Thursday, August 4, 2011

Machine Maintenance.

I've always known it is a good idea to make sure you keep your dryer clean.  The fire hazard the lint causes is so scary.  Few years back a friend (who was pregnant at the time) lost her laundry room to a fire caused by lint.  

I've had my machines since we got married 10 years ago.  I love them.  They were a wedding gift from my parents.  I started my cloth diapering back then with my oldest son using Gerber prefolds and pull-up plastic pants.  We had typical pail stink, but my washer did a fantastic job cleaning the diapers.  I never noticed any build-up or residue in my machine.  

About 2 years ago dad and I took a trip to Florida to get my machines out of our town house.  We were using a stacked washer/dryer unit and it was not cutting it.  I needed my machines.  Fast forward to now.  The window is collecting white residue and I battle stinky laundry.  

I was very happy to stumble upon a blog by The Cloth Diaper Report about daily/weekly maintenance of your washer.  The author also followed up with a monthly maintenance routine.  As I read, I realized I do some of the daily/weekly suggestions.  I try to keep my door open when not in use.  My drum is pretty big, but the door opening is pretty small.  Now it is a bit difficult when there are little hands wandering the house and they love to close things.  I found if I keep the door open the musty smell is very minimal.  Yes, just minimal.  My biggest problem is taking the clothes out right away.  Many times I forget that I need clothes (well hubby needs work clothes) the next day, so I put the load in at 10 pm only to fall asleep before it is done.  Thus it sits all night in the washer, all closed up.  What a perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and mustiness.  

I've considered using the Tide washer cleaner, but I have not read any cloth diapering reviews on it.  I do know I have hard water.  The white residue on my washer door and battle of stink in my diapers has proven that.  The Cloth Diaper Report recommends using a product called Affresh.   However unlike her machine, I don't have a Clean Washer selection.  Remember, my machines were bought new 10 years ago (I don't even have a sanitize on my machine; just a simple, hot/cold/warm).

I hope my machine isn't doomed because I haven't "cleaned" ever.  Honestly, I never knew you were supposed to clean them!  With that said, I need to go do my first rinse on my diapers. 

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