Laundry Tips

Line Drying Clothes

A couple weeks ago, Carey wrote to me and asked:

I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about line drying your clothes. I am just beginning to do this and I'm sure there are more efficient ways than I am using. Do you line dry through the winter as well?

Hanging my laundry outside to dry is something I really enjoy doing! It's such a great "excuse" for me to take the children outside for some fresh air, even when the weather is chilly. Sometimes when I am busy with all the work in the house, I think, "Oh, I should just throw the laundry in the dryer; I don't have time to take the children out and hang it up."

Frugality almost always wins, and I find myself out at the clothesline, breathing fresh air and hearing Yehoshua (2) laugh and play. Somehow, being outside, peacefully hanging up clothes, helps me forget about all the work that waits back in the house. And quite often Yehoshua and I stay out there playing, even after the clothes is all hung. ;)

How I got started line-drying our laundry

When I was small, my father added an extra line to my mom's outdoor clothesline: one that was a child's height, and could be used for hanging up smaller/shorter things. So since before I can remember, I was helping my mom by hanging socks! During all of my years at home, my mom never owned a clothes dryer, so there was always plenty of laundry to hang. (There were 8 in my family.)

When Joshua and I got married, there was a small clothesline at our apartment. It only held about half a load of laundry, so we added another line that tripled my hanging space. I learned how to squeeze lots of clothes on it in such a way that they would still dry quickly. I did own a clothes dryer, but given the climate (we lived in southern Missouri) and my diligence at watching the weather and hanging laundry outside, I only used the dryer a handful of times each winter.

Now, we live at a house that has a nice little backyard and a perfectly lovely clothesline! My clothesline has 3 lines and can hold two large loads of laundry, or 3 medium-sized loads, quite comfortably.

Why I like line-drying my laundry

1. It's financially beneficial. I don't know exactly how much it costs in electricity or gas to dry clothes in a dryer, but hanging them outside is free!

2. The clothes has fewer wrinkles than dryer-dried clothing. This, of course, does depend on one's hanging techniques. But my line-dried clothes is virtually wrinkle-free, and my denim and khaki skirts don't get those annoying rolled hems like they do in the dryer.

3. I get fresh air and the children love to play or help hand me pieces of clothes to hang. It's therapeutic to me. Okay, maybe I'm crazy! There's just something soothing about hanging up all our shirts in a nice neat row and watching them flap in the breeze!

4. In the winter, I hang laundry indoors on a wooden clothes rack. We have natural gas heating in our house, and the air indoors can get quite dry in the winter. Hanging laundry to dry indoors boosts the humidity noticeably, and is cheaper than running a humidifier.

Also keep in mind that in the winter, your clothes dryer is taking warm air from your house to dry your clothes and then venting it outside. So not only do you pay to run your dryer, you're paying for more indoor heating!

My personal method for hanging laundry

This is my personal preferred way of hanging up laundry. I feel as though it gives good results and/or satisfies my perfectionist tendencies. ;)

Shirts: I hang shirts from the bottom. If hanging a dress shirt, I use a clothespin on each side and one in the middle where the shirt buttons, which holds the shirt neatly together. T-shirts just get one clothespin on each side. Baby "onesies" are hung upside down, folded slightly over the line, with a clothespin on each side.

 

Pants or skirts: I hang these using two clothespins, one on each side, hanging right-side-up (from the waistline). Jeans can be hung upside down, with a clothespin on each leg, but they dry more slowly that way. Skirts can be hung upside down and spread out, using multiple clothespins for full skirts, and will dry more quickly that way, but take up a lot more clothesline space.

Dresses: I hang dresses from the top, using 2-4 clothespins near the neckline and shoulers, and try to get them to hang without sagging or bunching (to prevent wrinkles -- can you tell I hate ironing? ;D).

Socks: I hang socks from the toes, and I try not to fold the sock over the clothesline at all (so it will dry more quickly).

Underwear: Undergarments can be hung from one clothespin if short on clothesline space; I hang with two clothespins, one on each side, so they dry quickly, unless I'm out of room. By the way, if you're worried about people seeing your undergarments out on your clothesline, they can be hung on a line that is between other full lines of clothes. Personally, I never worry about it. :)

Bed sheets: I fold sheets in half over the clothesline and secure with 2-3 clothespins. If I need more space, I fold the sheet in half and then drape over the line (4 layers total) and secure with 2 clothespins.

