To fully prep your fitteds for use, wash them on hot with your normal cloth diaper detergent, and dry them on low, 5-6 times. This will get the inserts and OBF and Bamboo+Hemp fitted shells shrunk down to size, and allow those fibers to get nice and absorbent.
Because detergent success varies greatly from person to person, there is not any one (or three) detergents we recommend for use on our fitteds. However, you will want to make sure your detergent is gentle, does not contain any extra "boosters" or "whitening powers" and conventional fabric softeners. To get a better idea of what may work for you, ask your local cloth diaper retailer or local cloth diapering group what detergent(s) they have found to be successful for the water type in your area.
A typical wash routine for our fitteds will look like the following-
- Drop or spray any solids into the toilet for disposal.
- Rinse heavily saturated fitteds under warm, running water, when they come off your little one. This will remove the bulk of the urine prior to the wash routine, and allow the detergent and washer to get the fitteds clean during the wash cycle. You can either place them directly into a small bucket on top of your washer (out of reach of children) or wring/ spin them out and place them in a well ventilated pail.
- Unsnap all inserts/doublers from the shells prior to storing/ washing
- On wash day begin with a rinse/ spin or "speed wash" cycle, with warm water and a low spin speed.
- Then do a "heavy duty" wash with hot water, and an extra rinse, adding your detergent to this cycle.
- Dry the fitteds on low until they are just barely damp, and air dry them the rest of the way. If you prefer, you can air dry them until they are just barely damp, and then dry them on low to fluff them and make them soft.
Tips and Tricks:
- To keep the fitteds soft, a plant based fabric softener such as 7th Generation Free and Clear or Ecover may be added to the final rinse of the wash cycle as needed.
- If tumble drying the fitteds, use a low heat setting on a manual timed dry. Like your jeans, sheets, shirts, etc... if the fibers become hot to the touch they will stiffen up and can shrink excessively. Most automatic settings on dryers will dry the contents until they have been over dried. To start, set your timer for 45 minutes and adjust as needed.
- Stains are normal and ok! But if you find you want to remove them, use the best stain remover of all- the sun. Gently lay the wet fitteds on a flat surface in direct sunlight and allow the sun to do its work. If the stains are particularly set, re-wet the fitteds and sun until the stains have lifted. Then run the fitteds through a rinse cycle and dry.
- A larger rotation will help maintain the life of your fitteds. If using the fitteds in a smaller rotation, you may find they being to show visible signs of wear faster than if using them in a larger rotation.
Best Use Practices:
- Do not use bleach, oxygen whiteners, strong "stain fighting" soaps, stain removers or additional additives such as vinegar on the fitteds. These will cause the fibers of the fitteds to break down quickly and will drastically shorten the life cycle of the fitted.
- Avoid high heat exposure, with both water and drying temperature, and repeated exposure to hot, direct sunlight.
- If line drying the fitteds, pin one side of the front wing, and one side of the back wing, to the line so the fitted lays sideways. This will help prevent the elastics from stretching with the weight of the wet fitted. Do not pull the fitted taught on the line, as this will stretch the elastics and can cause them to break.
My Fitteds Smell Like...:
If your fitteds have smells to them when wet, something is probably amiss with the wash routine. It’s typically a simple fix, but can take a bit of trail and error to get the right balance for your perfect routine.First, run the fitteds through a hot wash without detergent. Are there suds in the water during the wash cycle? If so, continue to run the hot water washes until the suds are gone, and decrease the amount of detergent used in the normal wash routine, and/or add more time to the wash cycle to get the detergent rinsed away.
If there aren’t any suds in the water during the hot wash without detergent, some troubleshooting is needed. Please send an email at email@example.com with the following information:
- what the fitteds smell like when wet (ammonia or dirty)
- if the fitteds smell on the bum or out of the washing machine
- if the fitteds rinsed when they come off of your little one(s)
- how many fitteds are being washed and how often
- detergent type and amount used
- details of the wash routine (cycle settings used on the washing machine)
- a clear picture of the washing machine control panel