Diaper Tips Tuesday: Ask the Moms, How Do You Dry YOUR Cloth Diapers?


I have almost always dried my clothes and cloth diapers (with the exception of delicates) in the dryer, but I am determined to start line-drying a good portion of my laundry. Clothes last longer, less energy is used and there is nothing like the fresh smell of line-dried laundry. Growing up in Japan, my mother always line dried our clothing and since it was the norm in the culture it’s not a brand new concept to me, but one I have not implemented since I left home.

I had originally set out to start my line-drying saga last summer, but the auto accident and consequent leg surgery had me off my feet for a long time, setting me back a little. I plan on getting a collapsible rack for my deck, so it is conveniently outside my back door and I can get to it quickly if it starts to rain. Since we’re military it would also be something we can easily store and move (we are also not the handiest family and I’m afraid what I would ruin if I had to get the power tools out to try and install something!). 


This is my top-pick I am eyeing right now since it’s lightweight, but has ample drying space and can be used on the deck or even in a large family space in the winter months: 
http://www.mrspeggshandyline.com/products.php (sample picture from their website above). Has anyone used it, seen it in action or heard reviews? It’s not the classic image I have of cloth diapers strung across a single clothesline with lush green grass below and a pure blue sky above, but it seems the most practical choice for my family.

I will still use my dryer on rainy days or those crazy days where I am stretched a million different directions, as well as to occasionally “warm-up” my PUL to keep its lamination nice and sealed. How do you dry your clothes and cloth diapers? What is your ideal and what is the reality? 

{If you enjoyed reading Diaper Tips Tuesday: Ask the Moms, How Do You Dry YOUR Cloth Diapers? I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}
Emi

Emi

By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.
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Comments

  1. Why do some of my diapers recommend not EVER using the dryer if it helps the pul? Just wondering. Now we lay ours over the playpen or a laundry basket because of this. The other day I took the laundry basket outside and let them dry in the air for a couple of hours. MOST of them were dry and finished overnight, but we could have used them (it was around 70 degrees F)

  2. Julia Shober says:

    I love love love drying mine on the line. Or a large folding drying rack, which is what we actually have. Of course, living in the Catskill mountains, this isn't possible in the winter, things freeze the second anything slightly damp hits the air. So, in winter months I tend to hang diapers to dry over the radiator in our bedroom. Even on the coldest of days, when the heat is blaring, it takes more than a day to dry them there. A few hours in the sun & everything is done. Love it.

  3. I think that is because there are different lamination processes for PUL and each company laminates different fabrics and/or uses different lamination processes. And the bottom line is drying in the dryer will wear your diapers or clothing faster in the long run, regardless of whether it's PUL or not.

    Although it may void SOME warranties I would say the majority of PUL can be safely dried in the dryer. I have always dried my driers in the dryer and haven't had any issues with any brands, but I also have a large rotation. Don't know if that helps!

  4. Erin Weller says:

    I use Bumgenius diapers. I used to dry everything in the dryer, but recently I've taken to drying the covers on the drying rack and throwing the inserts in the dryer. I was starting to have elastic issues, and I think putting the covers in the dryer weakened the elastic. The covers dry on 4-5 hours and the inserts finish up in 30 minutes in the dryer.

  5. Interesting fact about drying being good for the PUL!

    Since spring is finally here in Wisconsin, I've been trying to hang my dipes outside. I have a wood drying rack that I use inside/outside on the patio for drying dipes as well as some clothes. Now that my hubby put a new line up for me (our old one rotted and broke) I've been using that. I keep forgetting to buy clothes pins tho so I just flop them over the line. Works for everything except the wipes and fleece liners, which end up all over the yard. Needless to say that only happened once and now I hang them in the laundry room on the drying rack! :-)

    I love the IDEA of drying everything on the line this summer…saving energy and our clothes. But really, who has time?! :-)

  6. Usually I use my line in the yard. When the weather is bad, I have a pole above the washer and dryer to hang dry. If they do not dry all the way, I put them in the dryer. When drying them on the line, sometimes I put the inserts in the dryer for a couple minutes to make them a little bit softer.

  7. During the winter, I dry them in the dryer. During the summer, I dry them on the clothesline outside and then I usually "fluff" them in the dryer for about 5 minutes, just to make sure all the dampness is gone.

    If I didn't live in the rainy Pacific NW, i would definitely dry them outside more often.

  8. newmami_rgv says:

    Great post! And yeah, I've usually follown the mani's directions as far as how to try. I do always dry my prefolds on the line and then fluff them in the dryer. I usually don't dry the PUL in dryer because they are not recommended to do so. I may do it every other month or so. We live in south texas, so it's usually always a nice day out. great place to CD!

  9. Jennifer says:

    I just had my first baby this winter and since it's been so cold I dry my prefolds, wipes, and inserts in the dryer and hang my covers in our bay window which gets direct sun. Now that it is warming up I have recently switched to line dry everything (if it's not raining) and I am amazed at how fast everything dried in the sun – plus I love how it bleached my pre-folds which had started to accumulate some stains. Oh and I do dry my PUL in the dryer at least once a month.

