we love cloth diapering. but i remember before we started, it all sounded a bit confusing. so, how exactly does it work?
here is a bit about our routine, to give you an idea of how cloth diapering can fit into your life.
we use a "dry pail" method, which means the diapers don't soak in water as they wait to be washed (although they are pretty wet with urine, so "dry pail" is a bit of a misnomer).
right now we have enough diapers that i only have to do a load about once a week. with our first two foster little ones, i had to wash the diapers about every 4 days, because we didn't have as many diapers then, and both kiddos wore the same size.
when i wash the diapers, i start with a soak (usually for several hours or overnight). then i run them on an extra heavy load, and follow with one extra rinse. line drying is best for diapers as it helps the fibers to stay strong, and the sun acts as a natural bleach and disinfectant. diapers usually come out of the wash with some stains, but after a short time in the sun the stains are almost always all gone. i also find that line drying them helps them to smell cleaner when they are done.
line drying is not an absolute requirement, though. when we had our first four foster siblings, life was waaaay to busy to line dry diapers twice a week, so i usually put them in the dryer. however, i do think this has caused those diapers to start breaking down faster, unfortunately.