To prep your new products:
Quick Wash for pocket diapers, covers, inserts and items made from micro-terry or bamboo:
- Warm or hot water works best (detergent is optional but recommended)
Organic/Unbleached Cotton and Hemp products:
- Generally 5-6 hot washes (or more) are required for the natural oils of cotton and hemp to be removed and for the materials to become fully absorbent.
- Wash separate from the rest of your stash until they are properly prepped.
- Failure to properly prep cotton and hemp products may lead to leaking.
To launder cloth diapers regularly:
Keep it simple! This routine has proven to work well for most people, regardless of what type of machine or cloth diapers you use.
- 1 short cycle warm water wash with detergent
- 1 long/heavy duty hot water wash with detergent
- 1 additional rinse cycle
Bleach: (1-2 tablespoons) – A periodic bleaching of micro-terry inserts is recommended; especially since micro-terry is more prone to build-up and stink issues. Do not use on other types of cloth diapers, especially those with PUL.
Hard water has a lot of minerals in it, namely calcium and magnesium. These minerals, if not properly rinsed away, can lead to a mineral build-up in your diapers which may cause offensive odors! Hard water makes it difficult for many detergents to work properly. Using a separate water softener, such as Calgon Water Softener is often recommended and is considered safe for use on all types of cloth diapers. Calgon can also be used for stripping diapers, especially for areas with especially hard water. Just wash clean diapers 3-4 times with hot water and Calgon (no detergent). As always, be sure to rinse thoroughly!
If your diapers are leaking/repelling frequently or if they smell horrible the moment they become wet or soiled—then it’s time for a good stripping! Stripping diapers will remove mineral or detergent buildup, correct improper wash methods, and remove any additives or residues that have been used while diapering your baby.
To properly strip diapers:
- Do several (4-6) hot water washes (no detergent) to get rid of most residues.
- For extreme hard water build up you may need to use RLR Laundry Treatment.
- 1/4 cup of vinegar may be added to the first cycle or two (this is optional).
*Note: If you have hard water you do NOT want to use vinegar. It may actually make your problems worse.
While there are other methods, this is the safest stripping method available for all types of cloth diapers. Remember that some methods are not suitable for all types of cloth diapers or washing machines. Once you determine the source of the problem it is easier to fix. When in doubt, double check with the manufacturer.
Cloth diaper friendly
detergents available at the
Other detergents available at your local stores include: Country Save, Planet, Charlie’s Soap, and Allen’s Naturally. This is not a complete list of approved detergents.
If you are using a detergent designed specifically for cloth diapers use the recommended amounts listed on the packaging.
For all other detergents:
Use 1/4 the recommended detergent amount for a front loading machine.
Use 1/2 the recommended detergent amount for a top loading machine.