No doubt, one of the first questions that comes to any parent considering cloth diapers- how do you wash them?
Washing your baby’s cloth diapers is not as complicated as you’d think and no, you don’t need to get your hands dirty.
For new babies
When your baby is new their dirty diapers are super easy to wash since they’re not yet eating solid foods.
And while you can pre-rinse them with a diaper sprayer, you can certainly skip it as well.
Step by step
Here’s how I washed my baby’s diapers until she was eating solid food.
Once I remove the soiled diap, it goes into an open laundry basket. I toss diapers into the basket all day long.
Night time changes end up in a wetbag.
In the morning I take all the dirty diapers from the last 24 hours and throw them in my washer. Wipes too, if you’re using washables. Inserts should agitate out in the wash, so there’s no need to yank them out. Again, you can if you prefer, or find you need to. If you’re worried about touching them you can use a pair of dish gloves designated for the job.
At this stage I used sunlight because it’s affordable, not heavily scented, and gentle on sensitive skin. It also is effective at getting the diapers clean, in my experience.
Start with the recommended amount for the load size you’re doing and add more if you find you need it, I never did.
Wash on warm or hot, which ever your preference. Cloth diapers can handle some heat. Regular cycle is just fine.
Now, I always followed it with a second rinse. Just to make sure I get all the soap out, and the diapers are nice and clean.
After that the diapers go into the dryer or on the clothes line (my favorite). When you’re using the dryer go ahead and use some heat but avoid super high temps like sanitize.
When they come out, let them cool before you stuff them. Stretching the materials and elastics while they’re piping hot can cause damage to the fibers.
That’s it. Easy Peasy right?
What about cleaning diapers for babies eating solids?
I’ve heard all sorts of techniques for this stage but I’m only going to tell you about my experience and methods I used for my kids’ diapers.
Rarely did I use disposable liners but if you know when your baby has got to go, you can use a liner for that change, and just toss, or flush it.
Shake it off
Because the diapers we use (Easy Peasies) are lined with microfleece, I found it quite easy to shake the diapers clean.
A few abrupt shakes over the toilet and all the dirties would plop in to be flushed away.
What was left on the diaper was easily washed away using the same method above. And of course the wet diapers really need no further explanation, because let’s face it, that’s not what you’re here for is it? 😂
If you find you need a stronger detergent at this stage, I used Gain. It’s stronger than Sunlight but didn’t seem to cause any irritation for my sensitive skin babies.
How do you know if they’re, you know.. Really clean?
There is one simple test you can perform that will almost undoubtedly answer this question for you. It’s called…. the Smell Test.
That’s right, this tried and true test can be performed as those puppies are coming out of the washer or out of the dryer, or both. If something smells off, or doesn’t look quite clean, throw in back in the basket to be washed with the next load.
I know a lot of people who don’t wash diapers daily and hey, I was even guilty of missing a day here and there when I was diapering my babies.
My honest personal preference was to throw a load on in the morning. For me, it was easier for my routine and I experienced no odor build up.
Get up with baby, change her, clean her up, new outfit or sleeper on, make the coffee, do a wash, then I’d get on with the rest of my day.
How often and when you do your diaper wash is entirely up to you.
There are many variables that might affect your own diaper laundering routine, for example water hardness, etc. And as a result you might need to tweak what you do vs how I do it, but I wanted to create this post to show you the basics and let you know, it’s not that hard, it’s not gross, and it’s SO worth it. This is a good routine to start with that isn’t overly complicated and gets the job done.
If cleaning the diapers is holding you back from trying cloth, please don’t let it. Cloth diapering is an unbelievably fulfilling experience in a way that is hard to explain- much like becoming a parent. ❤️