Towels, washcloths, dishrags, pillowcases, etc.: I hang all of these with one clothespin on each side. Small items can be hung from just one corner if needed.

Rugs: I hang rugs horizontally so that they dry more quickly, securing with as many pins as needed. Rugs can be hung vertically, but take longer to dry that way.

"Stuff" I use

1. My clothesline, of course. You can make a clothesline by buying some line (it's inexpensive) and stringing it between posts, poles, trees, etc.

2. Clothespins. I like the wooden spring clothespins that have a few grooves at the top so my fingers don't slip on them.

3. A clothespin bag. Mine is a cloth homemade bag that has a hanger that slips in the top. That way I can hang it on the clothesline while I hang laundry, and clothespins are within easy reach. I never leave my clothespins on the line indefinitely, or leave my clothespin bag outside permanantly. Rain and weather will make your clothespins dark and moldy and just plain gross! I've been using my clothespins for years and they still look like new because I store them indoors.

  4. A plastic "spinner" hanger. This isn't a necessity, it's just something I found at a garage sale once. It's kind of handy, though, and gives me even more hanging space outdoors.
How long does it take to hang out laundry?

This depends on several things. First, it depends on how large your clothing items are. Small items, of which there could be 50+ in one load, will make it take longer for you to hang one load. However, a load of 10-12 large items (like jeans or large t-shirts) will only take a few minutes to hang the entire load. A load of bed sheets could take as little as 5 minutes to hang outside on the line.

Time spent hanging also depends on how quickly you work (and how much practice you've had at it). If I am hurrying, and not having to chase after disobedient children, I can hang a load in a short amount of time. If I am leisurely hanging laundry, and stopping to play or care for children, it will take a lot longer. :)

How long does it take for your laundry to dry outside?

How quickly laundry dries outside is dependent on the temperature, sunshine, and wind. On a hot summer day, with lot of sun, and a little breeze, laundry could be dry in just a couple hours (or less!). On a warm but breezy day, laundry will dry just as quickly. On a cooler, cloudy day, laundry could take 8 or more hours to dry. I have had thin items (like sheets) dry in as little as 20-30 minutes on the clothesline. My usual procedure is to just start the laundry early in the day so it has plenty of time to dry and I can take it down at my convenience. (Although too much sun can fade clothing.)

Do you hang laundry outside in the winter, too?

Winter line-drying depends on the climate and weather where you live. My main "rule of thumb" is that on sunny to partly-sunny days, I will hang laundry outside if the temperature (high for that day) is 40 degrees or above. For cloudy/overcast days, I will hang laundry out if the temperature (high for that day) is 50 degrees or above.

However, even if I can't hang laundry outside all winter, I can still line dry our laundry using a wooden indoor clothes rack. My rack holds about one load of clothes.

How long does it take clothes to dry on an indoor clothesrack/clothesline?

Depending on how warm you keep your house and how dry the air is inside, as well as how loosely your laundry is hung, it could take 6-24 hours for clothes to dry.

A lot of times in the winter, I wash one load each day, and hang it up inside. By the time I'm washing the next load, the first is dry (from the day before). So I have a constantly-filled clothesrack. I keep the clothesrack in the warmest room of the house, near a heat-vent.

If your house is cooler or more damp, and your laundry takes longer than 24 hours to be completely dry, then you need to either spread it out more, or not line-dry indoors, because you don't want mold to start growing on your clothes or in your house!

Tammy's Tips for Successful Laundry Line-Drying

1. Watch the weather forecast so you know when a good laundry day is approaching.

For example, if I have 3 loads of laundry to do, and the forecast for today is hot and sunny, but rain is predicted for tomorrow, I make sure I get the laundry all caught up today, so it can be all dried outdoors.

On the reverse, if today is rainy but tomorrow (or the next day) is supposed to be sunny and nice, I wait (if at all possible) and wash on the nice day.

This is easier to do in the summer than in the spring, fall, or winter, simply because there are so many nice washdays to choose from. :)

2. Start your laundry early in the day. On cooler days, this will give your laundry ample drying time. On hot summer days, it will allow you flexibility on when you hang clothes up and take it down. I find it's best to get things hung out early no matter what! :)

3. Shake each piece of laundry briskly before hanging it up. This removes any lint and wrinkles, and results in softer laundry when it's dry. It makes it easier to hang pieces neatly, too.

