Hanging ‘em out to dry
April 6, 2014 9:42:00 PM EDT
It’s FINALLY starting to feel more like spring here in the Midwest. I’m so excited to start spending more time outdoors with the kids, going on walks, and just enjoying the fresh air after being cooped up all winter. As sad as it may sound, one thing I am really looking forward to is drying our cloth diapers out on the clothesline once again.
What I LOVE about hanging diapers out on the line:
Our electric bill was pretty brutal this winter. NOT because of our diapers, but because of a couple of Polar Vortexes. I always line dry our shells to keep them in good condition longer, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. During winter or when the weather is not so nice, I usually toss the inserts, prefolds, and flats in the dryer since they take longer to line dry and because hanging them would take up a lot more space. Now that spring is finally here and nice weather is on the way, they can ALL go out on the line and save us on energy costs!
Bye Bye Stains.
When I first heard that the sun could magically make stains disappear, I was a bit skeptical. I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to stains, only having to deal with them a few times (I think I owe that to my diaper sprayer!). But the first time I noticed a bamboo insert that had a dark shadow on it after taking it out of the washer, I thought, “What the heck. Let’s see if it does the trick…” and it did! I was amazed. I simply put the damp insert out in the sun and like magic, a few hours later the stain was gone. I wish I had taken a before and after picture! Is it weird that I’m kind of hoping for a stained diaper so I can write a post about it? Haha.
Not only do the sun’s rays help with stains, they also can help sanitize your diapers. Just like your cells can be damaged by the sun by staying out too long without sunscreen, certain UV rays damage and kill the bacteria’s DNA. Check out this awesome chart from Thirsties. They compiled different ways to disinfect cloth diapering products and sunshine is included in that list.
Makes ‘em smell so fresh and so clean.
I love the smell of clothes that have dried in the fresh air. They just smell so good! While this may be true for most of us, if you live in an area with not so great air quality, you may not have the same experience. In areas of heavy pollution, line drying indoors may be your best bet.
Drying on the line can help to keep your diapers in good shape longer. While prefolds, flats, most inserts can tolerate drying on low, it’s best to avoiding high heat from the clothes dryer on your covers and shells to help protect the elastics, waterproof layer, and hook & loop closures.
Gets you outside.
While having to hang your diapers out on the line may be considered a chore, it’s nice to take a moment to get out of the house and get a little sunshine. Since we would only be out for a short period of time, I would bring my little guy along with me in just a diaper sans sunscreen to get him his daily dose of Vitamin D. Of course, if we were going to be outside for an extended period of time I would slather him up with sunscreen to protect his skin from sunburn. We love being outdoors and I think any reason is a good reason to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Better for the environment
Last but definitely not least, line drying better for the environment. Using less electricty not only reduces your energy costs, it also reduces your carbon footprint. Even if it's just a load of diapers every few days, every little bit helps!
Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.