Proper diaper maintenance is very important, but it is often misunderstood or neglected, which may lead to unfortunate problems that are usually caused by a lack of information on how to use the product or by the use of unsuitable maintenance products, such as improper laundry detergents.
It is highly recommended to use soft non perfumed soaps without whitening or brightening agents. We recommend the Omaïki laundry detergent which is a soap that has been especially designed for diapers, which is entirely natural, and which has no additives. Make sure to use a compatible soap, such as Ö Laundry, Rock'in Green, Claudia's Choice, Allen's Naturally, Nellie's Laundry, Contry Save(powder).
It is important to remember that detergents may be labelled as being "organic" or "phosphate free", but they are not always the best choices for washing Omaïki diapers. In fact, an environmentally-friendly laundry detergent is not guaranteed to be effective. Even when detergents are labelled as environmental friendly green products, many of them continue to use commercially popular additives (i.e.: scent, brightening agents, enzymes, softening agents, etc.). But they are not always the best choices to maintain the quality of Omaïki diapers.
Most commercially available laundry detergents leave a residual film on diapers due to the use of additives and agents. The film created by these products creates an impermeable barrier that reduces the effectiveness of washable diapers. This may lead to the following problems: leaks, wicking, diaper rash, foul odors... In some cases, only a single one of these problems might occur, wherein other cases, multiple problems of discomfort may be caused.
Harmful additive agents appear in different ways; it is very important to carefully read labels and to eliminate products containing any of the following agents: brightening agents, softeners, anti-stain agents, scents...
PRODUCTS TO AVOID
-Liquid softeners (for all household laundry)
-Vinegar (on a regular basis)
-Oily detergents (for all household laundry)
-Creams to treat diaper rash
When using washable diapers, the following creams should be avoided: zinc base, petroleum jelly, bees wax, lanolin or other similar oil based products (including baby suppositories). If by accident diapers come in contact with any of these products, please follow the cleansing instructions explained below in order to eliminate residual film. There are many commercially available products that are entirely compatible with Omaïka washable diapers.
PREPARING OMAIKI DIAPERS
Omaïki diapers require an initial preparation before being used. Omaïki diapers must be washed 3 times in hot water in order to eliminate to a maximum any oil that results from the weaving process or that is naturally present in the fibers.
The Ö Pocket diapers and the all-in-one TEÖ diapers must also be washed 3 times in hot water and then machine dried at regular temperature. If the diapers are not placed in the dryer at least 2 times before being worn, they may present leakage problems. It is the heat from the drying process which allows the fabric and the seams to shrink and to close up the holes caused by the needles from the sewing machines.
HOW TO STORE OMAIKI DIAPERS
BETWEEN WASHES : Before washing, soiled diapers must be stored in a dry place with no soaking or rinsing. Eliminate solid matter into the toilet bowl. In order to simplify this process, we recommend the use of the disposable Ö singe sheets that have been provided for this purpose. Then place the soiled diaper into the Ö Laundry Bag or into a diaper pail. The combination of the bag and the pail is the ideal solution: the pail provides support for the laundry bag which can then accommodate the diapers more easily and the bag can be washed with the diapers in the laundry, thus keeping the pail always fresh and clean.
LONG-TERM STORAGE : To store your diapers for a long period of time or between babies, vaccuum pack the diapers and store the bag in a dark, climate-controlled room. Before long-term storage, make sure to wash diapers properly and to dry them thoroughly.
Diapers should be washed every 2 or 3 days. The recommended sequence is as follows: rinse (cold water), wash (warm or hot water), and rinse (cold or warm water). The use of the dryer is recommended for every 4 to 6 laundries in order to ensure that the fibers tighten up and maintain the effective absorption capacity of Omaïki diapers.
USING DIFFERENT WASHING MACHINES
There are 2 types of washing machines available on the market: top loading or front loading washing machines. Both are equally appropriate for washing Omaïki products.
However, if you use a front loading washing machine, you should pay attention to the following special advice in order to increase the efficiency of the washing machine when washing diapers: the trick is to simply increase the volume of water in the machine for washing the diapers; this can be done by simply adding weight to the load. This will increase the amount of water required for the laundry and the diapers will be thoroughly cleaned. As a maximum amount of water is required to clean Omaïki diapers, here are a few good tips for front loading washing machines:
-Add a large clean towel that has not been washed or dried with a softening agent to the load of diapers to be washed. Wet the towel in advance in order to increase the weight and thus increase the volume of water.
