE determining if you need to strip or not because of smell. I would try a cold bleach wash to eliminate the bacteria option before jumping to sttripping. (You can check out my how to know if your cloth is getting clean post here.)

There’s many products out there that claim to strip clothes and diapers. There’s even homemade things that you can make to do it. Grovia makes mighty bubbles that does the exact same thing as RLR. You can order it from Grovia here or if you’re an amazon junkie (like me) and want to save on shipping, and get it FAST, you can get it here.

RLR is something that comes in a packet. No need to be buying bulk materials when you may only need to strip your diapers one time in your child’s use. So plus side, there’s no spending $20+ to make your cleaner. I’m all for cheap but getting the job done! You can also use it on your whites to make them brighter more so than bleach. (I used my extra packets on my towels and my white sheets that bleach couldn’t bring back)

So once you have all supplies, you can sign up below to get my”how to guide: stripping cloth diapers.”
No worries, I’ll take you step by step!!

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