How to clean cloth diapers

How to clean cloth diapers

Nobody ever said being a parent was easy, but it's more difficult when you don't have the right information. If you're a first-time parent or considering cloth diapers, this blog is for you! In this post, we'll discuss cleaning cloth diapers effectively so that your little one stays comfortable and healthy. Keep reading to learn more!

How do I empty the diapers?

Breastfed Babies

When a baby is breastfed, you can just take it easy because breastfed poop is water-soluble and doesn't need to be pre-treated before washing. Also, breastfed poop doesn't usually cause diaper rash.

However, if you notice your baby's diapers are getting stinky, you can empty the contents into the toilet and rinse the diapers in the sink. After pre-rinsing the cloth diapers, you can use a diaper pail or wet bag.

Formula Fed Babies (solid foods)

Things get a little complicated for formula-fed babies or when babies are fed with food. If the stool is runny and is liquid then you should place the poop directly onto the toilet bowl.

We recommend using a diaper sprayer to pre-rinse them before placing them in the dry pail. Also, don't cover the pail since they have wet diapers. This will help prevent smelly diapers or mildew stains.

If you're dealing with a heavy wetter or a super pooper, soaking soiled diapers in a wet pail system can also help. Using disposable diaper liners or diaper inserts can also make cleaning much easier. If you are too overwhelmed, don't feel guilty to use disposable diapers until you get into a routine.

When on the go, keep the soiled diaper in a waterproof bag and pre-rinse it when you get back home.

Storing Dirty Cloth Diapers

Before you wash cloth diapers, one of the most important (and challenging) tasks for cloth diapering parents, is finding a good system for storing the dirty cloth diaper.

There are a few different ways to do this, and the best method may vary depending on your circumstances.

One option is to simply keep the diapers in a pail or bin until you're ready to wash them. This is probably the simplest way to store dirty diapers, but it can also lead to odors if the pail is not emptied frequently enough.

Another option is to use a diaper sprayer to pre-treat the diapers before storing them. This can help to reduce odors and stains, but it does require a bit more effort than simply tossing the diapers in a pail.

How to handle washing day

For cloth diapering parents, wash day is a regular part of life. It is important to have a routine and keep it simple. The key is to use a hot water wash cycle and plenty of detergents. Cloth diapers can be washed with another laundry, but it's best to avoid towels and other items that can produce lint.

In addition, cloth diapers should be washed separately from swimmers and other garments that are likely to hold onto chlorine bleach or other harsh chemicals.

By following the above simple tips, cloth diapering parents can keep their diapers clean and fresh with minimal effort.

Getting into a cloth diaper wash routine

Parents worry about how to wash cloth diapers, but it's pretty simple once you get into a routine.

Prep Diapers for Washing (cleaning cloth diapers)

Before you wash your baby's diapers, it's important to prep them properly. Otherwise, you could end up with a big mess on your hands! For clean, reusable diapers, simply place them in the washing machine.

But for a dirty diaper, there's a little more work involved. First, you'll need to remove any solid waste from the diaper. A diaper sprayer can be a helpful tool for this task. You can also spray the soiled areas of the diaper with a spray bottle of detergent solution and rub the diaper in your hands before placing it in the diaper pail.

Washing Cloth Diapers

Collect all of the dirty diapers until you will use your washing machine. Then, place the diaper in the washing machine. Run the soiled diapers through a hot water rinse cycle. Be sure to use very hot water and baking soda for cloth diapers. Otherwise, your diapers may not come clean. Not all washing machines are the same so be sure to read the manual to know how long the rinse cycles take.

After the rinse cycle, run them through a hot water wash cycle with plenty of detergents. It's important to use a hot wash cycle. This will help remove any built-up residue and kill any bacteria that may be present. You may need to run them through an extra rinse to get rid of any leftover detergent. Be sure to use a mild detergent and avoid fabric softeners, as they can irritate.

Once they're done, dry them in the dryer on warm to protect diapers with waterproof linings. Using dryer balls will speed up the process. You can also air dry them.

How often should you wash cloth diapers?

You might be wondering how often you should wash them. The answer will depend on your cloth diaper routine.

If you're using disposable diaper liners/inserts, you can simply wash the diapers when they get dirty.

However, if you're using cloth inserts, you'll need to wash them more frequently. Most experts recommend washing diapers every 2-3 days.


Understanding Natural and synthetic fibers

Cloth diapers are made of different types of materials. Both natural and synthetic fibers have their advantage and disadvantages, so it's important to understand the pros and cons of each before making a decision.

Natural fibers, like cotton, are often more breathable than synthetic materials, making them ideal for hot weather. They're also usually more absorbent, which can be helpful if you have a particularly heavy wetter. However, natural fibers can be more expensive than synthetics, and they may require special care when washing to prevent shrinking.

Synthetic materials, on the other hand, are often less expensive than natural fibers and they're generally easier to care for.

Is it hot or cold water?

Many parents are unsure about the temperature of water for wash diapers. The answer depends on the type of diaper you are using.

