I think my heart skipped a few beats when I realized what had happened.
I was transferring Caroline’s cloth diapers and clothes from the washer to the dryer when I realized something was wrong. There was something all over her diapers and clothes…
Was it detergent? It could be but it didn’t look quite right…
It definitely didn’t feel right.
I keep transferring to find the source. It was gel beads. From a disposable diaper. Oh SH*T!
We use disposable diapers at night, and if we are going out and know that Caroline needs to poop.
I took all of the items out of the washer. It was everywhere. My washing machine looked like it was ruined. It was also in the dryer. The worst case scenario ran through my mind… Beads that don’t dissolve, that form a gel like mess all over my washing machine, dryer, Caroline’s clothes and diapers. It all must be ruined. If I run the dryer, would the gel melt onto everything? Would the dryer be ok? How am I supposed to rinse gel beads out of the washer when they feel like glue?
I figured the diapers and clothes might be ok if I hand washed them, so I lugged the wet items upstairs to the bathroom. I began the process of rinsing them by hand in the tub. I knew other people must have made this mistake as well…. so I stopped and googled. I googled and I found comfort! I googled and found answers that were so simple. My heart resumed beating and I crossed my fingers and tried what seemed to be the answer:
1. Run the sanitary/cleaning cycle on the washer
I started by scooping out the big chunks of gel by hand. I also added a little bleach and then ran the sanitary/clean cycle. When it was done running, the washing machine was sparkling clean just like usual! Whew!
2. Shake the clothes off and put them in the dryer
Again, I took the big chunks off of the clothes. Then put them directly into the dryer and ran a normal cotton cycle. When they were done, the gel had disappeared and turned into a white paper like substance in the lint trap. AMAZING!
3. Rewash the clothes
Just to be safe, I then put the clothes into the washer and rewashed and dried them. They came out looking perfect.
4. Vacuum the heck out of the floor to remove any remnants of gel beads
I vacuumed up the beads off of the floor, cleaned out the lint trap, etc. All evidence is gone.
The washer and dryer, and the diapers and clothes look perfect. What looked like a disaster, turned into an easy fix. So, you can calm your nerves if you ever make the same mistake! Running a disposable diaper through the washing machine is not the end of the world.