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Old 03-06-2012, 07:48 AM   #1
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Unhappy I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

So I've been MIA for a while. I gave up on CDing I just didn't have the patience or time to keep solving new problems and they kept coming up, I was so tired of seeing my kids suffering with burned bottoms!

First the detergent we were using (that worked!) changed formulas and we had bad issues with ammonia/detergent buildup, then our washer died and (we share a split level home with my parents) my mom went washer shopping without me and completely discounted all of my notes and got a high efficiency machine with no agitator and super low water use and a locking lid and ... well just about everything that makes CDing more difficult! LOL I tried as much as I could stand, but we ended up with more issues, stinkies, I stripped so much my diapers are basically destroyed, my kids got bad ammonia burns one day (so bad they couldn't sleep and just cried all night ) and I broke down and bought sposies... My mom felt so bad, she ordered me a bunch of more natural sposies, but we're almost out of those now and I REALLY don't want to get more!

I need help figuring out a routine that works for this stupid machine (it doesn't even get normal clothes clean... I hate it with a passion... but we can't afford another one and don't have room for a second set)... and a detergent that would work as well.

Here is some info on my situation...

2 kids
- 1 boy, just turned 3 yesterday, only uses dipes for bedtime and long trips.
- 1 girl, ~18 months old, just starting to venture into potty learning.
so we really don't go through tons of diapers anymore... but I hope I can eventually have more kids and plan on CDing them from Day 1.

Washer (Ugh)...
Kenmore Elite Top-Loading Automatic Washer (model# 796.2900)

Diapers
Mostly econobums, couple BGE's we used for nights, few random others (pockets) we use when we ran out of the others... Might just need to get more econobums and a couple night time diapers of some sort though since most of these are worthless now... not that I can afford to do that, but better than sposies...

Current Detergent
Home made (the basic washing soda/borax/soap of choice mix) or Tide F&C

Water
Well w/ softener, neutral PH

It's been a while... I can't even wrap my head around it all anymore Forgive me if I missed something obvious! LOL

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Old 03-06-2012, 08:12 AM   #2
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

I do not know what kind of diapers you were using, but if I were you I'd choose something like pockets or AI2s with natural fiber flats as inserts or with inserts that don't have more than 3 layers sewn together (so it could be 9 layers but they are sewn together in three sets of three layers rather than one set of 9).

I'd stick with Tide.

Try to wash every 2-3 days at the longest.

Wet pail the nighttime and naptime inserts, using water in your wet pail along w/a squirt of dish soap.

Use a small amount of bleach once a week.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

BTDT! Except it was my own fault for picking the machine. Here's what I learned:

Since the agitator is practically non-existent, you need to create some agitation. Buy a couple (or 4) of those blue bumpy rubber dryer balls and toss them in the wash, it will definitely help!

For my machine, I would use Arm & Hammer Free HE and oxi clean. I would run a prewash with nothing or sometimes vinegar (will depend on your water), then the longest, hottest wash I could (will also depend on your diapers and wether you feel the hot water is safe for them...I'm a big believer in heat) with the max water level and full soap amount. If your washer has an extra rinse setting, you might need to use that, too, or run a second rinse when you're done.

For loads of very poopy diapers, I would do a prewash, heavy wash with full soap 2X (and maybe a splash of bleach in the dispenser), then a second rinse...I seriously didn't get along with that washer...and finally convinced my DH to let me get a different one, but I made it work while I had it.

I would definitely get something that washes easily (prefolds, flats, tri-folding inserts and covers, pockets, something you can separate all the pieces to get them loose and swishing around). And wash every other day. Throwing in a towel or something if the load isn't very big can also help the agitation.
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Last edited by The Fancy Pansy; 03-06-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

I have a FLer and you definitly can make it work!

First when you strip use a Tsp of Dawn and 1/4 cup bleach on the hottest longest wash. Then a hot rinse with nothing.

Second, dont wait more than two days between washing. That almost always causes issues! Spray every poopie right away! Dont wait. If you dont have time for that, use flushable liners.

My FLer routine is:
Handwash delicate cycle Warm no spin,
Whitest of Whites or Heavy Duty Cycle HOT, HEAVY, prerinse, 2nd rinse, 2 scoops of Charlies soap.
Hang PUL and Elastic and dryer dry everything else.

When I was doing all flats and PF I did the same thing but added Bleach in the bleach dispenser and Vinegar in the fabric softener despenser and I used the Sanitary cycle. Tore up my covers but I bought cheap covers and never had stinkies. So if you stop using the BGE and only use econobums you could do that too, not have stinkies and just plan on replacing covers every couple of years (which isnt bad when you think about it.) And I dried everything in the dryer because I didnt see the difference between a hot dryer or super hot wash cycle.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

boysniris - I listed most of the diapers we were using, nd i just bought some more econobums! I've been pretty convinced that a wet pail is a bad idea every time I've brought up the idea, but we do usually start our diaper laundry after the first morning diaper change, so those heavy pee diapers go straight to the wash... now that they're using so few diapers we might have to go every other day, but I could always spray out the heavily soaked ones before they go to the pail/wetbag.

