Apr 13, 2011

It's Stripping Time!

Not THAT sort of stripping!

There comes a time in every diapers life, where it becomes stinky & seems to be less absorbent than it should be - and this happens because of detergent build up (and other substances) within the fibres of the diaper (I find it generally only happens with microfiber inserts).  The way to get rid of this general stinky nastiness is through a method called 'stripping'.  There are various ways to go about 'stripping' (and no, none include a pole) - but my personal favourite is just putting the inserts through a decent hot wash & hot rinses, until no more detergent bubbles appear in the water.  I also add white vinegar for the last rinse, because white vinegar is magic - it helps neutralise the uric acid (which leaves the body via the urine) & the detergent residue, while at the same time softening the inserts.

Stripping isn't a fast process, so I will keep updating this blog post throughout the day (with photos too!) as I work my way through stink killer that is stripping.


UPDATE ONE:  Apparently in order to strip diapers (or do any form of washing), one needs to actually have a water supply!  Seems the council have turned off our water in order to do some repairs!

UPDATE TWO:  We're back in business... water is back on.  So here it is, my stripping cycle...

Step 1 - all the (clean) inserts in the washing basket, ready to be stripped

Step 2 - all the inserts in the washing machine, ready to be stripped
Step 3 - eureka!  We have water!  Inserts are put in a HOT wash, with no detergent
Step 4 - rinse cycle - lots of soap bubbles in the water coming out of the machine, keep rinsing until the water is free of soap bubbles
after 3 rinses there are no soap bubbles in the water, just bubbles from the water rushing out of the hose.  You could quite easily finish your stripping cycle here - spin the diaper inserts as usual & then hang them out or put them in the drier
Step 5 - I now add 1/2-1c of white vinegar
Into a final (lower water level) rinse the white vinegar goes...

and then it's done!  The machine stops, the inserts come out & go into the drier.... 90 minutes later they're nice and dry, soft & NOT SMELLY, and get stuffed back into the pockets from which they were removed.


  1. I have soaked inserts in a bucket of hot water overnight and then just put them through a wash cycle without detergent to strip. It works pretty well without having to do a zillion cycles and rinses.

  2. I've rarely used detergent on nappies, usually just soap nuts. Sometimes the nappies would still get stinky, but nothing a hot wash can't fix.

  3. I'd love to try soap nuts, just not sure where to get them from in NZ! I have also boiled my inserts, but it's a mammoth job - way easier to just do the hot wash! Luckily the machine I use I really only need to do 1 full wash cycle - I had to do the extra rinse today because I forgot about putting the white vinegar in lol