When we started cloth diapering, we lived in an apartment and did not have our own washer and dryer.
We were cautious about diving into cloth diapering so we started with a diaper service for three months
and then decided that we were ready to venture out on our own. We've discovered that cloth diapering is very doable -- even when you're washing
in a laundromat!
The system that we found that worked for us was simple:
Wash everything together.
Wash the load one entire cycle on cold using just a little detergent or none at all.
Wash the load again one entire cycle on hot using 1/4 - 1/2 the regular amount of detergent.
Sort the pocket diapers and the covers out of the load and dry everything else.
A few extra things to note
It was important to have enough diapers to wash once or twice a week (at the most). I also used a pail liner
to avoid hauling the entire diaper pail to the laundromat. I felt like the diapers got cleaner in the top loading machines.
It cost us $3 a week to wash diapers once a week. I paid $1 for each wash and $1 to dry the diapers. When evaluating the cost benefit of cloth
you'll want to calculate how much extra you'll spend washing twice a week versus just buying enough diapers to last all week.
If you spend an extra $3 a week washing diapers, in four months you could have purchased another two dozen prefolds with the
money you saved by washing once a week. We found that it cost less in the long run to have a seven day supply of diapers.
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!] Reviewed by Cari on Sunday 23 August, 2009
We use a laundry room as well. Ours have very few options-you can pick the heat (hot, warm, cold) and now you can get an extra rinse for an extra quarter! When I was cloth diapering before that extra rinse wasnt available. I still only did one wash, but I rinsed the diapers very thoroughly before washing.
I havent started cloth diapering again yet, but with the new rinse I'll either be able to get away without rinsing so much before actually washing them (which is rather icky!), or I'll just run 2 washes this time around. I just hated rinsing them so much-but it saved a couple of dollars each week and we were THAT broke. lol
I also noticed that the laundromat had a lot more options and you could definately do one wash there-but it also costs a lot more than my laundry room.
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!] Reviewed by Ayesha on Monday 20 October, 2008
In NYC, we have front loaders with the following cycle:
1st Rinse (COLD)
2nd Rinse (COLD)
3rd Rinse (COLD)
The above are the settings for the HOT cycle, I use only 1 cycle to wash our prefolds and pockets and covers with less than half the detergent required. I remove the pockets before drying everything else (Covers go in every once in a while). I also throw in a dry towel in winter to take out more moisture. Sun in the window to get rid of stains.
The diapers smell bad first coming out, but after drying there is no smell left and don't stink even when peed in.
Once in a while, I'll run the prefolds a second cycle with vinegar only.