The Fancy Pansy - Never thought about using the dryer balls in the washer! We are due for new ones...

I have no issues with heat! I just won't boil my covers because of the snaps (but covers don't really need it anyway, they're just covers! LOL), but the rest, I'm all for! LOL

My old routine was cold wash with nothing or a little baking soda, sometimes vinegar in the softener tray, hot wash with full detergent, then another cold wash with nothing to make sure everything was well rinsed.

As for heavily soiled diapers, luckily my kids are pretty much past the mush poo stage and most just plop right off, plus we have a sprayer, so they're usually pretty well rinsed before they ever get to the washer...

Throwing a towel in is a great idea!! We had a lot of issues with all the diapers swishing to one side and then getting the 'unbalanced load' warning and having to start it all over again... we have a stash of 'gross towels' that we use for cleaning up messes (and with 2 toddlers and 2 dogs, there is almost always at least one of those dirty! LOL) so that would work out perfectly!

thirdtimemomma - When I did strips, I went all out! (one or the other wasn't working and I was LIVID after seeing my kids burned!) I did a cold wash, hot wash with vinegar and baking soda, hot wash with dawn and bleach, hot wash with nothing, and then cold rinses until I couldn't see suds or smell bleach anymore... it was a 6 load minimum all day process... and they'd still be horrible 2 days later!

I neeever go more than 2 days without washing! We usually wash daily (after the first diaper change in the morning to get those night time diapers ASAP) but now with so few diapers used, I will probably be every other day... I think I need a new baby! LOL :P I don't like letting them sit that long! LOL :P And I'll be LOST if my kids are both out of diapers before I have another one to put in diapers!

I always hang my covers and dry my prefolds/inserts. I wish I could use my line more though, kinda gets in the way when I have to point a fan at my shower curtain rod! LOL
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

Though I have nothing to add, I just want to say good luck!! I had to switch to disposables too because I was so frustrated with cloth diapers. It's my own fault--I completely ignored the advice about trying several brands and I invested completely in one kind. They started leaking all the time, I was changing my son's clothes 3-4 times a day and forget about sleeping in them. I tried stripping them but that didn't work. Now, after spending the last 3 months paying for disposables and throwing them in the trash, I'm ready to go back to cloth. My son's only 14 months old so we still have a ways to go before diaper days are done.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

H's mom, what brand/type were you using? I have tried a bit of everything (got some FFS, got some on sale, deal of the days, from the FSOT, etc... We're on a tight budget, so I was taking whatever I could get!) and I seriously LOVE the econobums! They're so versatile and they're workhorses! The only PUL that survived all my insane stripping fully intact (my Flips and BGE's are basically worthless now...) And they're cheap! I'd definitely give them a try if I were you! I was all for easy when I started, I thought I'd want a velcro AI2, but I honestly hate velcro anything, I do like AI2s, but they're so expensive, the econobums are basically the same thing, but cheaper, and prefolds wash up easier! I NEVER thought I'd even think of using a flats!! But I had to use them for a while in an emergency situation and I actually love them! don't know if I could fold like that all the time, but for a while, they were the ONLY thing that worked for us for nights!

Definitely try a few different things! I'd suggest econobums be one of them though for sure!
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

rinse and ring the heck out of the diaper by hand before putting them in there. I did that when i use to use my aunts HE machine.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

The Fancy Pansy - Did you use the liquid A&H F&C HE? I can't find HE in the powder. Couldn't find Tide F&G powder in HE either... for now we got the A&H w/ oxy HE liquid to try...

We did a full strip on everything and we're going to see how things go... so far so good, but it's only been a few hours LOL... probably use sposies for nights until the GMD WHs I ordered get here (hehe ), so we won't REALLY be testing them too much... I'm going to TRY my Flip covers again and see if they're as destroyed as I think they are. I'm purging all the stuff that didn't work for us and/or got ruined in the stripping, so we're basically going to be like 85% econobums, with some workhorses for nights and I'm going to splurge on a few Mo Dia pockets next week for nights/outings. I have a few seconds quality flats for emergencies, and some other random stuff (a fleece skirtie, a pair of fleece longies, a couple swim diapers, wipes, wet bags, etc...) I think I need some new wet bags and wipes eventually (yep, even wet bags and wipes got pretty messed up with all that stripping), but other than that, I think we're good!
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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Re: I gave up... Help me get back in the game?

Yes, when I had it, it was my understanding that only the liquids are HE, but that might have changed since.
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