-Add water manually directly on to the diapers before beginning the wash cycle.
-If you have a soaking or rinse cycle, select either one before beginning the wash. Allow this cycle to operate for few minutes in order for the diapers to imbibe as much water as possible. Stop the cycle. Return the machine to the beginning of the wash cycle. The washing machine will automatically restart according to the weight of the soaked diapers in the machine.
-If you do not have either of these cycles, another way to trick the machine at the beginning of the cycle is to start the regular wash cycle: allow the diapers to absorb as much water as possible and stop the cycle. Now return to the beginning of the wash cycle and complete the wash.
- You may also allow the diapers to absorb water just before putting them into the machine by rinsing them in cold water.
MAINTENANCE OF YOUR WASHING MACHINE
The washing machine is a very important tool for the proper maintenance of Omaïki diapers. Yet the washing machine itself requires special attention. In fact most machines can easily get clogged up without our noticing it, due to certain products which are used. Many commercial laundry detergents and liquid fabric softeners (the latter should never be used during the period when washable diapers have being used) are very oily and can easily gum up the drums in washing machines.
The following precautions are essential for all Omaïki washable diapers:
It is very important to completely stop using all liquid fabric softeners in household laundry during the period Omaïki diapers have being used (an alternative is to use softener strips in the dryer). Before the initial use and in order to properly prepare the diapers, it is essential to clean and declog the washing machine.
It is not necessary to disinfect diapers on a regular or systematic basis. This will damage Omaïki diapers and make them wear out faster due to the types of products that are usually used.
However in the case of fungal or gastric infections or other related illnesses that pass through the stools, a disinfecting product should be used. We highly recommend the Ö disinfectant and purifier. This high quality product provides effective disinfection while maintaining a neutral pH which makes it safe both for the fabric and for sensitive skin.
CLEANING / DEGREASING / STRIPPING/ FLUSHING
If the diapers begin to leak, give off a bad odor or if the baby begins to develop diaper rash, it is very likely that there is high residue accumulation in the diapers. At this point, the diapers must be cleaned or degreased in order to eliminate the residue.
Degreasing is very useful whenever there are leaks, foul odors or the appearance of diaper rash. There are several very good ways to do this, but this stringent cleaning process should be used sparingly.
Oxygen stain remover and vinegar or bicarbonate and vinegar are the most effective ways to eliminate stubborn residues: these are the most effective methods because they restore the original properties of the diapers. Depending on how serious the problem is, a thorough cleaning may be required. For a top load machine, we recommend using 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oxygen stain remover and white vinegar. For a front load, you may use 1/8 cup or so. Please note that the quantities may vary according to the size of the load and the machine capacity. Special attention must be paid to the sensitive skin of babies. Because these products are highly concentrated, it is very important to wash the diapers one or several times in clear water after the degreasing or cleansing process in order to ensure that all residuals have been eliminated from the diapers.
In order to ensure that the diapers are free from all soap residues, rinsing in clear water is the easiest solution. Set the washing machine cycle to warm or hot without soap and allow the machine to churn for few minutes in order to ensure that the water is free from foam. If the water is foamy it is a sign of detergent residue in your washing machine. In order to eliminate this detergent residue, it might be necessary to conduct several washings in order for the water to become clear.
One of the very best ways to degrease the washing machine is to use ordinary dish water detergent! Dawn dish water detergent is ideal. It is especially effective after the use of creams or petroleum jelly against diaper rash. There are 2 methods that can be used: either add the soap directly to the washing machine or spread Dawn detergent directly on the stains and rub. It might be necessary to repeat this procedure. This is a gentle method, which is not necessarily suitable to all problems.
The use of oxygen stain remover alone is sufficient to keep Omaïki diapers white through in-depth washing.
Vinegar is used to neutralize strong odors from urine or stools, which often occur when the baby is teething, has fever, is beginning a new food or when the diapers have been left too long in a soiled diaper bag.
All these methods are effective, but remember these are not methods which need to be used on either a daily or a weekly basis!