10 Ways You Are Ruining Your Cloth Diapers

10 Ways You Are Ruining Your Cloth Diapers

When you decided to use cloth diapers for your new baby, you made a serious time and financial investment. Of course, you want the very best for your baby, and you also want to do your part to help the environment, but cloth diapers are not cheap, and you want to make sure to keep them as clean, fresh, and durable for as long as you possibly can. 

Unfortunately, there’s a lot to learn about cloth diapers, and you could be accidentally ruining their quality and life span without knowing it! Let’s go over some of the common mistakes that could be ruining your cloth diapers:

  1. You’re Not Pre-Rinsing Your Diapers
  2. You’re Using the Wrong Laundry Detergent
  3. You’re Not Washing Your Diapers Often Enough
  4. You’re Overloading Your Washing Machine
  5. You’re Not Drying Your Diapers Properly
  6. You’re Using the Wrong Diaper Cream
  7. You’re Not Storing Your Clean Diapers Properly
  8. You’re Not Prepping Your New Diapers Properly
  9. You’re Not Changing Your Baby’s Diaper Often Enough
  10. You’re Not Using a Liner

1. You're Not Pre-Rinsing Your Diapers.

Not Pre-Rinsing Your Diapers

Pre-rinsing cloth diapers is an essential step in prolonging their lifespan. Urine and faeces can break down the fibres in the fabric, causing them to weaken and eventually develop holes. 

  • By pre-rinsing soiled diapers, you remove these waste products before they can do any damage. This simple step can help your diapers last for years, saving you money in the long run. 
  • Pre-rinsing also helps to prevent stains and odours from setting in, keeping your diapers looking and smelling fresh.

Many moms purchase an inexpensive and easy-to-install bidet sprayer that attaches to their existing toilet. This way, the dirty diapers can be sprayed immediately, and the waste goes into the toilet bowl.

2. You're Using the Wrong Laundry Detergent.

Wrong Laundry Detergent

Not all detergents are created equal! When it comes to cloth diapers, you need to use a specifically designed detergent. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing irritation or reducing absorption. 

Regular laundry detergent can be harsh and irritating and may not remove all the stains and odours from cloth diapers. That’s why using a detergent specifically designed for cloth diapers is best. These detergents are usually gentle and effective, and they can help keep your diapers looking and smelling fresh.

When choosing a detergent, Follow the instructions given below:

  • Look for one free of fragrances, dyes, and other harsh chemicals. 
  • You should also select a hypoallergenic or fragrance-free option if you have sensitive skin. 
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when washing cloth diapers to avoid damage.
  • With a suitable detergent, you can keep your cloth diapers clean and fresh - and your baby comfortable.

3. You're Not Washing Your Diapers Often Enough.

Not Washing Your Diapers Often Enough

You must also wash your cloth diapers frequently – at least every other day, or more often if needed. If you wait too long between washes, the stains and odours will set in and become much harder to remove.

Additionally, the build-up of urine and faeces can damage the fabric and cause leaks. So it’s essential to keep a regular washing schedule to keep your cloth diapers clean, fresh, and in good condition.

4. You're Overloading Your Washing Machine.

Overloading Your Washing Machine

When washing cloth diapers, it’s important not to overload your washing machine. Packing too many diapers into the machine won’t get clean, and the extra weight could damage the machine.

It’s best to wash no more than 10-12 diapers at a time, depending on the size of your machine. This will ensure that your diapers get a thorough cleaning without overburdening your washing machine.

5. You're Not Drying Your Diapers Properly.

Not Drying Your Diapers Properly

After you wash your cloth diapers, it’s important to dry them properly. If you leave them hanging out in the washing machine after a cycle, they could develop mold or mildew. 

Instead, you should put them in the dryer on low heat or medium at the very most, but NOT on high. Adding wool dryer balls helps with prolonged drying time.