Washing cloth diapers in hot water helps to remove any bacteria or build-up. However, regular laundry detergents can often be harsh on diapers, so it is important to use a detergent that is specifically designed for cloth diapers.

Washing cloth in cold water will help to preserve the absorbency of the material. Coldwater is also gentler on the diapers, helping to extend their lifespan.

Ultimately, the best temperature of water to use when washing diapers is whichever will clean them most effectively while also being gentle on the material.

Know your water for washing dirty diapers

It's important to not only know about all the different types of cloth diapers but also be familiar with the different types of water that can be used to wash them. This is because while it's important to keep your baby's diaper clean and fresh, you also don't want to damage the cloth or expose your baby to any harmful chemicals.

Three main types of water can be used for washing cloth diapers: distilled, filtered, and untreated. Distilled water is the best option, as it contains no minerals or impurities that could damage the cloth. However, it can be expensive, so filtered or untreated water may be a better option.

Soft water requires a little less detergent than hard water. If you have hard water and find that you are getting stink issues…try adding a little more detergent to the main wash cycle and see if it makes a difference.

On the other hand, if you know you have soft water try using more detergent amounts in the prewash and less in the main wash. That gives it more of a chance to rinse out.

Choose the perfect detergent

With so many choices on the market, it can be tough to know which detergent is best for your family. You'll want to consider a diapers fresh option that's designed to keep the baby's skin healthy and free of detergent buildup. It's important to read labels carefully to find a detergent that's right for your needs.

And always test a small amount on a hidden area of fabric before washing an entire load. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect detergent for your family.

Use of Bleach and Vinegar

Cloth diaper use has increased in recent years as more parents look for ways to save money and be more eco-friendly. cloth diapers must be washed frequently, and many parents use bleach to keep them clean. However, using bleach can shorten the lifespan of your cloth diapers and may even cause them to leak.

Vinegar is a much safer alternative, and it can also help to remove tough stains. Simply add a cup of vinegar to your washing machine's rinse cycle, and your cloth diapers will come out clean and fresh.

For the really dirty diaper, you may need to pre-soak them in a vinegar solution before washing. Either way, you can feel good about using a natural cleaning product that won't damage your cloth diapers.

Other washing methods

There are a few other alternatives when it comes to washing.

One option is to use cloth diapers with flushable liners. A disposable liner can be tossed directly into the toilet and flushed away. Disposable liners eliminate the need to wash the diaper every time your baby poops, but you still get the benefits of using cloth.

You could also use a diaper service. Diaper services will wash and deliver fresh diapers to your door, so all you have to do is put them on your baby.

Say No to Softeners

You may be wondering if you need to use fabric softener. The answer is no! Fabric softeners can damage cloth diapers, making them less absorbent and more likely to leak. Fabric softeners can also coat dryer sheets, which can then stick to and damage your diapers.

Also, don't even think about using dryer sheets with cloth diapers - they'll just cause problems. So what's the best way to keep your cloth diapers soft and free of static? The simple answer is to use bar soap instead of fabric softener. Just add a small amount to your speed wash cycle, and your diapers will come out clean and soft - without the risk of damage.

Washing cloth diapers require extra TLC

Unlike disposable diapers, cloth diapers can be a great way to reduce your environmental impact and save some money. But, they require extra TLC when it comes to keeping them clean.


The normal wash routine for clothes may not be enough to clean cloth diapers thoroughly. You will need to use a cloth diaper-specific detergent and wash on a delicate cycle or by hand. Additionally, you will need to rinse the diapers multiple times to make sure all the detergent is removed. Finally, you will need to line dry the diapers or tumble dry on low heat. While this may seem like a lot of work, it is worth it to avoid leaks and skin irritation for your little one. Plus, once you get into the habit of washing diapers, it will become second nature.


In this post, we’ve outlined the basics of how to clean cloth diapers – from understanding fiber types to choosing the right detergent. We hope this information helps you keep your cloth diapers in good condition, so you can continue using them for years to come!



How many cloth diapers do you need?

Many parents wonder how many cloth diapers they will need to get through the week. There are a few factors to consider when making this decision, such as the number of children in diapers and how often you wash them.

However, a good rule of thumb is to have about two dozen soft cotton diapers on hand. This will ensure that you always have a clean diaper for your baby, even if some are in the wash. It's also a good idea to have a few extra on hand in case of accidents or blowouts. With a little planning, you can be sure that you'll always have enough clean cloth diapers for your little one.

How do I dry my cloth diapers?

There are several ways of drying cloth diapers, and the method you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the type of cloth diapers you have.

One way to dry cloth diapers is to hang them on a clothesline or drying rack. This is a great option if you have access to outdoor space, as the sun and fresh air will help to naturally disinfect your diapers.

Another option is to use a clothes dryer in a low or delicate setting. This will help protect the waterproof material of pocket diapers. If you choose this method, be sure to use a hot wash cycle beforehand to help kill any bacteria that may be present.

Finally, you can also lay your cloth diapers flat to air dry.


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