Friday, April 5, 2013

A stinky little secret

I've posted before about how much I love cloth diapering. I really do - it's great. And most of the time if the subject comes up, either in my blogging or in conversation, I find myself being a great big cheerleader. I guess it's because I don't want to say anything negative, just in case someone is on the fence about giving cloth a try.

But let's face it! I don't think there are that many people on the fence. Most people I meet are either cloth diapering and loving it, or using disposables and loving it. So I'm not worried that what I'm about to post is going to change anybody's mind. Although, I do hope it won't give the cloth-diaper-haters ammunition to use against us cloth-diaper-lovers. No hating, please!

My secret is: my cloth diapers have got a case of the stinkies. They smell just fine coming out of the washer - like nothing at all, which is exactly how they're supposed to smell. They smell fine once dried, too, whether I dry them outside or in the dryer. But once they're wet, they get stinky pretty quick. When the diapers were new, they would only smell very faintly of fresh pee when I took them off Katie. Now they're a little more likely to have ammonia-funk-smell. And gone are the days of being able to go three days between washes - the diaper pail gets pretty ripe after two days!

So, it's time to strip them. I've been really lucky so far - this is only the third time I've stripped diapers in almost 2 1/2 years. so really that's not so bad. Unfortunately, my internet research has turned up 10,000 different methods on how to strip diapers. I am lucky to have the absolute easiest diapers to strip - cotton prefolds. I've heard that synthetic fabrics hold stink a lot more, thus have to be stripped more often. Not so with cotton. Plus, my prefolds don't have any waterproof fabric attached, so I can toss them into a pot and boil them. All-in-ones or pocket diapers often have the waterproofing attached, and it can melt if exposed to high temperatures.

So Katie is in her crib for naptime (although she's definitely not asleep yet) and I have just put a big pot of water on the stove to boil. I'll add 2-3 diapers at a time once it's boiling, and boil them for 5 minutes or so. Then I'll cool them off in a colander, wring them and hang them outside. I know it sounds pretty arduous, but a) I'm only boiling a dozen diapers, so it won't take long, and b) there's something about boiling laundry that makes me feel like a pioneer woman. This is great, because I can get that homesteading feeling with a project that will probably take less than an hour and won't create any additional mess for me to clean up. Yay for that!

Got any household rituals that take you back to our homesteading roots?


  1. Man, you are so little house on the prairie! Amazing. No, there is nothing I do that takes me to my homesteading roots, sadly. Unless you count dealing with whatever illness my children currently have. I think they time travelled and brought back the plague....

    You are amazing!

    1. Aw, shucks. Thanks! I'm really not amazing, though - I just picked up On the Banks of Plum Creek and after reading the first 10 pages, I'm already thoroughly humbled. I mean, I have a machine that washes my dishes for me! Think of how that would have blown Laura Ingalls' mind! :)

      I hope all the Supers get over the plague soon! No fun!