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How to Wash Your Cloth Diapers (And Tips For Prepping)

Cloth Diaper Laundry Tips & Tools - It is recommended to wash all products prior to their first use.

Download Washing Instructions

To prep your new products:

Quick Wash for pocket diapers, covers, inserts and items made from micro-terry or microfiber:
Warm or hot water works best (detergent is optional but recommended)

Organic/Unbleached Cotton, Hemp, or Bamboo 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 (or cool) water wash 
1 long/heavy duty hot water wash with detergent
1 additional rinse cycle

(1/4 cup for most standard size loads/machines) A periodic bleaching of micro-terry and microfiber inserts is recommended; especially since micro-terry is more prone to build-up and stink issues.  Bleach can deteriorate natural fibers; such as cotton, hemp, and bamboo. Please follow the manufacturer's recommendations when using bleach by checking the care labels inside your diapers. 

Cloth diaper friendly detergents available in our store:

Many regular laundry detergents can also be used for your cloth diapers. Each manufacturer has a different list of approved detergents. Most manufacturers recommend finding a detergent that does not contain scents, dyes, and fabric softeners. Some commonly used detergents include: Country Save, Planet, Ecos, Ecover, Gain, Tide, and Allen’s Naturally. Please note that not all varieties of these detergents are approved and not every manufacturer has the same approved list. Follow the directions on the packaging for your machine and load size.  

Hard Water?

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!

Stripping Diapers

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 buildup, correct improper wash methods, and remove any additives or residues that have been used while diapering your baby. Note: There are many different ways and reasons to strip your diapers; we've provided a few of the most effective methods for you.

To properly strip diapers:
Option 1: Do several (4-6) hot water washes (no detergent) to get rid of most residues.
Option 2: For extreme hard water build up or when stripping older diapers, you may need to use RLR Laundry Treatment or GroVia Mighty Bubbles.  Follow the directions on the package. 
Option 3: For sanitizing your diapers after a yeast infection or for secondhand diapers, it is generally considered safe to add 1/4 cup of bleach to your wash cycle. Please refer to manufacturer's directions regarding the use of bleach. 
Option 4: For removing diaper creams, fabric softeners, or other stubborn stains/oils you can gently rub the problem areas with a dish soap (like Blue Dawn) and rinse prior to washing. Please do not add dish soap to your washing machine.

For more specific troubleshooting tips and advice please contact us or join our private Cloth Diaper Support Group on Facebook.

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