FAQ - PRODUCT CARE & LAUNDRY
There are essentially four reasons a cloth diaper may leak:
1) Prepping not completed - Make sure you have properly prepped your diapers with 5-6 hot washes with detergent, partially drying in a dryer between each wash. It will take up to 10 washes for diapers to become fully absorbent.
2) Baby is out-wetting the diaper - If baby is saturating the diaper, you need to either add more absorbency or change more often. Our Organic Cotton Booster and Stay Dry Booster are good options for adding more absorbency for daytime. GroVia Prefolds, tri-folded and laid on top of or in between the two layers of the soaker pad works best for naps and night time for heavy wetters.
3) Absorbent layers are repelling water - Check your detergent to make sure it does not contain any plant oils. Also ensure that any diaper balms you are using do not contain any petroleum products. If you have either of these issues, you simply need to wash the diapers in original blue Dawn dish soap to remove the oil build up. Also check your detergent dosing. Under-dosing your wash loads can result in mineral build-up and stinky diapers.
4) Improper fit - Make sure the rise setting is set for your baby’s body type and size. A good fit test is once the diaper is on your baby, you should be able to slide just one finger between the baby’s leg and the elastic. Any more room than that may cause leakage.
The first thing to do is to look at what detergent you are using. Does it have plant oils in it? Are you using the recommended amount? Always use the recommended amount of detergent according to its package directions...always! Rinse your night time diapers well in the morning and squeeze all excess water out before adding to your diaper pail. Propping open the diaper pail to allow air circulation is also recommended, especially during the summer months.
If the above doesn't work, you most likely have a case of ammonia build up in your diapers. Our Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment works great for an occasional diaper deep clean. Usually three treatments will be enough to get the diapers back to their normal state again. If they still smell after three treatments, try another 1 or 2 treatments and follow up with a mild bleach wash to disinfect the ammonia bacteria. Use ¼ cup for a HE front load washer on a warm wash, extra rinse and ½ cup if you are using a top load washer. Going forward, make sure you are using a good detergent and enough of it. Check out our Laundry Quickstart Guide for more information. You should never need to deep clean your Hybrid shells with Mighty Bubbles. The shells are water-resistant and non absorbent.
More than likely you are not using enough detergent or the right kind of detergent. Make sure you are always using the recommended amount of detergent per the package directions. Check to make sure your detergent does not contain plant oils. If you know you have hard water, you should also add additional detergent to compensate.
If your detergent is doing it's job, you should not need to strip your diapers. If you have been using less than the recommended amount of detergent and your diapers are starting to smell or you are experiencing mineral build up, you may need to deep clean them to get the back to normal. Our Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment is a great treatment for deep cleaning cloth diapers. Then going forward, you would need to modify your wash routine to prevent future issues. For more information, please check out our recent blog post "Enough with the Stripping Already".
We have an awesome snap conversion program where you can send your Hook/Loop Hybrid shells to us and we will convert them over to snaps. Cost is $5.00 per shell. http://www.gro-via.com/hybridcloth-grovia-snap-conversion.html Regular maintenance is needed to keep the hook/loop in good repair. Use a pin to keep the aplix clear of lint and threads. A sweater shaver may be used to remove excess pilling on the loop fabric. Repeated flattening of the tab out of the wash prevents the aplix from curling edges which become less sticky. Washing with like fabrics (polyester) rather than high fiber content absorbencies will keep the hook/loop in better condition. Non-HE top load washer with an agitator is also wearing on hook/loop and elastic. Washing on a gentle cycle works best. The manufacturing defect warranty does not cover general unstickiness of the hook/loop after 90 days.
Regular use of bleach will harm the TPU and elastic on the diapers. It will also break down the natural fibers causing premature wear. We do, however, recommend a bleach wash anytime you are treating a yeast infection or any other bacterial infection. You can also use it to treat some nasty ammonia buildup after you have used the Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment to deep clean them first. Make sure to use common sense whenever considering the use of bleach and don't use frequently.
However, if you start to experience an "unclean" smell from your No Prep Soaker Pads (make sure you are always using enough detergent and a full wash cycle) you may add 1/8c of chlorine or oxygen bleach to your wash cycle every 4-6 weeks. Make sure to do an extra rinse after bleaching.
