There is a common phenomenon that mothers using cloth diapers face- stiff diapers or inserts. There are many causes and simple remedies to deal with this phenomenon. A good brand like Fig-0-honey is less likely to go hard on you, but there are some precautions you must take and a few remedial measures should be up your sleeve.
Pre-washing those new diapers/inserts
Although a Fig-o-honey cloth diaper is not likely to carry any dirt, allergens or chemicals from the sewing stage it is advisable to wash a new diaper before use at least a couple of times. This breaks them in by removing the oils from the natural fibre and makes them more absorbent for use. Diapers that have been stored for some days can also be exposed to dust and dirt so need to be washed to make them usable.
It is wise to wash cotton and other natural fabrics in inserts and diapers separately from synthetics when washing them the first few times. The synthetic fibres pick up oils from the detergents and retain them, creating residues. This impacts the absorbency of the diaper.
Removing stiffness from cloth diapers
Air drying or sun-bleaching your baby’s diapers may make them a little hard and stiff. It is easy to remedy, so please do not sacrifice the goodness of the sunlight on your diapers to keep them cushy and soft.
- If you have hard water in your taps that makes the diaper or inserts stiff, it may be a good idea to add vinegar to your wash cycle or your tub. A ¾ cup should be enough for a medium load in the machine or half a cup should suffice for a sink full of diapers. This will balance the alkalinity of the water and keep the diapers soft.
- Natural fibres tend to harden if they are not flexed. The simplest way to reduce stiffness is to shake out the diapers and flexing those fibres. The motion will help keep the stiffness away.
- Similarly, if the diapers are line dried, try hanging them out back to back. The breeze will hit them together and keep flexing those natural fibres. This will keep the diapers really cushy.
- Rubbing the diapers together can also help keeping your dry diapers soft .
- If you are using the dryer, try using dryer balls that keep flexing the fibres and keep dry diapers and inserts soft.
- Always use mild detergents made specifically for hard water to avoid hard inserts. The detergent breaks down the water present minerals and makes washing easier, leaving almost new residues behind.
Most natural fibres do tend to become a little stiff once in a while. It is not something that needs to worry you. Simple precautions and a smart scrunch to release the stiffness are enough to remedy the problem. If inserts keep getting hard try making your washing loads a little smaller to allow space to agitate. Happy diapering!