Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 11/1/10


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Every Monday I will answer user submitted questions. They don’t have to be about cloth diapering! I’ll always answer questions via email, but if you would like your question to be answered in a Mailbox Mondays post, send an email with the subject “Mailbox Mondays” to Maria at change-diapers dot com.

Courtney says:

Hello Maria!

I have a diaper cleaning question. Our diaper sprayer recently broke. Until we can build a new one, I need to find a new way to clean poopy diapers. What is your method? Do you have any pointers? My son is 11 months old, so there is no way we can throw them in the wash without rinsing first!


I never got around to buying a diaper sprayer, so I’m all too familiar with this conundrum.  When my son first started solids, I was able to get away with just throwing them right into the wash.  If they needed a little extra help (still mostly breastmilk poop) I was rinsing them with my laundry room/utility sink sprayer.  Then for a few months there, I was able to flip the poop right into the potty.  Boy was that nice!

Now here’s where this question gets a little gross.  I apologize in advance, there’s just no way to avoid a little grossness with this subject!  He went through the stage of the “peanut butter” consistency poop, and now that he’s eating tons of fruit and drinking some juice, diapers are much more messy and I can’t just flip solids off the diaper.

What I do is use 3 or 4 sheets of toilet paper folded up to scrape off as much as I can, then whatever is left goes into the washing machine.  I’ve heard of several other similar methods, where people may use a clean popsicle stick or plastic card (great use for the old Blockbuster card if you still have one!) to scrape the diaper.  Just keep it in a plastic bag out of sight, perhaps behind the toilet, or under your tissue box if you keep one on top of the tank like I do.

Some people still do the ol’ dunk and swish in the toilet, I’ve even heard of people flushing with the diaper in the toilet (hold on to it tightly!) to take advantage of the self-swish.

I’ve heard more than a few say they just rinse the diapers in the sink or the bathtub (a hand held shower head would be especially handy) and then wiping out the tub/sink with bleach etc.  This would be a pain if you have a frequent pooper, but might be handy if you have a child who poops like clockwork once per day.

How about the rest of you?  Do you use a diaper sprayer?  If not, how you handle the poop?

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • November 3, 2010 at 12:21 am

    >OSG, from what I hear, a Diaper Sprayer is a worthy investment, I really need to get one myself!Hannah, that's a great dunk & swish method! I figure you have to wash your hands anyway sooo…maybe I'd feel different if it wasn't my kid's poop though (like if I was babysitting, LOL)Samuel's Momma, when I have a little staining, a few hours on the line in the sun works wonders. I know everyone says that, but it's amazing!

  • November 2, 2010 at 1:22 am

    >Thank you for the tips! I'm just so used to having a toilet sprayer. My hubby is planning on picking up the stuff this weekend so that he can build a new one. I'm also used to everything rinsing off, so I never thought I could leave a little on there and it would come out in the wash! I just assumed I had to get every little bit off so that it didn't stain my beautiful diapers! Hahaha, I know, silly obsessed Mama! I think I'm going to attempt the credit card idea because his poo is "peanut butter" consistency! Thanks again!

  • November 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    >I have never had a sprayer. I use flushable liners when traveling. At home I now get by with rolling 95% of it into the toilet and then throwing it into the diaper pail for wash day. First 6 months of life everything went in the wash.When he was eating a bit of solids but not a lot I did dunk poopy diapers (mostly prefolds). I don't dunk the whole thing though: fold the diaper in half with the yucky side out. Hold onto the clean parts and dunk the middle part of the diaper in the water. Let the excess water drip out and then put in diaper pail. Your hands don't touch the water or dirty part of the diaper at all. I still wash my hands of course, especially if the diaper was a little wet as well as dirty.

  • November 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    >This particular question interests me particularly. I'm cloth diapering my 6 (going on 3) year old little brother who has Down syndrome and a few other issues related to cancer. We don't have a diaper sprayer and I use toilet paper to scrape off stool too. If he has diarrhea, I dump what comes off in the toilet and put the diaper in the wet bag till wash day.I'm considering getting a diaper sprayer in hopes of getting the rest of the family to not leave the diapers for me to take care of. But I haven't decided whether or not it'll work. :)I enjoy reading Mailbox Monday posts… I can't wait till next Monday!

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