Do you REALLY need to Measure the Drum of your Washing Machine?
How did this even become a thing?
Somewhere in early 2016, Fluff Love began recommending that cloth diaper parents measure their machine to get the most accurate load size when doing laundry. Learn more about the early history of Fluff Love here.
Did you know, there was a time when the world cloth diapered without science? That was most of our entire existence. Mind you, modern cloth diapers and modern washing machines only came into the picture in the last few generations. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Stop measuring your washing machine and trust in your eyeballs and your instincts.
How full should my machine be?
The internet has concluded we need to have a stew consistency to wash cloth diapers.
However, some sources like Green Mountain Diapers is encouraging a more soupy stew for cotton (something that I tend to agree with because I’ve seen my natural fibre diapers really break down over the years, and based on my handwashing experience. I find that handwashing cloth diapers in a soupy mix over a thick stew mix is a better clean, but that’s just my experience and food for thought).
In general, I think the stew comparison is a terrible analogy because my version of stew is very different than my mother’s. It is this sort of variation in life that leads to the reason why Fluff Love is asking mama’s to measure their machine because people don’t trust themselves. Some of us are scared to mess up their diapers, and probably because these 20+ complaints are rapid on the internet against the group. Don’t be scared. It is just laundry.
Fluff Love and others generally recommend 2/3 – 3/4 full wash machines based off certain machines and such. Seriously, people, we don’t need to be as accurate with our machines down to the last half an inch. Many thousands of millions of parents are cloth diapering without using a measuring ruler every time they load up their machine. We are all capable of washing laundry without measuring our machines.
Fill your machine with cloth diapers, select the load size it looks like (or if your machine is like mine, let it do it for you) and let it wash your cloth diapers like it does your regular laundry. If you have problems, maybe try some other ideas like these:
- I need to use the water plus option in my HE top loader without agitator for really poopy loads.
- Some people thoroughly spray/rinse their cloth diapers before the wash, and this helps reduce the amount of gross-ness that needs to be removed in the machine.
- Some people try different variations of hot/cold/warm water, or an extra rinse (extra rinse WILL NOT KILL your cloth diapers).
- Some people treat their first wash as the main wash, and their second wash as a final touch up, this might work in a machine with low water.
- Some people try to trick their machines with wet towels, but that’s completely crazy, and could damage your machine. Don’t do that.
- Some people don’t have a problem with the fact their consistency is not perfect and they are still able to get clean diapers every time.
What’s the Take-Away
You do you.
Cloth diapering should be simple. If you’re spending a ton of time measuring machines, and detergent, and spending a ton of money on softeners, bleach and more, then re-assess.
Make tiny changes, know it’s just laundry and just diapers. If you make a mistake, wash them again a little differently. Don’t worry about strip routines or bleach, just tweak up your routine and try it again.
It’s Just Laundry – Find Peer-based support.
I believe in peer-to-peer sharing of information to help problem solve cloth diapering. I believe that you are an amazing mama, and you know how to do laundry. When it comes to cloth diaper laundry, keep it simple and talk to your manufacturer of your cloth diapers, or the retailer you bought from, or find a local group with some local knowledge on how to problem solve what’s going on.
If you can learn to problem solve and adapt as things happen, you’ll rock your world.
I understand sometimes in motherhood we don’t have this mental space to do the problem-solving ourselves which is why we turn to big groups like Fluff Love, but how about we turn to small groups like the brand, the retailer, or local groups to build back the cloth diaper community, and continue to encourage a stronger and more prominent cloth community.