5 Reasons to NEVER Put Cloth Diapers in a Dish Washer!
A little while back I had to strip all of my diapers because of an ammonia issue we had. I had never had any experience with this, or diaper stripping before. But in the days, and weeks surrounding my stripping escapade I learned a lot.
I learned that apparently… there are a lot of cloth diapering parents out there who will utilize their dish washer to actually strip diapers. Like, when I say a lot… I mean like… I googled “cloth diaper stripping” and the majority of blog posts that came up in this search included a dish washer. Thankfully I had a couple awesome cloth diapering friends who are far more pro at it than I probably ever will be.
After quizzing them I just did a simple hot water strip in my washing machine. You know… the place that is actually meant to wash diapers, clothes, fabrics…
The more time I thought about the amount of misinformation I came across, the stronger my desire to address it became. So, I started writing this post, only to get hung up a couple times. The more I thought about though… the more I knew it was a horrible idea.
So why should you NEVER put your cloth diapers in a dish washer?
1. It will VOID your diaper warranty!
What many of the blog posts I came across neglected to mention was putting your cloth diaper into the dish washer will actually void your warranty. So if there is any leaking, damage, or issues with the elastic after the fact… you are out of the money you paid for your diaper. When you think about this, the simple act of stripping your diapers in the dish washer (if you do an entire load) could virtually cost you hundreds of dollars! For example, on the BumGenius website (one of the diapers we use in our household) it strictly states:
Except when caused by manufacturing or component defect, this guarantee does not cover leaking, diaper odor or normal wear/tear. Warranty is void when:
- The washing instructions have not been followed.
- The diaper has been altered.
- Any of the following has been used in conjunction with the use/care of the product:
- Water temperatures exceeding 100°F or 60°C
- A detergent containing additives (enzymes, brighteners, whiteners, dyes, perfumes, essential oils) or natural soap
- Fabric softeners
- Any caustic substance
- Diaper rash cream
- Product was purchased through an unauthorized retailer. Please verify your retailer prior to purchase.
Know your warranty! This can be a matter of the life and death of your diapers!
2. It is a Fire Hazard!
Placing fabric inside of a dish washer is a fire hazard. Plain and simple.
When talking about this process with my husband who is a volunteer fireman, he basically said – NO WAY would I be putting any kind of fabric inside of the dishwasher because of the temperature the machine heats up to. Dishwashers will head up to an average of 145-150 degrees to be sure they are killing the bacteria, as well as cleaning leftover food particles on your dishes. Glass, and plastic is made to washstand this kind of heat for the washing process. While some cloth diaper fabric and covers may be able to withstand this kind of heat… not all can. Or will.
Do you want to take that kind of a risk?
3. Dude… You EAT off those Plates!
When I think of my dishwasher, I think of getting our plates, cups, sippy cups, silverware, etc. clean. I wouldn’t even think about putting something which frequently contains poop in there. Ever. GROSS! Just the thought of it gives me the dry heaves.
With that being said, sure our dishes will withstand bacteria, but… don’t you want to keep those different types of bacteria… separate?
I know I would!
4. There are EASIER Ways!
When it comes to parenting, why not take the easy way out when you can? There are going to be so many difficult challenges we are forced to face over the years! When it comes to stripping diapers, the easiest method also worked the best for me. Take all of your diapers and inserts, wash them in nothing more than a hot water cycle, run an extra hot rinse cycle, and air dry them. Ta Da! Easy pleasey and your diapers are successfully stripped!
5. The Heat May Ruin the Diaper!
Many say that the reason dish washer stripping is better is because of the elevated heat in the dish washer itself. But stop for a moment and remember, when manufacturers are making these products, they are not thinking moms are going to send their diapers directly to hell for them to be washed. Some brands of diapers are not going to be able to withstand this kind of heat, especially if they are cheaper diapers.
Not all brands are made equally, and if you are looking to cloth diaper on a budget, the pul and fabric of that diaper may be completely ruined by the heat in this kind of stripping method.
It is better safe than sorry in this case. Cloth diapering can be cheap to start up, but if you follow the advice of many people on the internet and throw your diapers in the dishwasher for stripping, you may end up with no diapers at all. Lots of wasted money!
So in conclusion… please just don’t do it. I have yet to hear about someone lighting their dishwasher on fire trying this, but do you really want to take that kind of a risk with your kids in your house? I know I wouldn’t even consider it!
Be safe, and be smart…
And for the love of Christ… Keep your damn diapers OUT of the dish washer!