Diapers were NOT meant to be washed! No, I’m not talking about cloth diapering. In fact, you cloth-diapering Mommies are my heroes at the moment, in which case this post might be the article you want to read to encourage yourself on why you made the right decision in cloth diapering. The diapers I am talking about are the plastic type that appear flat, lifeless, and ordinary UNTIL the day arrives when that disposable diaper meanders its merry way into the washing machine for a joy ride where it can finally take that gluttonous deep drink of fresh water until it explodes millions of jelly beads into every nook and cranny, wrinkle and crevice, pocket and fold of your entire load of laundry! And then that blobby jelly monster, who you never knew was inhabitating your child’s diaper, finally manifests and waits there to behold mommy’s look of horror and shock when she lifts open the washing machine lid.
SO the question is how do we clean such a disaster?
Let me tell you what NOT to do:
1.) Do NOT try to rewash the load, as I did. Those resilient jelly beads aren’t going anywhere no matter how hot you try to melt them.
2.) Do NOT try shaking out the laundry in the laundry room. One seemingly innocent white sock might just be hosting tons of microscopic diaper beads. You won’t notice this until you shake it out and later discover jelly in your hair, shoulders, shirt, slippers … and you look like it rained caviar in your hair.
3.) Do NOT Scream! You’ll wake the babies. Besides, there is a solution.
Let me tell you what I did which WORKED!
1.) Went outside, shook each individual piece of laundry out, both inside out and on both sides, rewashed it, dried it and it turned out fine. As a warning, shaking the laundry will result in little beads going everywhere. You may want to wear a mask. I am only thinking that diaper beads that are flying everywhere cannot be healthy to inhale. Thus, the mask idea. Yes, I error on being psychotically careful. Yes, this was extremely time consuming and I hope to NEVER make this mistake again.
Let’s ask the Experts!
But, now I am curious, do the diaper companies have any advice to give? After all they are the ones who have created those beads in the first place. Let’s see what they have to say. Well, I just contacted the two big diaper dogs out there: Pampers and Huggies. Both were kind and reassuring that this type of disaster happens very often. Phew, breathe. So I’m not a total freak. But, they both gave slightly DIFFERENT advice.
According to Pampers Customer Service: (800-726-7377)
1.) Put load of laundry into the dryer as is (with the jelly beads).
2.) Drying laundry will cause gel to bead up and fall off clothing; most beads will collect in lint filter.
3.) You may need to dry laundry longer than usual to collect beads
4.) When laundry is dry shake it outside
5.) To clean the washing machine, simply use rinse cycle and wipe inside of washing machine
According to Huggies Diapers customer service: (888-525-8388)
The Huggies representative said that this happens so often she usually gets at least one call a day with this question. She also reassured me that this should not hurt the machine in any way. I asked her if this information was on the company website, because I had trouble finding it. She said there was information under the Pull-ups section, and that she would put in a request to have it under the diaper section as well.
1.) Take wet load outside and shake it out
2.) Break up laundry into smaller loads and rewash.
3.) Dry as usual.
Well, I hope this information helps other parents out there who have made the same mistake. Collectively, we will defeat that jelly monster and have clean clothes and dry diapers once again. This is all the more reason why I am looking forward to having both kids potty trained! Then we can put the Mr. Poopies, Jelly Monsters, Mr. Gummy Bears, and Mr. Boogers to rest; ironically, by that time the kids will be off in college and I would do anything to relive any one of these day all over again.
If you share this experience, or found this advice helpful, OR have any better solutions, please let me know.
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Posted by Laura