17 May 2011
PUL - to dry or not to dry?
PUL is polyurethane laminate; a polyester fabric with a waterproof layer fused to it. It was originally created for use in hospitals and can handle sterilizing heat. Machine drying PUL can actually help the fabric retain it's waterproof qualities.
Armed with this information I tentatively machine dried a cover and, when the world didn't end, taking the covers out of my load of flats and prefolds was one less step in the laundry process.
Fast forward a few weeks, some diapers, some covers, a wet bag. I began looking into some CD safe softeners, of course vinegar seemed to me to be the most obvious choice. So once again I head over to Google and start looking a other CD mama's opinions on whether or not vinegar is safe for PUL. While there are differing opinions, I found enough evidence that I should be able to use the vinegar without any problem.
Do you see the big RED WARNING FLASHER going off over my washer and dryer? I didn't. So here's what I found. PUL IS compatible with vinegar. PUL IS compatible with machine drying. PUL, vinegar, AND machine drying ARE NOT compatible. Fortunately, only my wetbag was ruined. The covers survived, but now I know better. Vinegar reacts to the PUL and caused the heat from the dryer to melt the PUL to itself.
So, if you simply use water and detergent on your PUL, then dry away!
If you're using vinegar to soften up that fluff, then hold out the covers and wetbags from the dryer. You'll be glad you did!