Monday, October 1, 2012

Mostly Laundry "Stuff"...

All my pockets getting ready to be stripped!
So...I've been busily washing every "baby" things as it makes its way into my home.  The other day though, I realized that my homemade laundry soap has Ivory Soap in it.  Ivory Soap is a big no-no in the cloth diapering world (as is most everything, but I had started to notice a film on all my diapers while stuffing them).  Also, I bought some "new to me" flats that needed to be stripped (one has a funky, oily, stain in it)... 

Stripping "agent"!
Since I had to buy some "Blue" Dawn to strip those five flats with, I decided to strip all of my diapers and basically start over.  I used the instructions found here at Mama's Laundry Talk for that step.  Basically, it's just washing and rinsing (a ton) with a Tablespoon of Dawn Dish washing soap in the first wash took five rinse cycles and two full wash cycles to get all the suds out from a singe tablespoon of the Dawn!  Of course, as you can see from the photo, I got the double strength stuff, and Dawn is a "high sudsing" soap to begin with.  If you have a newer HE washer, they only recommend 1 teaspoon to strip with (and it goes directly on the diapers, not in your dispenser)!

While I was researching cloth diaper cleaning again, I also decided to find a "non-soap" detergent to use with my diapers now that I have stripped off all the "ick" from my Ivory Soap "boo boo".  What I found was a recipe from the lovely owner of The Eco-Friendly Family!  Well, first I found her post about how much she still loves her detergent...then, I followed the link in that post to her post on making the detergent (here)!  I made a "test batch" using the 1c/1c/0.5c ratios to make sure it was going to be something I could "live with" making and that it also worked well and did what I needed it to do!  I don't think I'll ever make it by the "whole box" method like she does...but I will probably double, triple, or quadruple this batch depending on the size of the container I finally settle on using.  For now, it's in a quart sized Mason jar because it is air tight (important since this is a powdered detergent) and can easily be shaken up to ensure a good mix.  Just let the dust settle before you open the jar...I doubt Borax and OxiClean belong in your lungs!  The first "change" I need to make while using this is how I add it to my washer...we have hard water and a really old washer.  This creates a problem because the combo tends to make using powdered detergents a bit "useless" ass the powders don't melt properly into the water without stirring it in by hand...not easily done when you have the temperature on your hot water turned up and are washing in hot water!  I'm going to add an empty jar to my "wash box" specifically for mixing the detergent needed (per load) with some of the water to make "detergent soup" that can then be poured into the washer before adding the diapers.  It's a good thing I already need to update my "laundry cheat sheet"!

With having other people in my house, doing laundry, and generally helping out, I decoded it would be a good idea to create a "cheat sheet" for how I do the laundry...each load is slightly different as far as how I "wash" it.  I gave it a pretty picture for a background and then got to work using the "smart" graphics in Word Perfect (I believe it's the 2012 version).  Adult clothing gets the addition of 1 Tablespoon of Downy Unstoppables (I really like the pink and purple scents), sheets and towels get 2 Tablespoons, but not the baby's sheets and towels!  These two types of loads also get one or two dryer sheets (homemade fabric softener soaked pieces of Flannel) in the dryer too...I tend to do a "timed dry" on these which is the "high" temperature setting.  Baby clothes are washed with the homemade laundry soap (the liquid stuff), but not given the dryer sheet treatment.  Everything gets a Downy Ball with Distilled White Vinegar (up to the line, just like you're using "real" fabric softener in it).  I did read recently that the diapers should not be exposed to the vinegar on a regular basis to keep the PUL and/or elastic lasting longer, so I have removed that step from our diaper cleaning regimen as well.  Diapers are washed in hot water (everything else gets cold), they have their own soap (we just talked about that), and everything for the baby is dried on the delicate (low heat) setting.

I have this list in a plastic sheet protector and have it hanging on a pin near my machines.  Behind it is the instructions on how to strip my diapers...I'm not sure how often this should be or needs to be done, but I know it isn't a "one and done" type event!

I have one more load of diapers to strip (the huge sized ones that I don't need for quite some time) after I finish rinsing my pockets (I have at least two more rinse cycles to go), then I will be back to "ready" for baby to get here!  Only 4 days left (including today)!  We also have "family" portraits scheduled for today...hopefully that goes well and we get a decent photo of the two of us!  We have only had our picture taken together one other time in the nine years we've been together, it just isn't something we ever think of doing.

I'm still working on making a messenger bag styled diaper bag, but screwed it up when I was sewing the back piece the other day, so it got put on hold for a bit.  I really like the materials I found to make it with ($4 a yard at JoAnn's in the clearance section)!  Hopefully I will have time tomorrow to get it put together, with help so I don't have to do as much "up and down" from the sewing machine.  For is what I have done!  It's the interior of the from of the bag.  The brown is also what the exterior will be (the white background material is the lining).  It has a ton of pockets!  I'm following the instructions I found on Morning by Morning Productions.  However, I'm not real happy on how the smaller interior pockets go I'm changing that bit slightly! 

As soon as I get this bag finished...I will have two homemade bags (awesome for lots of pockets and larger interiors) and three that were purchased!  I've mentioned our Skip Hop bag (I'm so disappointed with that one) before, we also got a diaper bag set from Garrick's coworkers!  It was a set I had added to our registry months ago and had completely forgotten about.  On his last day of work before he started his FMLA leave (today), they threw him a little baby shower!  It was really, really nice of them!  They also got us one of those shopping cart/restaurant high chair covers and a car seat!  (Sorry for all the exclamation points...but it does get me excited!)  Of course, we already have the car seat...but I returned it and got the breast pump we still hadn't purchased (and took my Mom with me to the store and had her use the gift card from the return to get it tax-free).  We even had enough left over to pick up some lotion for baby, and a big box of "milk bags" to freeze the "Mom juice" in!

Okay, time to start getting ready for my day today...busy day ahead!

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