I’ve Been Stripping (Cloth Diapers) and My Husband’s Going To Freak Out Over the (Water) Bill


Just now I’m sober and I’m actually wearing underwear. Sorry, kids, this party girl naked-days are ovah. I’m talking about the kind of stripping where I’m trying to “save” us money by switching back to cloth diapers. This is quite an ironic statement because with metered water, it is actually going to cost us a huge water bill after all’s said and washed. I’ve narrowly escaped any questions from Gym Hottie regarding why I’ve been bringing pots of boiled water into the tub and washer. He shall find out once I discreetly place the bill on his laptop. If you haven’t been following me that long, you can refer back to my previous whiny posts about cloth diapering here and here.

Stripping cloth diapers actually means removing all the nasty build-up accumulating from the use of detergent and hard minerals from your water. When you have nasty build-up in your diapers, it can cause rashes on your baby’s poor little rump or, worse, make diaper changes dreadful for Mama/Dada from the fumes of ammonia when baby piss touches the cotton. The poo wasn’t even half as bad because he was exclusively boob-fed when we started cloth anyway and that went, “BOOP!” right into the washer. I am no expert in cloth diapers but here’s what I did to get back into the crazy world of cloth diapering:

How I Strip In The Bathtub With RLR

*I started this process in the morning so I could be done with the bathtub by the time GH came home from work/bike racing to shower.

*Others have done this method overnight.

Step 1: Boil a large pot of water.

Step 2: Fill the bathtub halfway with hot-hot-hot water and put in half of the diapers.

*Since I have mostly prefolds, I counted two prefolds/flats as one count of diaper to be stripped. I read you should only do 15 diapers for every packet of RLR.

Step 3: Carefully add boiled water to bathtub.

Step 4: Sprinkle the RLR packet onto the diapers and swish it around with a wooden spoon.

Step 5: Close the bathroom door so child(ren) do not go for a hot swim.

Step 6: Occasionally swish the diapers throughout the day.

*Optional: If water was getting cold, drain some and replace with more boiling hot water.

Step 7: Transfer the diapers into the washer with a little bit of your cloth diaper detergent and run hot washes/rinses until you no longer see any bubbles.

*If you have hard water, add water softener along with the detergent.

Step 8: Sun them, if possible.

There’s some sun peeking through this Seattle rain. Do ya see it?

This is where GH is going to kill me: I’m currently on probably my 5th/8th? (honestly lost count) wash cycle and this is just for my first half of my diapers. SAVE ME. Better yet, this better save us money once I’m all done with this.

Do you love, hate, or love/hate cloth diapering? Have you stripped … diapers? Any favorite tips for me?

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24 thoughts on “I’ve Been Stripping (Cloth Diapers) and My Husband’s Going To Freak Out Over the (Water) Bill

  1. I did mine in the dishwasher once. Mine could probably use a good stripping now. One of the best detergents for cloth diapers- regular dawn dish soap.
    I’ve used every type of diaper our there…..always come back to prefolds and flats, easy to wash and dry.
    Enjoy the rest of your stripping!

    • I’ve heard Dawn come up so many times and did use it in my first bout with stripping. Now, I’m a little worried about using Tide as I’ve heard *all* the horror stories but here I am using it! If I happen to see Dr. Bronners or Country Save out during errands, I’ll get that otherwise I’m not going to freak. :$

  2. Nesting so soon? At this rate I’m surprised you’re not individually scrubbing them with a toothbrush. Ahhh, but don’t listen to me! My cloth diapers never made it past burp cloths or diaper free time under-the-tush padding.

      • Sheezus please don’t say peanut butter. When Avi was born the pediatrician told me that infant constipation has the consistency of peanut butter and ever since I have been forever ruined! I am unable to look at a jar, let alone eat it. And every time I change a diaper I’m all like, “Is this one gonna be crunchy or smooth?”