4. Take the children along. If they aren't old enough to hang some themselves, have them shake pieces and hand them to you to hang. If they aren't old enough for that, let them run around and play. For babies, take out a car seat or swing, or just throw a blanket on the grass so they can watch!

5. Use fewer clothespins (and save a little time and line space, too!) by connecting the sides of t-shirts, towels, or sheets.

6. If you find yourself running out of space on your clothesline, consider doubling up thinner things (thin towels, cloth napkins, sheets, thin baby diapers, etc.). You can also save space by "squeezing" things, as shown in this photo. The thin diapers in this picture are also doubled. 

This photo was taken 3-30-06, the day that Yehoshua broke his leg! 

I only hang this way if I really need the space, since it tends to produce more wrinkles.

7. If you're short on time, hang out the loads that have a lot of larger, heavier items. Those loads are quick to hang, but would cost a lot to dry in the dryer.

8. If you use cloth diapers, make sure they get plenty of sun! Sunlight will whiten your cloth diapers and kill germs naturally. Sunlight not only whitens cloth diapers, but will help keep away diaper rash, too. I was utterly amazed when I hung out a diaper that had a bright yellow stain on it and found that a few hours of bright yellow sunlight had completely erased the stain!

9. If the weather is chilly outside (but you know it will be warmer later, or you have some diapers that really need the sun, etc.), wearing rubber gloves while hanging the laundry helps keep one's hands warm.

And now you know more than you ever thought there was to know about line-drying your laundry! :) This is just some of the things that work for me, and what I've learned in my years of hanging laundry. It remains one of my favorite tasks, especially in the summer.

Making my own laundry soap: recipe and review

My homemade laundry soap!! 

First, here is how I made my laundry soap. I used this recipe:

Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap or one whole bar of Ivory or homemade soap (I used Ivory)
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup borax powder
water
2+ gallon bucket, for storing

Grated Ivory Soap

1. Grate the soap and place in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts.

Melting the Ivory soap in water...

2. Add the washing soda and borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat.

My homemade laundry soap!!

3. Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.

4. Store your laundry detergent in the bucket, covered. (I put plastic wrap on the top of mine, and I also left my long plastic spoon in the soap to stir it briefly before each use.) Use 1/2 cup per load of clothes.

Now, for my review of the soap!

I like it.

It's very inexpensive, and will save us a lot of money! At a penny or so per load, it's a really good deal. It was easy to make, and will last a while. And I feel soooo frugal! Wink

The good news:

This soap seems to work well for washing cloth diapers. It gets them really really clean and rinses out well.* I had been using "All Free & Clear" on my diapers, about a tablespoon per load, and it was still difficult to get rinsed out.

This soap is also working well for our normal, lightly-soiled laundry.

The bad news:

I double the amount of soap per load when I wash Joshua's work clothes. After I've washed Joshua's work clothes in this soap, they smell and look just like they did before they were washed. (He works in a factory.)

So I'm going to either have to increase the amount I use by a lot, or just use regular detergent from the store. I'm really not sure if this soap gets his work clothes very clean. Cleaner than before they were washed, yes... and I do use warm water. I'm just not satisfied with how the soap has worked for them so far.

In summary:

But, even if I keep using store-bought soap for Joshua's work clothes, I am still saving a lot of money by washing our other laundry with the homemade soap!

More info:

I have also read from various sources that you can add essential oil to your soap to make it scented. I want to try this but right now I only have tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, and clove oil, and Joshua and I weren't so sure we wanted any of our clothes to smell like those scents. ;)

Here is an interesting discussion thread all about making homemade laundry soap, from the Well Tell Me forum. Lots of people talk about the way they made theirs and what they like/don't like. Overall, it seems like this homemade soap gets good reviews for washing laundry.

Crystal Miller's recipe for homemade laundry soap, which is where I got the base for my recipe, also tells more about each ingredient used and the price breakdown, for those interested.  She also has a step-by-step illustration of making laundry soap, which (of course) I found after I had already taken pictures of mine... ;)

*Here is a quick run-down of how I wash my cloth diapers. Keep in mind that any poopy diapers are pre-scrubbed, so I skip the pre-wash soak.

1. Run large load of COLD water and add 1/2 cup of my homemade soap. Set washer to longest wash cycle and allow to run completely through.

