Your questions answered: Frequency of washing cloth diapers
Robin wrote to me and asked,
In your post on housekeeping, you mentioned that you do full loads of laundry, and you also said that you wash cloth diapers 2-3 times per week. Do you have full loads of diapers 2-3 times per week, or do you wash small loads? I am new to cloth diapering, and I am unsure what to do. I only have one child in diapers, so if I wait until I have a pretty full load, it will be at least a week, and the diapers will be very smelly. But, I don't like to do too many small loads because of the waste in running the washer for a small load. Can you tell me what you do?
Hi, Robin! Thanks for asking! I do usually have a full load of diapers after 3 days. I'm sure it depends on how frequently the baby/child needs changed, and my boys have always needed changed frequently. :)
When I had two in diapers, I had a completely full load every 2 days. Since we observe a day of rest each week (Sabbath), I washed diapers 4 times a week -- usually including both Thursday and Friday, even though I didn't have a full load on Friday. That way, I didn't have to wash them on Sabbath and I didn't run out of clean diapers.
I don't like to wait longer than 3 days simply because of the smell. Another thing I take into consideration is the weather. I prefer line-drying my diapers since the sun keeps them so fresh. If I have to do a slightly smaller load on one day, because rain is predicted for the next day, I usually go ahead and wash.
I try to conserve water, etc. but I guess using cloth diapers and hanging them out to dry is saving money, even if I have to wash a smaller load every week. I love cloth diapers, anyway, and my youngest gets a rash from disposables, so I guess I don't really have a choice, either. :)