Why Nicki's Diapers
Choosing reusable cloth diapers is a big decision that can lead to a rewarding journey for you and your baby. But where do you start? Here are the most commonly asked questions on how to start your cloth diaper journey.
Nicki's Diapers is a family business founded by Nicki and later joined by her husband Jesse. As a husband and wife team, they worked together to ensure the highest quality products while following responsible environmental and social business practices. The company is now located in Akron, Ohio.
Step 1. Remove solids: Knock solids into toilet, dunk and swish, or use a diaper sprayer to help.
Step 2.Remove any snapped in or stuffed absorbency materials before washing, and unfasten any diapers so that they are completely open.
a. If any diapers are hook & loop, fold the tabs over to avoid damaging anything else in the same load.
Step 3.We recommend running a rinse cycle on cold before the main wash. This will rinse out any urine and solid residue.
a. Do not use detergent for this cycle.
b. If you have hard water, rinse with warm water.
c. Do not soak any diaper products for extended periods of time.
Step 4.Run a full cycle wash on warm/hot with additive-free detergent. We recommend the use of powdered Tide detergent.
a. We recommend not using liquid detergent, it can leave behind residue that impacts absorbency.
b. Do not use detergents with added softeners or stain removers.
c. Do not use dryer sheets, fabric softeners, or other additives.
d. Check out our wash and care instructions for more detailed detergent recommendations.
e. Repeated hot washes between uses may affect the longevity of your diapers. For best longevity, only hot wash once between uses.
Step 5. For best results, run one more rinse cycle on cold. This will rinse out any detergent left in the diapers.
a. If you have hard water, skip this step. Doing this step can cause mineral buildup and cause diapers to leak.
Step 6.Line dry or tumble dry on low heat.
a. Dry towels or dryer balls can shorten the drying time.
b. For best longevity, line dry any products containing PUL.
c. Drying on hot settings will affect the longevity of your diapers over time.
Important Information before washing your cloth diapers
Each diaper manufacturer has its own guidelines for care and use, including detergent recommendations. Please check with your manufacturer to avoid problems with warranties!
Generally speaking we DO NOT recommend using bleach, stain removers, borax, Biz, Bac-Out, Biokleen, or Oxy-Clean as they may damage your diapers.
Diaper covers only need to be washed once before using them on your baby! Any inserts or diapers with natural fibers such as hemp, bamboo, or cotton will need to be washed and air/line dried 5-6 times before use to strip the natural oils and reach full absorbency. Organic fibers such as organic cotton will need to be washed and dried upwards of 6 times.
We recommend washing your diapers every 1-3 day to help prevent any smell issues or staining.We also suggest storing your soiled cloth diapers in an open pail or wet bag slightly open, with adequate airflow.
Every manufacturer has different washing directions and warranties for their diapers, including which detergents are allowed and recommended so always consult that information first.
The general rule of thumb is to use a detergent that is free of any bleach or fabric softener. “Free and Clear” detergents are generally not recommended, as they often have additional cleaning agents in them that can cause buildup. We have had great success using Tide Original detergent.
If you have hard water, we suggest using a liquid water softener (commonly found in the laundry care aisle at most discount chain stores).
With an HE washer the amount of water is limited to the weight of the laundry load. This often means that cloth diapers don't get the amount of water necessary to get clean, since they are so absorbent and soak up water that is meant to wash them! Make sure your washer is always set on the highest water setting as well and that you only use HE specific detergent, but steer clear of the heavy duty setting. Some users may find it more efficient to do two full wash cycles instead of the generally recommended rinse cycle.
You may not be using enough detergent and you have urine buildup because your diapers are not getting clean. Add more detergent and make sure your washer's water level is set to the highest setting. You may also find it helpful to start your wash routing with a quick cold wash to ensure all urine and solid matter is flushed out prior to your full wash with detergent.
Please note: The same can also be true when using too much detergent! Our wonderful customer service team is more than happy to help you troubleshoot.
You may have some buildup from minerals, creams or laundry additives. First do a deep cleaning of your diapers. Start with clean diapers and run several hot washes with 2x the amount of detergent you'd normally use. Follow with 2-3 hot wash cycles without detergent. We also do not suggest using any additives like fabric softeners, OxyClean, vinegar, or dryer sheets.
The best way to remove diaper cream mishaps is to use a soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of dish soap to gently scrub it out with warm water. This will remove the majority of the cream, although some staining may occur depending on how much got on the diaper.
Mineral or urine buildup can often cause diapers to become stiff and crunchy. If you have hard water, try adding a water softening agent like Calgon or Raindrops to your wash cycle. Check with your diaper manufacturer first. You may also need to increase the amount of detergent you are using.
It is also possible that your diapers are crunchy from line or rack drying. Tumble dry your diapers for 10-15 minutes with a damp towel after removing them from the line or rack to "fluff" them.
The best choice would be to email the manufacturer for their specific guidelines. But some general guidelines are:
All inserts need to be sanitized. Entirely PUL diaper covers do not need to be sanitized. Run a warm wash cycle with the full suggested amount of detergent for clothing. Add 1/4 cup of regular disinfecting bleach to your bleach dispenser. Colorsafe bleach is recommended for colors. Following this wash cycle, run a hot wash with the full amount of detergent for clothing to ensure all bleach is washed our completely. Dry in the sun. Please note that bleaching cotton prints and colored bamboo may lead to some fading. You only need to treat absorbent materials.
Start with clean diapers, then run a hot wash with a full cap full of mainstream detergent like Tide or Gain. Follow with 2 full hot washes without detergent to ensure all urine and detergent is rinsed out. This should return your diapers to "square-one". Be sure to stay on top of urine build-up by following this wash routine: Warm rinse, hot wash with Tide or Gain up to the 3rd line on the cap, warm or cold rinse, additional rinse. If you are using an HE washer – you’ll want to ensure that your washer is using enough water to fully rinse your diapers.
Start with clean diapers, then run a hot wash with a full cap full of mainstream detergent like Tide or Gain and box/bottle's suggested amount of Calgon or Rain Drops. "Pause" your wash machine and allow it to soak for 30 minutes to help break up minerals before the rinse cycle begins. Follow with 1 full hot wash with Calgon or Rain Drops to ensure all urine and detergent is rinsed out. This should return your diapers to "square-one". Be sure to stay on top of urine build-up by following this wash routine: Warm rinse, hot wash with Tide or Gain up to the 3rd line on the cap + Calgon or Rain Drops. No extra rinse is suggested when you have hard water because it can add minerals to your diapers. If you are using an HE washer – you’ll want to ensure that your washer is using enough water to fully rinse your diapers.
Start with clean diapers. We suggest a soak in blue Dawn. Soak the diapers in just enough water to cover and about one tablespoon blue Dawn. Soak for several hours. Make sure that everything is nice and sudsy. Drain the water. Run the inserts through several wash cycles without detergent.
If you can see the build up on the diapers, you may need to scrub the inserts with a little Dawn and a toothbrush as well.
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