Good old sunshine is still the best stain remedy to remove stains from cloth diapers. Two hours laying a washed but still damp diaper in the sunshine will give you amazing results. Even laying in front of a window in the winter or on an overcast day will help reduce stains. More Info
Remove as much of the solid material as possible at time of the diaper change by rinsing with a cloth diaper sprayer, dunking in the toilet and flushing away, using toilet tissue, or consider using GroVia BioLiners to simplify this process. More Info
Always store your dirty cloth diapers in a dry pail. Do NOT soak your cloth diapers in a wet pail that has bleach or any other caustic solution in it. Make sure water has been squeezed out really well after spraying or dunking, diaper should not sit soaking wet in the dry pail. Consider propping the lid open so that air can circulate to reduce ammonia build-up (especially important during hot summer months).
We always advocate to use the recommended amount that your detergent directs on the back of the package. If you have hard water, you should add more than the recommended amount. You should also add more if you are using a large load setting on a top load washing machine, as there is a higher volume of water being used.
We do not recommend using homemade detergent on your diapers. The main reason is because the ingredients usually include Fels Naptha or another bar soap which can leave residue on your diapers. Another common ingredient is OxiClean which is another no-no for regular use on cloth diapers. Borax is caustic and should also be avoided. The concentrations in homemade detergents are not formulated for modern cloth diaper materials, making this risky for the new style of diapers that include elastics and TPU.
Any detergent that does not have a lot of plant oils, bleach, oxygen bleach or fabric softener is suggested for use. Our cloth diaper detergent Tiny Bubbles is a great low-impact detergent option.
The GroVia BioSoakers and BioDiapers are made with compostable and biodegradable ingredients. However, they are meant to be sent to a commercial composting service. Most home composts cannot support the volume of diapers used.
Warm water is sufficient to clean your diapers. By most standards, 110 degrees Fahrenheit is considered warm. Water should not exceed 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Using the sanitizing option on your wash machine is not recommended.
Start with 5-6 hot water washes with detergent, drying at least partially in your dryer between each wash. Remember, it can take up to ten washes before the diapers will be fully absorbent. If you experience leaking after five washes, toss them in for another couple rounds of prepping.
Only "cloth diaper safe" rash creams should be used. Avoid any rash cream that contains petroleum as an ingredient, unless you are going to use a disposable while treating your baby’s diaper rash. Petroleum jelly will cause severe repelling on your diapers which will then need to be cleaned with original blue Dawn dish soap. Our GroVia Magic Stick is formulated especially for cloth diapers and works quite well for most families.
A top load washer is great for getting more water into your diaper wash loads. Unfortunately, it also is much harsher on your diapers with the increased agitation when washing. We recommend washing your GroVia Hybrid Shells separately or with other baby laundry on a gentle wash cycle. To conserve water, make sure you are matching your water levels with your load size and use enough detergent. More volume of water requires additional detergent.
If your GroVia Hybrid Shell is past being covered by a warranty, you can replace the relaxed elastic by following this tutorial: http://www.gro-via.com/elasticrepair.html
Diapers should be stored in a non-air tight environment and should be pulled out and laundered at least once per year. We also recommend doing a Mighty Bubbles treatment and light bleach wash on the diapers prior to storing them.
- DO NOT use any diaper balms or laundry detergents that contain petroleum or plant oils. These ingredients will repel water and negatively impact absorbency. Consider using our best-selling GroVia Magic Stick as a diaper balm (no mess and no petroleum!) and Tiny Bubbles as a detergent.
- DO NOT wash your Hybrid Shells after every use. When changing to a fresh diaper, first remove used soaker pad, then inspect Shell for soiling. Due to innovative design, Shells may often be worn multiple times before washing.
- DO NOT use a complicated wash routine. Generally all that is needed is to wash on warm with the recommended amount of detergent. An extra rinse cycle is also recommended. Think twice (maybe even call us!) before using any extreme wash routine that you read about online or elsewhere.
- DO NOT use whiteners, bleach, vinegar, and fabric softeners. These are NOT your diaper’s friend and will void product warranties.
- DO NOT “soak” your diapers prior to washing, and don’t let them sit in a closed, dark, warm pail for days before washing. These environments are prime breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria and will shorten the life of your diapers. Soiled diapers should be washed every 2-3 days.