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Old 12-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone have success washing with just cold water?

I think it all depends on how well your washer and detergent works. I can't even do a cold "pre-wash" or my diapers don't get clean. I do two hot washes with a normal amount of regular detergent (not "cd safe") and then my diapers all clean. I would experiment with it. You could also fill up the washer part way and fill the rest with boiling water so that it's hot. It may not be necessary though. If they smell clean then they are clean, but if you can't get them clean you may need to do that

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Old 12-08-2012, 03:37 PM   #12
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Re: Anyone have success washing with just cold water?

Washing diapers on cold is easy, but it requires a little more specific routine.

1) Presoak cycle is recommended. Hot water helps soften solids, so does time in cold water, so the extra soaking is a good alternative to hot water.

2) Frequency. The longer a diaper stays soiled, the more effort it takes to cleanse. Consider washing at least every other day.

3) Storage. Wetpails make diaper cleaning easier as waste is diluted in the pail AND solids don't harden inside the diaper and it's fibers. You can also add mild sanitizers to you wetpail solution.

4) Use the correct detergent. Choose a brand that is formulated for your water hardness and for cold wash.

4) Dry hot. Heat and drying are important for sanitizing.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:47 PM   #13
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Washing diapers on cold is easy, but it requires a little more specific routine.

1) Presoak cycle is recommended. Hot water helps soften solids, so does time in cold water, so the extra soaking is a good alternative to hot water.

2) Frequency. The longer a diaper stays soiled, the more effort it takes to cleanse. Consider washing at least every other day.

3) Storage. Wetpails make diaper cleaning easier as waste is diluted in the pail AND solids don't harden inside the diaper and it's fibers. You can also add mild sanitizers to you wetpail solution.

4) Use the correct detergent. Choose a brand that is formulated for your water hardness and for cold wash.

4) Dry hot. Heat and drying are important for sanitizing.
Thank you for the response. I have decided to go with just pockets stuffed with prefolds and flats so hopefully that will help.

I don't like the idea of a wetpail but I can rinse all diapers really well before placing them in the wetbag. Presoak shouldn't be a problem and I only plan to have enough diapers to use for a few days so I should be able to wash frequently.

I plan to dry all inserts on hot but worry about ruining the pul of the pockets. Does anyone successfully dry their covers on hot without any problems?
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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Re: Anyone have success washing with just cold water?

same boat- no hot water just hard cold water. I do a pre-rinse w/half a cup bleach. then wash cold then double rinse. no issues and no rashes. I have all natural fibers though. I have been doing this to a handful of AIOs for a few months but they are not holding up as well as the cotton & hemp (they are bamboo). so now I am just hand rinsing the few AIOs I have and putting it in the wash cycle. I put pul in the wash cycle too. I think you should go w/cotton flats. anything else may be too delicate.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:11 PM   #15
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same boat- no hot water just hard cold water. I do a pre-rinse w/half a cup bleach. then wash cold then double rinse. no issues and no rashes. I have all natural fibers though. I have been doing this to a handful of AIOs for a few months but they are not holding up as well as the cotton & hemp (they are bamboo). so now I am just hand rinsing the few AIOs I have and putting it in the wash cycle. I put pul in the wash cycle too. I think you should go w/cotton flats. anything else may be too delicate.
Thanks for the advice. My son is a pretty heavywetter so I was thinking about going with the Thirsties hemp prefolds. Do you think those will hold up okay?
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:28 PM   #16
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Re: Anyone have success washing with just cold water?

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... they are not holding up as well as the cotton & hemp (they are bamboo). ...
The fibers won't be making the difference as cotton, hemp and bamboo have the same tolerance to washing chemicals. It's more likely the quality of fabric differs between your cotton/hemp and bamboo diapers.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:19 PM   #17
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Re: Anyone have success washing with just cold water?

I only have cold water. I've only been cding my newborn for 3 weeks but so far wash routine is working great. I do an overnight soak with a scoop of oxi clean. (I fill the washer, let it agitate for a minute or two, then let it sit overnight. When I get up, I let the load finish. Then I do a second wash with the detergent. (I use liquid Purex free and clear) then I do a second rise. I think that the second rinse is unnecessary because I never see any bubbles come out of the washer during the first rinse. I use prefolds and workhorses.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:08 AM   #18
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We washed in cold for 3 months out of need and had no issues. But I can't speak for long term.

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Old 12-09-2012, 08:26 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone have success washing with just cold water?

It really depends on your washer/water/detergent. But I know many that wash in only cold with great success. I'd recommend a diaper sprayer to get most off right away and prevent ammonia build-up. You can also get a diaper sprayer that attached to your sink instead of the toilet, which would allow you to rinse with warm/hot water first. THat would really help if cold just isn't working for your washer/water/detergent combo. Don't wash too many diapers at a time. Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:56 AM   #20
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Re: Anyone have success washing with just cold water?

There are four components to clean laundry: heat, water, detergent, and agitation. If you remove one of those (heat), you're going to have to compensate with better/more water, better/more detergent, and better/more agitation. Now, you also have hard water, so that is bad for clean laundry. In order to make this work, you're going to have to choose the cycle with the most agitation and choose a very strong detergent, and likely some boosters.

Someone above said she can do this with Tide Coldwater detergent. This detergent has more enzymes and a different surfactant that make it work in cold water. However, these different cleaners can be more irritating to some people (I have found reviews of it for all laundry, not just diapers, in which people said it caused rashes, but others loved it.) It might be an option for you, or it might cause rashes. In any case, it is a very strong detergent.

There are cloth diaper detergents that are meant for hard water, like our own Lulu's in the Fluff. If you choose a natural detergent, make sure it works in hard water.

If you have a lot of thick microfiber diapers or inserts, you may have to bleach those more often because microfiber threads look like a snowflake, and crud builds up inside the "arms" of the snowflakes. If all your diapers are loose cotton prefolds, then you shouldn't have as many problems.
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