Leaking diapers! That’s bad news. If urine runs right off your diapers and out the legs, you may have a problem with detergent residue. This can happen with any diapers made with synthetic fabrics, which means most pocket diapers or polyester diaper covers.
The secret to avoiding detergent residue is simple: wash diapers properly.
1. Use a high-efficiency, low-residue detergent without whiteners, brighteners, and certainly without fabric softeners. Make cloth-diaper friendly detergent choices. Country Save, for example, leaves less undissolved solids in washed fabrics. In Canada, try Nature Clean detergent.
2. Use more water. If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, you may not be using enough water to rinse the diapers well. Use an extra rinse or possibly a full wash cycle without soap after the soapy water has drained. You might also want to throw a wet towel in with the diapers at the beginning of the cycle, since a heavier load means more water. If you are trying to save water, though, avoid the need by following step #1.
3. Avoid diaper rash creams, which can create a similar build up. Or, if you need to use creams, use a cloth wipe or diaper liners between the diaper and the area of your baby’s skin covered in cream.
If you are careful to avoid anything that can build up on the fabric and become a barrier to absorption, your diapers will continue to absorb and keep your baby dry.