2. Do a second rinse in WARM water. Line dry in the sun.

Edited to add: There are SO many different kinds of cloth diapers out there, and I can't recommend this homemade detergent for them all in good conscience. I used this on my thin(ner) prefolds just fine -- but that is a far cry from all the many types and thicknesses of diapers you may have. If you really want to use something homemade on your cloth diapers, I recommend making this detergent without the bar of soap.

5 Easy Frugal Recipes for Household Products: Scouring powder, deodorant, and more! :)

Cloth diapering: my method, ideas, and tips, with photos!

I'd like to start by saying what a blessing cloth diapers have been to our family. I remember the excitement of pinning a cloth diaper onto Yehoshua for the first time, when he was a few weeks old... and then later the realization that cloth diapering (or changing diapers, period!) was a never-ending process and everyday part of my life. :)

My cloth diapers have been a blessing, first of all, because they were all gifts. I think 6 different people have helped build up my diaper supply (mostly at the baby shower for Yehoshua) by giving me diapers. I was even given some Gerber vinyl covers, which lasted for a long time with Yehoshua and finally wore out with Eliyahu. I have a variety of different thicknesses and kinds of cloth pre-folds (the most basic, cheapest variety of cloth diaper) and have so many that I can wash a full load of diapers and still have some for the baby to wear!

Cloth diapers have also been a blessing financially. I use cloth diapers for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason, I confess, is financial. Even buying the least expensive disposable diapers, and changing the child infrequently, is still more expensive than cloth diapering. If I can avoid spending money every week for disposable diapers (and then spending money on trash pick-up to get rid of them!) we actually do save a lot. (Yes, even including extra water and electric costs and washing machine wear.)

I like the feeling of soft clean cotton against my baby's skin, and being able to change my baby whenever he wets without worrying about how many diapers we're going through. The clean diapers smell so fresh and nice, unlike disposables (which in my opinion stink unless they have perfumes added, which is probably bad for the baby!). I don't mind doing the extra laundry; it's a nice feeling to have a basket full of clean dry diapers, waiting to be used again.

And, it's nice to know that I'm not creating a lot of waste. The average child goes through 7,000 diapers before they're potty trained. That's a lot of waste when it's all in disposables in a landfill. I like washing my diapers. The "waste" goes down the drain and the trashcan doesn't stink. (At least, not from diapers. :D) And can I tell you how nice it is to not need to empty the trash every night because it's smelling up the downstairs?! Better yet, I don't even need to take out the trash anymore because it's all either recyclable, compost, or burnable! :)

And, too, the age-old arguments of the convenience of not having to buy big packages of diapers, and never "running out" of diapers (though there have been times where I was so far behind in things that I was running out of clean ones :D).

I think cloth diapers are more work than disposables. So I'm not going to argue that they're easier. In some ways, yes, they are. But not in every way. For us, the benefits and blessings have outweighed the extra work (which isn't maybe as much as you'd imagine).

I enjoyed using cloth diapers with Yehoshua, and planned to use them with Eliyahu as well. With both children, I have used disposables for the first few weeks, particularly at night, while I was adjusting to new schedules and recovering from the birth. Newborns are so unpredictable (at least, mine were) but after a few weeks, we were settled into somewhat of a schedule.

What I didn't know with Eliyahu (at first, anyway), was that he was sensitive to something (still don't know what, exactly) in disposable diapers. By his third day of life, he was already starting to get diaper rash. It continued despite all my efforts to get rid of it. Someone had given us a package of Huggies diapers, and I somehow realised that when we used that brand, his rash got better. We used Huggies and the rash did start clearing up noticeably within about 12 hours. I tried a number of different brands of disposable diapers, and all caused an awful rash. Huggies diapers, even with coupons, were outrageously expensive, so to cloth we went.

Eliyahu hasn't had a single rash since we started using cloth diapers. Yehoshua only got diaper rash once when he was a baby, and I discovered it was due to some detergent residue in the diapers. I have had such good success with cloth diapering. My house doesn't stink, and I know that my children are in soft, dry, nice-smelling diapers. (I never understood why people used the term "paper diapers" for disposable diapers, until I used cloth for a while and then felt a disposable!)

So there's some back ground for you; just my personal thoughts and why we personally like cloth. Now, for the how-to!