  10. I mostly line dry the outers and toss the inserts in the dryer. If it is raining then I put the outers in the bathroom over the shower rod.
    I always put the outers in the dryer on no heat after they have been outside to kill any bugs that may have found there way inside:)

  11. Lauren Kostantin says:

    I've always dried mine (BumGenius) in the dryer but really would LOVE to start line drying more of my laundry. Not sure where I would put a clothes line though. I love the one you're looking at Emi. Then I could put it up infront of the wood stove at winter. Something to think about!

  12. I live in Wisconsin, so it's just starting to get nice outside. I use an outdoor clothesline in the months that it's nice out. In the winter or when it rains, we have a collapsible clothes drying rack that has enough room to dry about 30 diapers, inserts and wipes/doublers for my two babies. Only once in a while do I use the dryer for the liners.

  13. It's still pretty rainy out here (Western Wa) but as soon as it's nice again I'll be drying outside. We don't have a clothesline yet and I really want one. We do have that drying rack, well, we have a different one, but same concept. I put my pocket diapers and fleece and PUL covers on it to dry them in the house during the winter. And last summer I dried on it on the deck. The issue is that the diapers don't get as much sun. There's not enough space and some end up on lower bars getting no sun. I would prefer a regular clothesline.

  14. Long Family Chronicles says:

    I use primarily BG 3.0's and I always have dried them in the dryer. However, now that spring is here in Indiana … I started line drying them. I can't believe the difference in the smell. I have only done it twice now, but the odor is virtually GONE after 4 hours in the sun!! What will I do come winter again???

  15. AllRusty says:

    I hang dry my covers on a pole hanging over the washer and dryer. I do my wipes, liners, and pre-folds in the dryer. I've considered line drying outside, but right now the pollen is horrible. I don't want it getting all over the diapers. I'd feel I would have to wash them again. I am going to hang them outside to get the stains out of them, but the wash them again to get the pollen off. Just walking outside makes all of us sneeze, so I don't think it would be a good idea to wear clothes or diapers that have been hanging out there for hours. :( I'd love to hang dry though, if it weren't for the pollen.

  16. Mom of FIVE says:

    I hang dry my covers on a rack in the laundry room. Inserts and prefolds go in the dryer. Now that it is finally warming up in Northern Minnesota I have been line drying. I plan to use my line a lot more this year. Last year I was pregnant with the twins and not supposed to be doing a lot.

  17. Owen's Mom says:

    I prefer to line dry, but Oregon has far too many rainy days to make it practical. I try to take advantage of every bit of sunshine available.

    That clothes line looks like what I have been looking for!

  18. Random Q of the day Emi – How do I get the STINK out of my diaper pail liner? Everything is washed together and nothing smells except the liner! Any suggestions?!

  19. Sounds like most of us do a combination of line drying and using the dryer. I think that between weather, space and life it's not ideal for EVERYONE to line dry ALL their laundry, but every little bit helps the electric bill and environment!

    Great point about the pollen, AllRusty! Depending on where you live and what allergies run in your family, a pollen covered diaper might NOT be the best on your baby's bottom!

    And Alissa, I'll add you question to next week's Diaper Tips Tuesday and do some research for you this week! Email me the material, brand, your wash routine, etc.! :-)

  20. Christina's Cookies says:

    I HAVE a drier but our house is too old and not wired for it so in the summer I dry everything on my huge line in my backyard. This winter REALLY sucked because if you know anything about Iowa winters you know I had to dry everything INSIDE! I have one ancient wooden clothes rack so that was always full then I had to hang anything that didn't fit on there all over the house- the banisters, backs of chairs, Baby's crib. . . LOL! I am SOOOOOOOOOO glad its warming up so I can get the clothes out of my house!! LOL!

  21. I recently heard something about my family "freeze drying" clothes in the winter back in the day. I'm going to have to check more into that after summer. (I don't even want to think about that!) Knowing my family they were just pulling my leg tho!

  22. Teresha@Marlie and Me says:

    I started out line drying until the winter…it was a looooong winter…now it's sunny and warm again and I'm hanging dipes outside. I love the way the sun bleaches out the stains and makes them smell so fresh

  23. YogaMama says:

    We started cloth diapering at the end of the fall so we've only been using the dryer. However, I'm hoping that since spring is here we'll be able to line dry more (when its not raining that is!)

  24. Heidi Maxwell says:

    We always line dry our covers – whether that line is in our laundry room during freezing months, on a rack in the garage in warmer bad weather, or on a rack on the patio in nice weather.

    I do use the dryer for my PUL covers once every month or so to help maintain the lamination. But line drying keeps the elastics in good shape.

    I dry the inserts and wipers and pail liners in the dryer so they are fluffy and dry in time to use them again.

    I would love to have a big clothes line to dry all of our clothes outside, but our covenants will not allow us to have one. Which I think is silly. So we have two wooden drying racks that I can use outside or in our garage.

  25. Mary Q Contrarie says:

    I use a couple of these clothes drying racks. I really like them because they are all wood and all steel. Also since I have two of them and I don't have any extra large inside spaces I can place them in a couple rooms. I stopped using my dryer completely about a year ago and dry every thing on these racks. We have a family of four.

  26. I wish I could line dry. Alas, I live (1) in an apartment (2) in Seattle! :(

  27. ♥Mama of the Littles♥ says:

    Wow, this post is full of info. Thanks for sharing!

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