I Washed A Pull-Up Diaper: Here’s How I Fixed My Clothes and Washer

See that diaper lint? I didn’t mean to wash the pull up with the clothes. AARRRGGGH. Image by Adrienne Gibbs, all rights reserved, 2016.

My four-year-old is a great helper. He can put on his pajamas by himself and he can take them off and put the in the dirty clothes hamper. He also sleeps in a pull-up or overnight diaper, and sometimes, in the morning, he throws the pull-up into the hamper as well.  And what do I do? Because I am a genius, I dump everything in the basket into my high efficiency washing machine, add some soap and Oxyclean and leave the house.

And you know what happens next, right?

Diaper lint everywhere! Diaper absorbent gel everywhere else!

Exhibit B.

Washer liner with diaper lint. Image by Adrienne Gibbs, 2016

I have done this three times so far. Given the disaster of clumpy absorbent material and diaper fuzz that winds up coating all the clothes and leaving lumpy bits of God knows what on the inside of my washer, I thought I’d blog about how to fix this mess!

The absorbent gets not only inside the washer machine but inside the liner of the washer machine. I have to pull up the rubber liner in order to pick all that stuff out of the innards of my washer. And that’s only the beginning.

This pull-up was unfortunately washed with the other clothes. Image by AGibbs

Then I have to deal with all the lint in the clothing. It sticks to everything and is something akin to washing your clothes with a napkin or a paper towel or tissue left in your back pocket. Of course I was washing dark clothing, so the stuff was very prominent.

So how do you get rid of this stuff? Let me tell you.

Quick Tips on Cleaning Your Washing Machine After A Diaper Incident

  1. Get a paper towel and wipe as much of the stuff out your washer as you can. You might need a few paper towels. Be sure to raise the rubber siding and scoop the junk out with your paper towel. Toss everything in the trash.
  2. Take your clothing and shake it all out, preferably outside in a place where you won’t track all that crap back inside your house. Once you shake it, you will still have lint on the clothing, but the point is to remove as much of it as possible.
  3. Get some Morton Salt. That’s right Morton Salt. And get a lot of it. Go to Sam’s Club or something and get a big one. Dump a cup or two of it into your washer. Here’s what I used.

    Salt into the washer! Image by AGibbs. 2016
  4. Put the still wet clothing back into the washer machine and wash on hot. Between the salt and the hot water, the absorbent gel should be removed. You don’t need to use any soap at this point.
  5. Remove clothing and put in dryer. The dryer will then remove the rest of the lint.
  6. If there is still gunk in your washer, do the salt wash again. Open your rubber liner and be sure to pluck out any more residue if any is still in there.

Your clothing should be good as new. And, try not to do it again, K?

*This article originally ran on soutsideparenting.com and is reposted with permission of the author and photographer, Adrienne Gibbs.