Here we are, getting reading for the 2nd Annual Flats and Hand-washing Challenge and I have some new diapers that need to be prepped before starting on Monday.
When we buy cloth diapers, they usually have not been washed after manufacturing. This means that the oils, either natural or from the manufacturing process, are still on the cloth making the diapers less absorbent than they are meant to be. The cloth also may not have been shrunk. By prepping the diapers we are removing the excess oils and getting them ready for use. The more you use the diapers, the more absorbent they will become.
Also, do not prep your new diapers in a load with the diapers you are already using. All those oils will just get onto your old diapers and make them LESS absorbent.
Prepping flats is much easier than prepping AIO/AI2 diapers, but let me give a quick run down for you.
1. Wash diapers in HOT water with a cloth diaper friendly detergent. I always have my washer on the extra rinse cycle when doing diapers just to make sure all the detergent is removed. Take them out, put them in the dryer, dry them. Repeat about six times (you only have to use the detergent the first time) for AIO/AI2 or pre-folds. Most websites say you only have to do this once for flats.
2. If you don’t want to waste the time, electricity, and water to wash them 6 times, you can just boil them for 30 minutes. Obviously this only works for diapers without PUL like pre-folds and flats. This is what I did as I have a few flats that were once T-shirts that I wanted to strip before using to make them more absorbent. They look good. Ill talk more about absorbency after we use them a bit.
I recommend taking a look at Dirty Diaper Laundry’s post about how to prep flats by hand. The challenge does not start until Monday so there is still time to sign up! I challenge you to take the plunge and help raise awareness.