How To Wash Cloth Diapers?

How To Wash Cloth Diapers?

When you are using cloth diapers it means that you will have to deal with extra laundry. Cloth diapers will only save the environment but also helps in saving money.

Cloth Diaper

These diapers are made up of soft cotton so these are more comfortable than disposable diapers. Cloth diapers will cause less diaper rash. Everything seems good until it comes to washing those soggy and smelly diapers. There are simple and complicated systems of washing available. Some parents choose a complicated root to wash cloth diapers. In this article, you will learn how to wash cloth diapers and what factors you should keep in mind. 

Some helpful tips for washing cloth diapers

  • For a soiled diaper, use a diaper spray so that poop from the diaper can be removed. Leave enough water in the diaper so that it can drip. When you will keep the water wet until it is washed completely it will help to easily remove poop and stains from the diaper. 
  • Wash diapers every day or if you have excess diapers then wash every other day. Toss the diapers into a dry pail. 
  • Try to avoid washing of more than 12 to 18 adjustable size diapers at a time. If you have a large barrel washer available at home you can wash even more diapers at a time, but make sure that there is enough washing material in the washer so that proper agitations of diapers take place. 
  • Make sure that the washer is used at the highest water level.
  • Without using detergent pre-rinse the diapers with cold water.
  • It is recommended to use a warm water cycle and a safe detergent (Detergent that can help to cleans well)
  • You can dry cloth diapers either in a dryer or a hang dry. You can also the combination of both as well. 

Important things you must avoid during washing

  • Never use chlorine bleach regularly. This bleach will break down the fibers and the life of diapers will be reduced. Chlorine bleach will also irritate the skin of your baby. 
  • Only use ¼ cup of bleach once a month. This will not reduce the life of your cloth diapers. 
  • Don’t use fabric softeners. Softeners will coat the diapers and absorbency will be reduced. Dreft detergents use this softener. 

How can you enhance the life of diapers?

Follow some simple practices that will surely help to extend the life of diapers. 

  • It is better to hand diapers overnight. If you have a facility of the dryer then partially dry in the dryer and then hang dry. 
  • If you want to keep diapers soft for a long time then never dry your diapers at the hottest setting. 
  • Reduce the usage of bleach as low as possible.
  • Never make use of softeners or those detergents that contain softeners. 
  • To whiten cloth diapers you can use ½ cup of lemon juice.
  • It is better to use sunlight for drying. It will not only help to remove stains but also fresher the diapers. 
  • While you are line drying diapers, drape them properly so that the weight of the wet diapers does not stretch the elastic during drying. 

What to do with smelly diapers?

You can wash smelly diapers simply by following a few steps. 

  • First of all, cold rinse your diapers.
  • Use a regular amount of detergent for washing.
  • Add ½ cup baking soda and distilled white vinegar in the washer. Start your washer at a hot cycle. 
  • Stop the cycle when the diapers are agitated, but water is not drained completely from diapers. 
  • Allow the diapers to soak overnight.
  • To complete the cycle close the lid of the washer in the morning.

Some important things to consider for washing cloth diapers

  • Water and detergent
  • The first thing you should know is water. If you are using hard water, there is a possibility that some detergents might not clean the diapers as well as they normally do. Choose the detergent that works best for cloth diapers. Some laundry detergents will build upon the cloth diapers and will cause problems. 

    A basic detergent that does not contain optical brighteners and enzymes might work well. Detergents that contain enzyme additives might cause issues for babies with sensitive skin. It is better to use eco-friendly detergents because they contain fewer ingredients. You can also use Ecos because of their great fragrance and these detergents work best for cloth diapers. 

  • Wash Day
  • The basic method for washing cloth diapers is to rinse with cold water and then use hot water. You can accomplish different hot/cold water series, but it depends on your washing machine. To reduce stains, it is better to start with cold water. Hot water is important in cleaning the diapers properly. For the first step, use a speed wash cycle using a small amount of detergent and cold water. In the second step, use hot water and a normal amount of detergent. For boosting the cleaning small amount of baking soda can also be added. 

  • Time to dry 
  • The best way for drying cloth diapers is to dry on a line in the sun. Sun will remove stains from the diapers and diapers will smell fresher after getting enough dose of sunshine. Air drying of diapers will have no additional wear on your diapers as it happens in the dryer. A drawback of the line drying especially indoor is it will take a long time to dry diapers. 

    air dry

    You can also use the air-dry setting as well. Use low heat setting in the dryer as the heat can be damaging for snaps, waterproof lining, and elastic. It is a good idea to check the instructions of a manufacturer because some companies recommend drying diapers at high heat settings. 

    So, washing cloth diapers is a simple and easy job. Following all the steps and instructions you can easily wash cloth diapers. Choose a safe detergent and washing method for cloth diapers to enhance the life of diapers. 


    Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
    Sky Hoon
    Family Man. He is a family man and married with 1 child. Spent countless nights changing diaper and surprised how outdated diapers are. Nevertheless, there is no solution yet as a parent, just want to research more about diapers.
    Read His Personal Blog

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