Many say hanging your cloth diapers out in the sun is the best way. If you have this option, the bleaching agents of the sun rays help to kill any remaining bacteria and keep the whites of the diapers nice and bright.

6. You're Using the Wrong Diaper Cream.

The Wrong Diaper Cream

If you use diaper cream, choose one safe for cloth diapers. Some creams can irritate or reduce absorption, which can lead to leaks. This is especially true of creams that contain petroleum jelly or other oils. When selecting a diaper cream, look for one labelled “cloth diaper safe”.

7.  You're Not Storing Your Clean Diapers Properly.

Storing Your Clean Diapers

Storing them properly is important when you’re not using your cloth diapers. If you leave them in a damp laundry basket or wet bag, they could develop mold or mildew.

Instead, you should store them in a dry place from direct sunlight. Many moms like to keep their cloth diapers in a dresser drawer or basket. Please don’t keep them in an attic with extreme heat or a bathroom or basement with high humidity. Think dark, cool and dry!

8. You're Not Prepping Your New Diapers Properly.

If you’re using new cloth diapers, it’s important to prep them before using them on your baby. This helps remove any oils or residues on the fabric and makes them more absorbent. 

To prepare your diapers, wash them 2-3 times on hot with a cloth diaper-safe detergent. This will help to remove any manufacturing oils or finishes and make them ready to use.

9. You're Not Changing Your Baby's Diaper Often Enough.

Changing your baby’s diaper frequently is essential – at least every 2 hours or more often if needed. If you wait too long between changes, the urine and faeces can build up and cause irritation or rashes. 

Additionally, the longer a diaper is worn, the greater the risk of leaks. So it’s important to keep up with a regularly changing schedule to keep your baby clean, dry, and comfortable.

10. You're Not Using a Liner.

Using a Liner

Cloth diapers can be expensive, and you want to ensure you prolong their life as much as possible. One way to do this is to use liners with your cloth diapers. 

Liners act as a barrier between your baby’s bottom and the diaper itself, and they can be easily removed and thrown away when soiled. This helps to prolong the life of your cloth diapers by protecting them from staining and wear. In addition, liners can make cleaning up after a diaper change much simpler and less messy. Overall, using liners with your cloth diapers is a smart way to save money and reduce waste.

11. You're Not Ventilating Your Diaper Pail

If you're using a diaper pail to store your cloth diapers, it's important to make sure that it's well ventilated. A lack of ventilation can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can lead to diaper rash or other skin irritation. To ensure adequate ventilation, consider using a pail liner with a mesh top or holes punched in the lid. You can also keep the lid open when the pail is not in use. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep your cloth diapers fresh and free of bacteria.


We hope these tips were helpful in extending the life of your cloth diapers! Since cloth diapers have increased in popularity, there is a strong online business of reselling them. The better shape your diapers are in, the better it will be for your baby and you can also resell them at some point and save money that way!


Q1. How long should a cloth diaper last?

Two to three years.

Additionally, you can use cloth diapers for two to three years, on average, and probably longer if you take good care of them,” she says.

Another difference with washable diapers for babies is the amount of laundry in your future. Cloth diapers must be washed every two to three days to avoid stink and staining issues.

Q2. How can I make my cloth diapers absorbent again?

Simply fill the washer with the hottest water possible. Add 3-4 cups of white vinegar. Then soak the diapers overnight - or at least 3 hours.

Q3. How often should cloth diapers be changed?

Every 2 hours.

Any snaps down the front of the diaper make the diaper as big (long) or as small (short) as is needed. Cloth diapers hang down or feel stiff when they need to be changed. You should change cloth diapers every 2 hours to avoid rashes.

Q4. How do you preserve dirty cloth diapers before washing?

The best place to store your dirty diapers is going to be where you get the most airflow, along with the driest room. Humidity and closed-off space can contain or worsen smells and possibly cause mold. You also want to make sure you keep it out of reach of small children and pets.


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