Saturday, June 12, 2010

What is clean?

It turns out that there are various levels of clean with respect to diapers. I think everyone can agree that a poopy diaper is not clean. How do you feel about pee?
  • Is a diaper cover clean if it's been wet but has now dried?
  • Is a wool cover clean after it's been peed on?
  • Is a diaper cover clean if it's been peed in and then wiped off? What if it was pooped in does wiping it off still work to make it reusable?
  • Or is a diaper "dirty" if it has been worn but not used?
    Is this freshly washed diaper clean even though the detergent didn't completely rinse out?

It all depends on your standards of clean.

Many diaper covers are plastic or plastic-like and the recommendation is to wipe them off with a baby wipe or let them dry before using them again. The classic plastic pants are an example. Just wipe them off. Fleece covers or a lined cover (like GroBaby) are considered clean and reusable if they were just wet and are now dry so the recommendation is to rotate them. Wool is supposed to be able to go weeks being used and repeatedly peed upon because after wool has been lanolized, the pee apparently reacts with the lanolin to create a soap.

I personally have a low standard for clean and don't really care. If pee leaks out onto my lap and I'm not too cold, I may not bother changing my pants. Whatever. I do this as a reality of life, not as a rule. I'd prefer to immediately throw my jeans into the washing machine so I don't really like the reusable cover plan. (One of the reasons we have all-in-ones.) I do think rinsing is reasonable though. My husband, on the other hand, is completely grossed out when I just put a hastily wiped off cover or a dry fleece cover back on over a new prefold. "There's stale pee still on there! When she pees again, it'll activate it. Eew!!!!"

This isn't something I'd considered during the great diaper experiment. It is interesting to think about though. What is clean?

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