What on Earth is a mineral strip and why should I do one?
Even though modern detergents and washing machines do a great job, with America's hard water (very hard water where I live) minerals build up in cloth fibers over time. This build up can lead to dingy clothing, funky smelling towels or sheets, or less than clean cloth diapers. The mineral deposits build up over time and can trap bacteria deep in the cloth fibers, as such I find it well worth the time and cost (minimal) to periodically mineral strip clothing items (cloth diapers included).
With sheets, towels, work clothing etc-
- when clothes aren't coming as clean as you would like out of the wash
- when clothes are feeling stiff or dingy
- Sheets or Towels have never been previous
With diapers its a smart idea to mineral strip them if:
- Your diapers have ammonia or smell funky when they come off of babe (pee smell is fine I am talking about a abnormal funk called "the stinkies" or "barnyard" (follow up after with a bleach strip)
- the diapers were purchased second hand (also to be followed with a bleach strip)
- your diapers aren't as soft or as absorbent as they previously were
Ingredients you will need (pictured above):
- Strong mainstream laundry detergent
-3- 6 tbs. Calgon (liquid or powder)
- 3-6 tbs. Borax
- 3-6 tbs. Washing Soda (not baking soda)
- Place to perform the soak
*** I found all of these at Walmart and my local grocery store (not at my Target store unfortunately), you may also use 2 packets of commercially produced RLR (from Amazon)
How to Mineral Strip
Step 1- Start with clean laundry/ diapers fresh out of the wash.
Step 2- Select a place to soak. For me its my bathtub because my HE FL does not have a great soak option.
Step 3- Fill the soaking location with enough (very) hot water to cover your diapers (or sheets/whatever else you are stripping.
- Add 3 tablespoons of each ingredient to the water and stir them to dissolve. You can double this amount if soaking a large item like a comforter, large load of towels or over 24 diapers. ** you can even strip a pack and play mattress but beware to see some very gunky nasty water.
- Add between line 1-2 of your laundry detergent
Step 5- Add in your items to be stripped. You will need to let them soak until the water cools at a minimum but ideally 4-6 hours (overnight is also okay if thats easier).
Step 6- Wash the items in the washing machine (if that item will fit) or hand rinse it in the tub to remove all the water softener and detergent
|Sorry for the bad lighting but hopefully you get the jist. Sometimes the water will be clear it just depends on what was trapped.|
If you stripped regular clothing items, towels etc you are DONE. Congrats. As for diapers purchased secondhand, or that have ammonia or bad smelling bacteria build up you will need to bleach strip the diapers. If doing so in your bathtub you will want to do that after adding the bleach to the water. If you have a top loading machine with a bleach dispenser you trust you can add the bleach to the dispenser and go from there. For complete bleaching directions visit my previous post http://cgmrb.blogspot.com/2013/12/cloth-diapering-myth-busters-yeast-and.html or here (a AMAZING cloth 101 website) http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/junior-year/how-to-bleach-your-cloth-diapers/