How do I take care of my cloth diapers?

  • Always wash new diapers to improve absorbency and to remove waxes and oils. (Multiple washes will improve performance)) Sometimes you’ll notice your diapers getting a quilted look to them, that is perfectly normal.
  • I mostly describe a method here where the diapers are kept dry. Some persons soak their diapers in a pail until they are washed at a later time. That is called the “wet” method. I found keeping the diapers dry works best for me, less mess! By not soaking your diapers you save water and the life of your diapers.
  • With either method, baking soda can be used to control odors. Sprinkle it on top of dry diapers or add to water when soaking or using the “wet” method.
  • I use two diaper pails. I personally like the diaper champ for my wet diapers and a smaller diaper pail for the messy/poopy diapers. When a diaper is dirty place it in the proper pail. Any big poops can be shaken into the toilet. I love the diaper liners; they are biodegradable and can be thrown right into the toilet. If you are breastfeeding your babies’ poops can easily be handled by the washing machine.
  • You can use a stain treatment at this time. I like Shaklee’s Basic H. I keep a spray bottle of that mixed with water near my changing station.
  • If you are using covers or diapers with Velcro make sure the Velcro is fastened or you will end up with a diaper snake when taken out of the dryer! Wool covers should be hand washed only when messy. If they are just wet with urine they can air dry and will be fine to use. Cloth wipes, liners, diapers and covers can all be washed together. Larger loads save on water!
  • Place messy/poopy diapers into the washing machine on cold water. Add your favorite FREE detergent, and make sure it’s biodegradable. I prefer Shaklee’s Basic-L Free. It is environmentally safe, free of dyes, fragrance or any masking agents.
  • Let diapers wash in the longest soaking cycle as your machine permits.
  • When that load is complete add your “wet only” diapers. Add your FREE detergent and wash on the longest cycle possible, but this time, use HOT water.
  • If needed, wash diapers a third time in hot water or double rinse the diapers. I have found it very, very rare that my diapers need to be washed a third time!
  • Some persons have found adding a small amount (1/2 cup) of vinegar to the final rinse is beneficial.
  • If you wash your dirty covers with the diapers, do not put them in the dryer. You can hang them outside to dry, or lay them on the dryer to air dry. They will dry quickly and this is gentler on them. AIO’s and covers will last longer and continue to be waterproof by not being put in the dryer.
  • Put your diapers in the dryer or feel free to hang them on the line. Make sure they are completely dry before folding. Some of the diapers have several layers, and you need to be sure all of the layers are dry. Drying them in the fresh air helps them to smell good too.
  • If you have any stains, don’t worry. The sun acts as a natural bleaching agent. Line dry your diapers in the sun, and the stains will disappear.
  • Never use bleach, Borax or fabric softener on your diapers. This will reduce the absorbency of your diapers and they won’t last as long.
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