I have a kind of diaper called a "pre-fold". There are a lot of "fancy" (and expensive!) very nice cloth diapers out there. I haven't had experience with them, so I won't be talking about them in this article. (As a side note, I have used flat-fold diapers, and don't mind them, but pre-folds do save me time, so I sewed all of my flat-fold diapers into pre-folds.) Pre-folds are the cheapest, most-durable, and easiest-to-wash diapers. They require some sort of waterproof cover, like the Gerber vinyl covers sold at Wal-mart (which I don't recommend--keep reading). 

Prefolded diapers in varying thicknesses

Here is a picture of some of my pre-folded diapers. At the top left, you see a very thin diaper with a washcloth folded in thirds and laid in the center, to increase the absorbency. At the top right, there is one of Eliyahu's nighttime diapers, which is really just two thinner diapers with a washcloth folded inside. The bottom right diaper is a fairly thin daytime diaper for Eliyahu, and the bottom left is Yehoshua's daytime diaper, a medium-thick one.

You can probably see that there isn't really one right way to "do" cloth diapers, at least with pre-folds. I take whatever I have and make it into the absorbency I need. Washcloths are great for increasing the absorbency without increasing the bulk too much.

Here is how I fold my "pre-folds":

Diaper waiting to be folded

   Sides in...

Front up a little...   ...and front up the rest of the way.

This much folding would be good for a very small baby. A larger child would need very little of the front folded under (step 3). The diapers can be folded to fit whatever size baby you have, which is one of the reasons that pre-folds are more economical than fitted diapers, where a variety of sizes are needed.

Diaper covers

Here are some diaper covers. These are the four different kinds I have. There are other, "fancier" covers with which I haven't had experience, so do your research and check your budget and make choices based on what's best for you. I'm just writing about what has worked for me. :)

At the top left, you see a diaper cover that opens at the sides and has snaps. The snaps are very nice, and adjustable (so it fits while the baby grows!), and there's some airflow at the sides because of the snaps. These are all very good features. Side opening = no poop on baby's legs. Adjustable snaps = fits baby longer. Airflow at sides = less chance of rashes. The only slight issue with this cover is that sometimes during a long nap it will leak, especially if the diaper inside isn't as absorbent as it should have been.

At the top middle, you see a Gerber vinyl diaper cover. These can be found at Wal-mart, and they are cheap for a reason. They do work well, but they don't last long at all. If you buy these, you can almost plan on replacing them in a couple months' time. I have found that when these covers crack, plastic tape can be placed over the cracks and will go through the washer and last for a while longer. I don't throw mine away until they are beyond tape-repair. :)

At the bottom of the photo, there is a velcro cover. This cover is vinyl, with cotton cloth on the outside. It has velcro, and elastic around the waist, so it's adjustable and comfortable. There are a lot of great things about this cover (like the first cover mentioned) but a few drawbacks. The cotton on the outside wicks moisture from the edges of the diaper. Velcro wears out a lot faster than snaps, even when it's washed correctly. And this cover tends to leak during naps or nighttime use.

At the very right is my favorite diaper cover. I purchased these nylon diaper covers when my vinyl ones all wore out in the smaller sizes. I can't say enough good things about this cover. It doesn't leak. It's still fairly soft. It's machine-washable. It's affordable. It doesn't wear out. If I have to buy more covers, I plan to get this kind. At $2 each, they're much cheaper than the very nice ones. 

cloth diaper wipes

And the last of my supplies: cloth wipes. If you're washing diapers, you may as well wash wipes, too. And it's so much cheaper and nicer than buying the commercially made ones laden with ingredients I can't pronounce. Top left is a plain white washcloth, top right is some inexpensive baby washcloths. Bottom right is some homemade washcloths which were a gift to me, and bottom left is unhemmed wipes cut from old baby bath towels and socks.

You can also make homemade baby wipes using Bounty paper towels, boiling water, a little baby bath soap, and olive oil. I have made those in the past, but I find it simpler to just use washcloths with plain water.

Eliyahu, getting a clean diaper put on  Eliyahu, with a clean diaper

Here is what the diaper looks like when it's pinned on. I prefer regular pins because they hold well. (I've never poked the baby, though I have poked my own finger a couple times!) I do have a snappi but it won't snag most of my diapers and I'm so clumsy at using it anyway. I know others who love snappis, so I think it's a matter of preference. :)

Cloth diaper covered with Dappi Nylon Diaper Cover Clothes snapped up over diaper

Here is the diaper, covered with a Dappi (brand) nylon cover. And, the happy baby, all snapped up :).

