Washing Cloth Diapers
Washing Soiled Diapers
We all use different washing machines, different detergents, and even different diapers. Therefore, finding a diaper laundry routine that suits you best can be cumbersome. We recommend keeping it simple!
The following routine has proven to work well for most people, regardless of what type of machine or cloth diapers you use:
- 1 short cycle cold water wash/rinse without out detergent
- 1 long/heavy duty cycle hot water wash with detergent (use ¼ to ½ the amount of detergent)
- 1 additional rinse*
*Warm water rinses, if an option on your machine, work best at removing residue.
Detergents We Recommend:
- Tide Original
- Country Save
- Soap Nuts
- Planet Ultra (Powdered)
- Rockin’ Green
Never ever, ever use fabric softener on cloth diapers!
- Baby Soaps (such as Dreft or Ivory Snow)
- Free & Clear Detergents
- “Natural” Detergents
Also avoid any detergent with: fabric softeners, whiteners/brighteners, enzymes, fragrance, and/or bleach.
These types of detergents will typically cause residue build-up which can lead to repelling and/or leaking issues. They may also cause premature wear and tear on your diapers. If you have used one of these types of detergent then you will need to strip your diapers and switch to a recommended detergent.
Additives (when/if necessary)
- Baking Soda (1-2 tablespoons) – helps neutralize acid and odors. Baking soda can be
used in place of detergent in the initial cold water wash, or substitute ½ of your detergent
for baking soda in the initial cold water wash.
- Bleach: (1-2 tablespoons) – While bleach is typically a cloth diapering “no-no” – we
do recommend a periodic bleaching of micro-terry inserts; especially since micro-terry
is more prone to build-up and stink issues. Do not use on other types of cloth diapers,
especially those with PUL.
- Vinegar (1/4 cup or less) works by breaking down residues making them readily wash
away. Also helps restores the pH balance in fabrics, reduces lint, and naturally eliminates
static cling. Not recommended or necessary unless you develop consistent problems
with residue build-up. Use in the rinse cycle—either with a Downy Ball or in the fabric
softener dispenser in your washing machine.
How do I handle and store soiled diapers?
Wet diapers only are a breeze – just toss in the diaper pail and go!
Soiled (bowel movement) diapers do require a little more attention.
Newborn poop doesn’t typically stain… therefore some people just toss soiled diapers directly into the diaper pail or wet bag until laundry day and do a prewash to loosen up and rinse away most of the debris. However, for optimal washing results, we like to recommend either using a disposable diaper liner or a diaper sprayer.
We strongly recommend the use of a Diaper Sprayer! Diaper Sprayers allows you to remove most (sometimes all) of the solids from the diaper right into your toilet, without having to utilize the dreaded dunking method.
For storing your soiled diapers until laundry day we strongly recommend the use of a dry pail. Dry Pails are diaper pails that do not use water to soak the diapers in. Wet pails pose a safety hazard and are more likely to cause stink buildup in the diapers.
Therefore we recommend lining a lidded 13 gallon plastic trash bin/can with a diaper pail liner. If you don’t have much room for a plastic trash bin you may alternatively use a hanging diaper pail liner and hang it on a handle inside your bathroom or connect it to your changing table.
For on-the-go storage we recommend using a wet bag. Wet bags wonderful for storing not only soiled diapers but all wet items such as swimsuits, towels, wet clothes, etc…