Washing Cloth Diapers

Washing Recommendations

As you browse through our shop or talk with friends, you will quickly find that everyone has a different system for washing cloth diapers. We have washed our diapers for over a year and have had good results with the following:

  1. Remove solids by shaking them into the toilet, using a diaper sprayer when necessary.
  2. Store soiled diapers in a dry pail.
  3. Place diapers, wipes, pail liner and wet bags in machine and start a cold rinse. If the load is especially smelly, we will put some vinegar in the "bleach" compartment of our washer - you can use a Downy ball for the same result.
  4. Set the machine to run a hot wash with an extra rinse (approximately 1 hour). 
  5. Place the entire load in the dryer and dry on medium heat. Some manufacturers say never dry on high so to be extra careful, we remove all PUL-containing items - pail liners, wet bags, pocket diapers, PUL diaper covers - and allow them to air-dry.
  6. Fold and re-stuff your diapers.

Troubleshooting Tips

★ How many diapers to wash at a time depends on your washer, your washing routine, your philosophy, and your diapers. As a general rule of thumb, wash no more than 18 fitted diapers or 24 prefolds at a time. You may be able to do more or less, so do a little experimenting to find what works best for you and your washer.

★ Like towels and t-shirts, diapers become more absorbent over time. This is especially true for cotton fleece and unbleached fabrics, which require some initial "roughing up" in the washing machine.

★ Most detergents suggest using an obscene amount of detergent. Use just enough to clean, but not so much that is leaves a residue. If you smell diapers after the wash cycle and they have an odor they are not clean and you should wash again and use more detergent next time.

★ Line drying will significantly reduce the wear and tear on your diapers and extend their useful life.

★ OxyClean® really is a great stain fighter. If sunning your wet diapers doesn't help, put a small amount of OxyClean® in every load or mix it with a small amount of water to make a paste and apply directly to tough stains. *Re-wash OxyClean®-treated diapers.