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Care & Washing Instructions

I would highly suggest joining a local cloth diaper group online. The internet has many supportive groups of parents who help each other make their diapering routine successful. For Fairbanks, there is the FNSB Cloth Diaper Chatter group on Facebook. They have been an enormous resource for many parents.

In general cloth diapers need certain components to the routine to result in clean fresh diapers:

If your child is breastfed exclusively, just leave the poop on the diaper, toss it into your diaper wet bag/pail and that's it. The poop is water soluble and will wash out just fine. If your child is not breastfed exclusively and/or eating other foods, then be sure to remove what solids you can. Some options here are a diaper sprayer that is installed on your toilet, using a spatula that is solely devoted to scraping the solids off into the toilet, or using a disposable liner (like heavy duty tissue placed between the baby's bum and the cloth) that can be pulled off the soiled diaper and flushed in the toilet.

W is for Water. You need lots of it. If you have a high efficiency washer you need to "trick" it to add water. Some people add a few heavy soaked towels to the load. Others add water manually.

A is for Agitation. If you put too much water or too few diapers in your washing machine, it reduces the agitation. Diapers don't bump into each other, and you lose the agitation needed to remove the solids. Top loading washing machines don't agitate as well as front loading machines.

T is for Time. Longer washing cycles will clean the diapers better. A long cold final rinse will work just as good as a shorter hot rinse, thus saving you money on your hot water heating bill. Speaking of time, you should do a wash ever 2 or 3 days, no longer.

C is for Chemicals. Use a cloth diaper friendly detergent. I personally use Biokleen, but there are a lot of good brands out there. If you use too much of even the diaper friendly detergents, it will build up on the diaper, resulting in rashes, stinky diapers and a decrease in absorbency of the diaper. I recommend starting with half of the amount recommended and adjust accordingly. Please note that everyone's amount is going to vary, as water quality varies. Do not use fabric softeners as this will cause your diapers to repel, not absorb!

H is for Heat. I recommend a cold prewash with no detergent. Just to get the nasties off the cloth. Stains won't set with a cold prewash. Then follow with a very hot wash with a little detergent. Use less detergent than what is recommended until you find what works best for you. Follow that with another cold rinse cycle. Use medium heat in the dryer, although hanging them in the sunlight is better. The UV rays from the sun actually help the diapers to stay fresh. Even in Alaska's cold dark winter, you can hang your dry diapers out on a sunny day and it will help.

With all this in mind, here are the washing instructions for my diapers.

Borealis Britches Diapers are made with prewashed cloth, but they need to be prewashed/dried at least 6 times with no or minimal detergent to increase absorbency. Diapers will reach maximum absorbency at about 10 washes.

Borealis Britches Wool Covers need to be lanolin-ized before first use (see washing instructions).

Borealis Britches Fitted Cloth/Fitted Hybrid Diapers: Cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse. Medium dry in dryer or hang in sun to dry.

Borealis Britches Wool Diaper Covers: Wool needs special care! Hand wash cold with lanolin soap. Cold rinse by hand. Lay flat on dry towel, roll up towel and squeeze out excess water. Lay flat to dry. NOTE: wool diaper covers do not need frequent washings as long as they are properly lanolin-ized and they are not soiled. Once child has a wet diaper and the wool gets damp, simply hang it to dry. The lanolin converts the urine into ammonia salts and water. Once dry the cover will not stink! After several wettings the cover will begin to smell of ammonia when dry, indicating that it has exhausted its lanolin and needs another lanolin wash. Some parents have been able to go a couple of weeks without washing a wool cover!

Borealis Britches Fleece Cover: Same as Fitted Cloth Diapers.

Borealis Britches Cloth Baby Wipes: Same as Fitted Cloth Diapers.

Borealis Britches All in One Diapers and Waterproof Covers: Same as Fitted Cloth Diapers.

Borealis Britches Fleece Covered Diapers: Same as Fitted Cloth Diapers.

All Borealis Britches snap-in soakers: Same as Fitted Cloth Diapers.