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Fluffy Friday: Prepping Cloth Diapers and Prepping Natural Fibers

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I’ve blogged a lot about cloth diapers over the past three years and I’m sure the information about prepping cloth diapers is hidden in quite a few posts.  Today we’re making the subject it’s own post!

If you’ll think back at when you first started thinking about using cloth diapers, or if you’re at that point right now, prepping your cloth diapers for the first time can seem overwhelming and you probably scrambled and searched online for directions.  I promise – it does not have to be hard.

Prepping Cloth Diapers is Easy

To start the subject, you’ll definitely need to know what fabrics your cloth diapers are made of.  If they are made of microfiber, fleece, cotton, etc. – prepping is a breeze.  If you’re using natural fibers like organic cotton, hemp, and/or bamboo – there’s a little more time involved, but really no more work.

Prepping Synthetic Fabrics

If your diaper has microfiber inserts  or has a cover that has a lining of fleece, you’ll find that prepping your diapers will really only take one initial wash.  Some manufacturers recommend more than 1 before you use their diapers, but honestly, you don’t have to.  If I’m lucky enough to get new fluff, I throw it in with my load of dirty diapers and use it after one cloth wash cycle.  You may notice that absorbency gets better after a couple washes.

Examples of diapers that are made of Synthetic Fibers:

  • bumGenius 4.0 and Freetimes
  • FuzziBunz One Size and Perfect Size
  • SmartiPants

Prepping Natural Fibers in Cloth Diapering

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One thing you may notice that’s a recurring theme on So Easy Being Green is… I like doing things easy and saving myself time.  I have 2 kids, a husband, a cat, a house, and lots more to take care of, so I try to make things as easy as possible on myself.

If you’ve read anything about using natural fibers in cloth diapering, you’ve probably seen that you have to wash those fibers quite a few times before they are at their full absorbency.  This is true, but…

you do not have to waste your time and water on washing 1 or 2 diapers over and over.

This is where it is very handy for me to use the same laundry detergent on my clothes as I do my cloth diapers.  I don’t have to worry about build-up, mixing of detergents, washing clothes separately, etc.  When it’s time for me to prep natural fibers, I simply throw the new diapers {that are made of hemp, organic cotton, bamboo, etc} in with regular laundry – usually towels or bedding.

The reason that prepping natural fibers is different is because there are oils naturally present in the fibers that need to be washed out so they can be fully absorbent.

Prepping Natural Fibers Easily:

Wash your diapers 3-4 times with regular laundry.  I do recommend washing and drying for each cycle.

With natural fibers especially, you’ll sometimes notice a bit of shrinking and sometimes a bit of fading colors.

naturalfibersbunched

I also notice that when I machine dry some of my organic cotton inserts that never stay flat.  On the contrary, if you line dry natural fibers, you may find that they get a bit crunchy.  Throwing them in the dryer for as little as 10 minutes will fluff them right up!
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How you go about Prepping Natural Fibers in your Cloth Diapering Routine?

Storing Cloth Diapers
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