Washing your Diapers Using Coin-Op Laundry
If you use coin-operated washers and dryers, or are planning to travel and use a laundromat or hotel laundry, you’ll want to maximize your time/coins! If you can, scout out the laundromats in the area to see if you can find one whose washers will do a second rinse. I have seen two laundromats whose machines will do a second rinse for just a quarter more, and three that will do it for free! This is a great deal for cloth diaperers! Don’t worry, though, you can still do it even with regular machines!
Some families find they don’t need or want a second rinse. If this is you, you’ll be able to complete your diaper laundry in just one cycle through the washer. If you do prefer a second rinse, and you don’t have a machine that will do one automatically, you can just run the diapers through an entire extra hot wash/cold rinse cycle. This will actually do an excellent job of getting your dipes completely rinsed, but it will obviously cost more.
If you prefer to do a cold rinse before washing your diapers, and you don’t mind standing and watching your machine, you can try this technique, which uses two complete trips through the washer. On the first set of coins, don’t add any soap to the wash cycle (which will work as your rinse cycle). Watch the machine, and when it switches to rinse, add your soap. On the second set of coins, do not add any soap. You get a pre-rinse, a wash, and a double rinse afterwards. Some families find this works great, and others don’t fee that the machine’s rinse cycle has enough agitation to get the diapers really clean. It probably really depends on the washing machine.
For drying, consider just drying the diapers until they’re damp, then taking them home and hanging them out (or back to your hotel room and draping them all over – or bring along a small portable clothesline) to finish drying. You’ll save money this way and your diapers will also be spared some wear-and-tear.