OK… so I know how super gross this may sound to cloth diapering novices and/or people who don't cloth diaper at all because, well, they think it's gross. I will admit that when I first heard this technique I was a little weirded out. But when we first started CDing Linnea, we didn't have a so-called "diaper pail" (a.k.a. a trash can with a lid), so we simply threw the diapers in the washing machine, and every time she pooped, we would rinse them, and then do a full wash when she was running low on clean diapers. While it was definitely less-than-convenient on laundry days, we didn't do laundry super frequently so we never had random mountains of dirty diapers piling up all over the house. The diapers always came out clean, and they never smelled after a wash/dry cycle.
Until we started storing them in a pail.
We did the pail thing for a couple of months, right around the time that her diapers required the occasional hosing down before going in the wash. (Oh, the joys of adding solids to baby's diet.) The pail was fine, but it takes up a ton of space in the bathroom… and when you open the lid, the ammonia smell is almost enough to make you gag! And then there was the issue of that bathroom NEVER SMELLING CLEAN. Now even though bathrooms are where everyone gets down to dirty business… I can't handle a bathroom that never smells right.
On top of that issue, because the dirty diapers are in there for an average of three days before we have to wash them, I end up having to do 2-3 rinse cycles followed by 2 full wash cycles in order for them to come out smelling clean… and sometimes they still smell a little off! I have adjusted the amount of detergent I used (less is more), run extra rinse cycles, etc. but to no avail. And there is nothing worse than clean diapers that smell a little stale. That is NOT how this is supposed to go.
So. What works best for us is to keep the diapers in the washing machine and run a rinse once a day between washes. On laundry days, we have the pail available in the meantime, so it still serves its purpose. I've found that this not only remedies the smell issue in the bathroom, but the diapers ALWAYS come out smelling clean after one full cycle. And since they get rinsed once a day, the laundry room never smells either.
And neither do our clothes. I promise.
Cloth diapering is still the best decision we have made for our little one. Now the next adventure involves CDing while traveling as we're planning our anniversary trip to Nashville. The jury's still out on that one…