I'm writing this post for my April Mommy friends and anyone else who might find this helpful. Yes another laundry post but this is about reassurence and explanations. Hope it helps.
First of all stop stressing. You all have being doing your own laundry for years with nice clean clothes as a result. Cloth diapers are the same thing with just a few differences.
First a diaper load tends to be smaller then a regular laundry load so you need less water and less detergent. I'm not saying to skimp on detergent just make it and the water match the laundry load. Also if you have access to a top loader use that, they clean laundry better, all laundry.
Next difference. This is laundry that has been pee'd and pooped in; Rinse it and wash often. If your kid pee'd their pants your first step would be to rinse right? Same thing. If you wash every 2 days then a lightly pee'd in diaper is fine but a heavily pee'd in diaper needs rinsing and so does a poo diaper, even ebf poop. diapera 6-8 layers thick? Rinse every single diaper. The thicker the diaper the harder to get clean. If you use diapers with synthetic fabric rinse every single diaper. Many synthetic fabrics dont wash as clean and microfiber was designed by the cleaning industry to trap germs. So rinse right away. Personally I won't use most of them especially microfiber.
Another difference, the biggest difference is that diapers are washed every 2 days on average. To break that down it's like this: If your baby wears an OS and potty trains at 2 years old then your diapers have gone through 365 washes. The average piece of clothing will have been washed weekly. That's 104 washes (significantly less washes). So unless you wear your favorite shirt every other day no other laundry item goes through this. The effect is fabrics wear out. That's a reality of all fabrics. Wash your favorite shirt every 2 days and it will wear out.
Bleach: for all the of above reasons bleaching your diapers is a bad idea. Imagine bleaching a shirt every month. It's not gonna last. You have the laundry knowledge to know this. The only time I recommend bleach is 1. If you get ammonia. 2. If baby has a yeast infection. 3. Before using second hand diapers unless it was bleached prior to sale.
Sunning. Ever hung laundry to dry outside? Then it smells all great and looks bright and clean? Yeah that's the sun. Those UV rays kill bacteria and bleach out strains. Wanna bleach? Sun instead.
Detergent: You don't need extra detergent. That will lead to build up. You don't need less detergent cuz then your diapers won't get clean. You don't need specialty detergent. Regular stuff has been cleaning diapers since before you were born. Except nowadays they have all kinds of new crap in the detergent. But most brands have 3-4 variations so buy the variation without softeners, brighteners etc cuz they will make your diapers repel instead of adorb. And you sure as Hell don't need dawn dish soap or any other weird ideas. On this note skip bounce sheets for the same reason and buy a dryer ball.
Speaking of things you don't need. You don't need advice from someone who became an expert in 3 months and you really don't need advice from someone who is am expert at stripping landry cuz that's someone who dose not clean their diapers well, Unless they work for a diaper based charity and strip second hand diapers to give them away.
Know your fabrics: This your mother taught you when she taught you to do laundry, so not a difference, just a reminder. Some things don't handle high temperatures such as elastic and PUL.
Vinegar: vinegar is awesome. Its been used in laundry for a long time. Some even use it in their hair to get rid of shampoo residue so they don't get build up. So guess what? You can use it to rinse at the end of a wash cycle to get rid of detergent residue to prevent build up. I use after hand washing.And when machine washing I vinegar soak prior. I also use it to clean out my diaper pail.
Ironing: like hanging diapers to dry in the sun but dislike the stiffness? There are two options. 1. Iron afterwards. 2. Throw in the machine dryer for 5-10 min with a damp cloth and a dryer ball or tennis ball, both will bring the fluffyness back to your fluff.
Hope this takes the stress away so you can relax and enjoy laundry time.