There are a lot of ways to strip diapers and your biggest problem come stripping time will help you figure out which method will be best at that given time. For me this time (and last) we are having ammonia issues. I'd say it's because at my parents house I was going 3 days between diaper loads which gave them too much time to sit in the pale. I also think we have some detergent buildup since the detergent we use doesn't really bubble so it is hard to tell if I've gotten it all rinsed out or not.
The last time I stripped our diapers, it *kind of* fixed our ammonia problem. It was better but not completely ammonia free. Every time I have researched stripping methods, boiling is always at the top and seems to be a tried and true method of the times but for some reason it intimidated me. Part of it was laziness, "Can't the washer just do it for me??" And the other part was skepticism, "Our washer water gets pretty hot, maybe a soak in there will do..." I decided to put those thoughts aside and go for it and I am so glad I did!
Here's how you do it:
1) Sort out all of your CLEAN inserts, covers, pre-folds, etc.
2) Fill a couple of your biggest pots with water and bring them to a boil. Add 3-4 inserts per pot and set a time for 10 minutes.
Even though I suspected a detergent build up, I was kind of amazed at the suds that started showing up in the water. Even though I had rinsed and rinsed, even done multiple full hot wash cycles back to back, after just a few minutes of boiling the pots were filling with suds.
3) Fill the sink with super hot water and drop in your covers.
You can't boil your covers because that would melt your PUL (the waterproof material).
This step could also be done in your bathtub or the washer. I chose the sink so I'd be working on everything in one room. Don't forget to agitate them with some tongs or a wooden spoon or something periodically.
4) When the timer goes off, grab some tongs and a big bowl. Transfer the inserts from the boing water to the bowl and dump into your washer.
I even went ahead and filled the washer with hot water so the already boiled inserts could get even more soaking time.
5) Repeat with the remaining inserts, changing the water between each batch. While you continue on with steps 1-4 until all of your inserts are complete, take on some 10 minute tasks around the house. I did my hair and make up, folded some laundry, nursed Ayden and wrote this blog post.
While I did all of that, Ayden did some of this:
6) Once you have boiled all of your inserts and your covers have had a decent amount of time to soak, run them through a hot wash cycle or two without any detergent so everything the boiling released has a chance to get agitated out and rinsed away. Then follow up with your standard cold rinse and line or dryer dry as usual.
My advice would be to tackle this project on a day you plan to stay home for a better portion of the day and take it as an opportunity to get some of the little things that you keep putting off knocked off of your to do list.
Boiling diapers in the kitchen may not be for everyone but consider these thoughts before letting the yuck factor sink in:
1) You are starting out with clean diapers.
2) Boiling, especially for as long as 10 minutes, sanitizes anything.
3) You could always run your pots and such through a sanitizing cycle on your dishwasher if you feel like getting things ultra sanitized.
I will update in a week or two to let you know if this method totally kicked our ammonia problem or not. Happy Stripping!
Flashback! Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "It's Official!"
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