A lot of us have some levels of crazy regarding our cloth diapers. We have our cloth diaper routines and rituals. We have our storage systems. There are diapers that are worn at certain times, certain holidays, with certain outfits, etc. Heck, there are folks that buy diapers and never take them out of the package. With all that in mind, there are times that someone stresses out over something not going according to ritual. All that I can say to that is this: your cloth diapers are not ruined. Seriously.
Your Cloth Diapers Went Through the Wrong Wash
It happens. Your cloth diapers have just been laundered. You’ve emptied the washer, hung your shells, thrown your inserts to the dryer, done the Hokey Pokey backwards, and all parts of your particular cloth diaper laundry ritual. All is right with the world. You throw your husband’s stinky socks and underwear in the washer with a triple helping of Gain because they smell really funky and he smells much nicer when his socks don’t. And then gasp, horror, you discover that you left a microfiber insert in the wash.
I frequently see things like this happening. And I always have the exact same answer: Calm down. Your cloth diapers are not ruined. You don’t have to strip them or use Dawn. You don’t have to flog your husband for forcing you to use such potent smelling detergent to cope with his man stink. It’s okay. One time will not make a difference.
Your Cloth Diapers Were Left in the Wetbag
Okay, it’s gross, but it happens. You went out, had to change your kid because when you’re out and about is the best time ever to have a vile smelling poop that makes you wonder if you need an old priest and a young priest, or at least a gas mask. You quickly pull over on the side of the road, change your fighting, squirming baby and manage to not get poop all over the front passenger seat of your mini van. Since you’re in the middle of nowhere (not even cell service?!), you throw everything in your wetbag, close it all up, wipe down your own hands with a baby wipe, and clean them off with Purell. And then… you forgot them. Maybe it was because you didn’t want to think about the vile stench that your cloth diapers are housing in that wetbag. Maybe you just got busy. Whatever. The next thing you know, you’ve forgotten that awful bag in your van for three days. On the one hand, you’re amazed: your wetbag kept that smell from stinking out your family van. On the other… your cloth diapers have been left dirty and disgusting for three days.
It happens. Your cloth diapers are still not going to be ruined. Just hold your nose, turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom, and rinse them out before tossing them in with the rest of your cloth diaper laundry. Even if it’s mildewed, it’s still not ruined.
Your Neighbor Helped You Out
Your dryer broke. Your cloth diapers were sunned out, nearly dry, and then the skies burst and torrential rain fell. You were ready to cry when your neighbor took pity and offered to throw your cloth diapers in the dryer for you. You were so grateful… but your gratitude was replaced with horror when he handed you a basket of fresh smelling diapers. Your eyes fill with tears when he says, “I used four Bounce sheets so they’ll smell super nice and be really soft for your baby!”
Your cloth diapers are not ruined. Really. Heck, chances are good you won’t even have to strip them. Just use them, wash them as usual, and go about your business.
The chances are very good that if your cloth diapers have gone through something strange that you would never (deliberately) do, they’re still fine. They won’t need to be stripped or burned. It’s not a one-off that causes most cloth diapering problems: it’s the systemic use of things that cause problems over time.
Even so, everything but delamination is fixable.
Have you have a moment when you thought your cloth diapers were wrecked?