So, my basic supplies are: cotton pre-folded diapers, nylon diaper covers, and a pair of diaper pins.

Optional supplies for me include rectangular fleece liners (cut from an old blanket) which can be used to line the diaper so the baby feels dry; I don't mind using them but found that they were more bother to hang on the clothesline than they were really worth.

Now for the exciting part: washing and drying cloth diapers.

I want to be sure to mention that cloth diapers is just another part of parenting, and your method will probably depend more on your circumstances, such as your house or lifestyle, rather than a certain "right" or best way. I have changed how I do things several times. Here is a basic overview:

With a baby who is exclusively breastfed, diapers can just be thrown into the washer. Do a pre-soak/rinse, and then your normal wash cycle with an extra rinse. I did this with Yehoshua, and it saved me a lot of time (rather than washing out all the poopy ones). With Eliyahu, he likes to fill his diaper only once every day or two, so I wash his out in the toilet since they're so full and far between. :) With a child who is eating solid foods, diapers need to be rinsed/scrubbed out in the toilet.

I have always done a "dry pail" which means I don't keep any water in my diaper pail. I do sometimes toss some baking soda in the pail with the diapers, but not always.

The night before I plan to wash the diapers, I put them in the washer and start it (cold water). I leave the lid up so it washed and then just soaks. The next morning, I continue the wash, adding a small amount of detergent and some baking soda. Then I do a second wash/rinse (warm/cold) with plain water (no more soap). This gets the diapers nice and clean. If I remember, I add a couple tablespoons of white vinegar to the final rinse water, as a natural fabric softener and to combat hard-water smell.

And lastly, if at all possible, I hang the diapers (and covers!) out in the sun. Any stains on the diapers magically disappear after a few hours in the sun, leaving bright white diapers and somehow also helping combat the likelihood of diaper rash. Sun-drying diapers is the way to go if at all possible.

My clean basket of diapers and pail of dirty ones...

This is the usual state of my diaper supply: a laundry basket full of unfolded clean diapers, and a pail of dirty ones. I love to have my diapers all folded and stacked neatly. With both children still in diapers, I use about 25 diapers + 10 wipes/washcloths/liners each day. I have about a 3-day supply of diapers. All my efforts at folding and neatly stacking are used up within 48 hours. So for now, I just store them in the basket and grab what I need. The exception is that I do fold nighttime diapers, so I can change Eliyahu during the night with minimal effort. (I change him on the bed in the dark!)

Combatting Diaper Rash

Here are some things I have found useful for keeping diaper rash away:

1. Change baby frequently. Check for wet diapers all the time, and change as often as needed!

2. When changing a diaper, gently pat (not rub) the diaper area with a soft dry washcloth, removing any excess moisture. Allow baby's bottom to completely air-dry between diaper changes; don't just stick a new diaper on right away. Give baby a toy to occupy him during this length of time :D

3. Switch covers. Diaper covers that were used for wet diapers don't need to be washed after every use. However, they should be air-dried between uses. I usually have 2-3 covers "in rotation" so I always have a dry one to put on the baby.

4. Make sure you use very little detergent when you wash your diapers. Very little. Open your washer and look to see if there are soap suds in your final rinse. You might be surprised at how far a little detergent goes.

5. Don't use perfumed detergent. Don't use fabric softener (ever!!).

6. Give your diapers as much sunlight as possible.

7. Use only water when you clean baby's bottom. Be sure to air-dry after you've washed baby's bottom AND when changing wet diapers (which don't require wipes). Allow baby's bottom as much exposure to the fresh air as is possible. My diaper changes usually take 5-15 minutes.

8. If the rash is really bad, lengthen the amount of fresh air it receives. Consider using a little rash ointment for your baby's comfort. (Try not to get the ointment on the cloth diaper, though, as it's nearly impossible to wash out!) Switch to disposables if needed, so you can use a more liberal amount of ointment without ruining your cloth diapers.

This has gotten long, and I'm sure I haven't covered everything! If you have questions, please leave comments and I will either reply to your comment or edit my post. There are also some great websites about cloth diapering, such as diaper safari, the diaper hyena, and diaper pin.

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