Stripping Diapers

We have been cloth diapering for just about a year now and have had many adventures. We use a combination of systems depending on what we need. Some AIO’s, pocket diapers, and pre-folds with covers. I have used the dawn and RLR strip with my diapers when stripping them before but they recently have just had a lot of amonia build up which I think has been leading to Ellie’s diaper rash that WILL NOT go away! I know it is not yeast because it does not look like it so ammonia is my next colprate.

So today I boiled my diapers. Since we have so many systems I had to be careful not to immerse any of my diapers with PUL in them into a boiling vat of water so I did a few different things and took pictures. I do have to say you have to be very careful with your diapers with PUL because it will separate if you abuse them with excessive heat for too long. Thankfully the way I did things today did not cause PUL to separate.

I did notice a huge release of detergent build up and ammonia build up from my diapers. When they came of of the dryer they were so soft! I never realized how much stuff gets stuck in there thinking the other stripping I was doing was working well! I will probably boil my inserts about every 3 months and my pockets/aio’s every 6 months to keep them nice and squeaky clean.

So first I boiled two large pots with water.

Then I put my inserts into the boiling water about 3 at a time and swirled them around with tongs for about a minute and a half. Most of the websites I read said you only have to do it for 10-30 seconds but I found the longer I left them in the more ammonia came out of them so I let the inserts boil a bit. Then I put them into a glass bowl and threw them in the washer for a spin cycle. That was the easy part.

I do have 2 grow-via inserts that have plastic snaps on the back. I just made sure the plastic snaps did not touch the side of the pot, which was pretty easy because the bottom part poufs up and floats. They cleaned up just fine.

Then I boiled more water. I think I went through 6 of these big pots of water. So the all in one diapers I have are Bummis Easy Fit. They have a long tongue that you fold into the diaper. You can not immerse them into a boiling pot of water so what I did was swish the part that folds over so it could be boiled, but not the part of the diaper touching the PUL. I swished the bottom part around with tongs like I did with the others just making sure not to boil plastic.

Then once that was done I placed the diaper face up in a glass bowl, poured the boiling water directly onto the diaper, then flipped it upside down so it was soaking in scalding water. I then did the next diaper, put it on top of the last diaper and poured water on the top of it, then flipped it over. I could fit 3 at a time in the bowl, face down, immersed in the scalding water. I let them set until I needed the bowl for the next load (about 5 min).

I did make sure the water was not at a rolling boil but at a slow simmer so it wasn’t as hot. The PUL did not separate when I did this. I do have to say check with your diaper companies cleaning instructions. My warranty on my diapers is over that is why I was willing to risk it. I had no PUL separation using this methods on my Bummis, Kawwais, or BG 3.0 diapers.

I then hung my diapers out to dry for some UV sunshine power which made them cold and soggy, so hopefully the UV rays did their job even if it was really cold outside, then threw them in the dryer on low with my wool dryer balls.

All in all it took about 2 hours to strip 25 diapers and a lot of inserts. I am a messy cook and that translates into a messy boiler. I did splash water on my stove top and floor but the good news is my floor and stove and counters got a nice scrub down afterward.

Also a word of caution having a meddling toddler under foot is not recommended for this activity. I did about half of the job while my husband was still home before work, and the other half engaged in some good ole bad parenting and sat the kid in front of the TV watching Gnomeo and Juliette. I had a cute picture of this but I can’t get it rotated correctly for the post. 😦

But I have to say boiling worked great and I could not be happier with the results, just use caution and common since and you will be fine!

What are your experiences with stripping your diapers? Have you had delamination issues?










3 responses to “Stripping Diapers

  1. I’ve only boiled microfiber inserts. That was after we were well into solids and they started to get that barnyard smell. It helped a little, but I found a couple of rounds with RLR to work better.

    We’ve never had ammonia issues, though. Our water is pretty hard here, so I’ve always washed in Country Save. I also add a splash of white vinegar to the final rinse. It not only works as a softener, but also helps kick out any remaining detergent residue. It also helps to restore the pH of the diapers by balancing alkali irritants. Who knew there was so much science involved?

  2. That is great info Tiffany! Thanks so much. I will have to get some more vinegar and try this next load!

  3. I remembered about adding the vinegar a couple minutes into boiling and the second I added it, bubbles started forming like mad. I guess there was more of a detergent issue than I thought? Thanks for the step-by-step! It helped a ton!

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