      • “… crunchy or smooth” :-X

        Well, has Avi been constipated? I don’t remember how it looked when Humnoy was a newbie and constipated. He was pure ass-plosions what with breastmilk and then baby-led solids starting at 6 months. If you want to talk about poop, wait until solids.

      • Lol! Yeah, that’s mission impossible as I’m always constantly eating. And since I babywear, she ends up with crumbs all over her, so not only do I eat in front of her, but it’s like an inch from her face so she’s getting it all up close and zoomed in. Bah! Wishing I EC’d….

      • I’m still interested in trying it, but it didn’t work for us for her newborn period. I’m hoping to start once we have our own place in a few months…which would coincide perfectly with the whole introducing solids & scarier messier poops.

  3. Just venturing into the cloth diaper world with our 3 week old…. must admit, mostly because I gasped at how much I’d be spending on pampers here. Now I need to learn about stripping…..

    • It’s a long, hard process to get cloth diapers back to new/like new without damaging it any further so you can resell. But! If it means I don’t have to buy boxes and boxes of disposables every week then I’m going to do it. What is the diaper status (disposables, cloth?) in Laos, I’ve always been curious?

  4. I’ve used cloth diapers with my daughter for two years (potty? What’s that?) and I love them. I just had to replace the Velcro straps for the first time this weekend and considering we dry in the dryer for now, that’s not bad.

    We use the Thirsties AIOs. We also use the diaper wash that they sell, and wouldn’t recommend anything else to anyone. We’ve barely had to strip the whole time. Maybe three times. The one time we had to strip something serious and switch back to disposables for a heavy-duty diaper rash cream (Boudreaux’s) was because of this god-awful diaper rash cream that said it was cloth diaper safe and wasn’t. Grandma El’s left such a layer on her diapers, I may as well have used Vaseline. I was devastated. I thought the diapers were destroyed. It took a very long time to strip them back down to normal. The only diaper rash cream worth its salt that we found for cloth diapers is the Grovia Magic stick. Grandma El isn’t a good grandma lol.

    When we DO have to strip, we also used the original Dawn method. That’s what Thirsties recommended on their website and what the googlez also said was the thing to do. It’s worked okay for us :).

    Longest post ever, but we’re passionate about our baby’s booty.

    • I’m definitely going to try the Dawn method next! That seems like the most convenient and popular choice. We don’t do AIOs because I didn’t really care for them. I prefer the good ol’ prefold -Snappi -cover combo and let him run around in the house in just that when it’s warm inside. šŸ˜‰

      • We didn’t experiment around with them, so we only know the AIOs. I just read a lot about the different methods and this one seemed the cheapest lol. WIth thirsties, there’s only two different sizes with the AIOS, so we only really had to invest $400 total. We were sold instantly lol.

      • That’s great! I’m glad you guys figured out what works for you so quickly and efficiently! I knew I would make prefolds work because that seemed like the most cost-effective and long-lasting way to make cloth diapering work for us. Plus, I know prefolds are great down the line for dust rags, if I don’t resell them. Multi-functional is my thing! šŸ˜‰

    • I’m not hardcore but very paranoid! I want to make sure I get all the nasties out before putting it on Humnoy again. The smell, oh the smell, has stuck with me all this time so I am doing all that I can to not smell that jumping into cloth diapering again!

  5. I’ve been doing the stripping thing lately too. I think the ALL free and clear detergent caused our little(big) ammonia problem, and using microfiber inserts doesn’t help too much either. I’ve just been doing the boiling on the stove method, and I started making my own detergent. 1pt baking soda, 1pt washing soda and 1pt Sun Oxygen cleaner. Seems to be doing the job so far, but if it starts up again I might have to get some RLR on it. šŸ™‚

    • Ooh, I love that you’re using your own homemade detergent! I have heard horror stories about All Free & Clear but, heck, I’ve heard horror stories about every detergent! I use Country Save even though I absolutely despise buying separate detergent for this or that (GH likes ‘smell-good’ detergent).

      Let me know how the homemade route goes!

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