Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 44

 Off Grid, BioKleen, Liners & More

This episode is a little of everything and the first in a two part series. Rebecca is a mom of two living in Oregon and she shares about her stash and how her wash routine has evolved. Now that she lives off grid with solar power, she also talks about how vinegar helped her wash routine and why she uses BioKleen. 

This is a great parent cloth diaper parent story to remind us that not all answers are found in the obvious place and through trial and error we can find a cloth diaper lifestyle that works for us. 

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Show Transcription

Rebecca lives in a small cabin in the Portland area on her father-in-laws ranch. It’s been an adventure cloth diapering off grid with two – 4 year old and 21 month old.

She started cloth diapering because she was raised super crunchy and it was something she knew she would always do. I didn’t have a lot of information but she found pocket — which she thought were modern and cute. But once she got into cloth diapering she learnt the cost savings and this really helped convince her husband and her. It was a blessing in that regard.

Rebecca’s cloth diaper journey has changed since she started as the access to resources have changed. Back in the day she wanted everything to be the same and streamlined. And this stash has evolved into pockets into a little of everything. 

Part of your first email was about cloth diapering off grid with…   

At the very beginning she didn’t have any power besides a generator for the fridge.

There was a gravity pressure fed tank — During this time she was hand washing flats and covers. In the humidity of Oregon, and it kinda sucked, but that was what worked for her. She missed her dryer more than her washer because everything took forever to dry and it was drapped everywhere – which makes me think of this episode about cloth diapering in Germany. 

Rebecca adapted her stash to the different laundry situations she’s been in – it’s not that all diapers work in all situations but that different styles for different stages.

The definition of off-grid doesn’t mean you’re entirely off power, it just means you’re not connected to the power company. And now they have a full solar system with a battery which gives her enough power to run a washer and now she uses her entire stash of AIO and prefolds. 

She tried the bucker and plunger method but that didn’t work as well so she tried the washboard and that was a much better choice.

Now that she has power – she sometimes has to wait for a sunny day when there is a sunny day – because she’s in Oregon so that means sometimes waiting to do laundry. Is that a challenge in your wash routine?. Do you find holding off makes a difference?

A little bit of vinegar helped on the days that go a little long and things have been fine and she hasn’t needed to do a reset. It’s something you just have been comfortable with. You can be responsible for your own decisions and make the choices that work for your family.

You’re just changing the pH detergent of the liquid – their so many other caustic in other detergents that impact the lifespan of elastics and PUL. 

Cloth Diapering with Well Water –  things were changing and evolving, and she finally settled on one that jived with her water compensation and all that jazz. There are many complexities. 

Show 26 with Cristina about Detergent.

None of the big routines worked, and they kept not finding what worked…. It was frustrating to figure out that routine… she’d have that routine and then it would come back…. It was such a trial and error experience of figuring out on her own. 

When you got frustrated, what would you do when things got bad…  back then she would have done a full bleach and strip, and now if she gets a slight issue she does the one pod of a GroVia or I might try just try cleaning them with the routine and then a hot vinegar wash with one cup of vinegar, and then rinse and rinse and see if helps. 

 What detergent are you using today? She’s currently using BioKleen Premium Plus – it has enzymes, citric, and some oxygen bleach in it. And this extra boost helps her with the reduction of stains and deep cleans. She’s tried the normal BioKleen and it did the job, but the Premium Plus does an extra.

BioKleen did get bought… 

What about grey water?

We use a composting toilet – a pretty basic set up with a compost pile.

It means it doesn’t swish – so she uses Smart Bottoms organic cotton liner. Most liners are bamboo and the bamboo ones don’t decompose like she wants them too.

 What’s something you wish people knew about cloth diapering that you don’t think they are talking about? 

The marketing scheme of cloth diapering – this idea of stay dry isn’t something every kid.

Not every kid needs it and some sensitivities might be misidentified as a detergent sensitivity or a they don’t’ change diapers… 

Bailey talks about how she doesn’t like microfleece… 

Disposable diaper marketing has done a great job of giving us a weird expectation of how a diaper should work and the same mindset doesn’t work. 

Plant based detergents don’t clean synthetics well enough… synthetic detergents clean synthetics. 

If you’re looking at your stash and see if it’s compatible to plant based detergents. It’s a hard conversation to have with new parents – outline all the scenarios is hard 

And there is such a big educational curve on the different fibres – and learning how things are made and what makes them. And what is a natural versus synthetic… and learning all these things was such a big shift in my experience.

I really enjoy @fashrev on Instagram for sharing snippets about products and talking about product lines. r



Professional Cloth Diaper Educator

Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.

Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.

Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.

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    The Cloth Diaper Podcast is a regular podcast sharing stories from cloth diaper parents, brands and retailers from around the world. 

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