How to Wash Your Cloth Diapers (And Tips For Prepping)
Here are some quick tips on how to wash cloth diapers. The first step involved to wash cloth diapers is preparation:
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 to wash cloth diapers (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. Make sure you wash cloth diapers separately from the rest of your stash until they are properly prepped. Failure to properly prep cotton and hemp products may lead to leaking.
To Wash Cloth Diapers Regularly:
Keep It Simple!
This routine has proven to work well for most people, regardless of what type of machine or diapers you use.
1 short cycle warm (or cool) water wash
1 long/heavy duty hot water wash with detergent
1 additional rinse cycle
Bleach:(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.
What Laundry Detergent Should I Use When I Wash Cloth Diapers?Chances are that one of the reasons you decided to use this kind of diapers are for the environmental benefits and to avoid exposing your baby to toxic chemicals. As parents, we begin to research everything and realize that many mainstream products (including detergents) contain questionable ingredients that you may not want to use. For parents who are looking for greener detergent options, you may want to avoid optical brighteners, fragrances and scents, fabric softeners, dyes, and preservatives. Then you start posting in Facebook groups and notice that fabric diapering parents are using Tide, Foca, and Gain. We realize this may cause you some hesitation and concerns, but we're here to give you a neutral look at both sides of the detergent recommendations for fabric diapering.
Mainstream Detergents Which are Currently Considered as the Best Performing Detergents to Wash Cloth Diapers Include:
- Arm & Hammer
- All Free & Clear (Powder)
- Country Save
Plant-based detergents (generally speaking in the diaper industry) do not clean as well as mainstream detergents. To ensure that your diapers are getting clean enough you may need to use more detergent than the recommended amount (when using plant-based detergents).
Better Performing Plant-Based Detergents Include:
- Seventh Generation (powder)
- Planet Ultra (liquid)
- Purex Naturals
- Biokleen (powder)
These lists are not all-inclusive and there are many other detergents that families use successfully when washing these diapers. Trust your parenting instincts and try a detergent that you feel comfortable with. If you find that it's not cleaning your diapers well enough; try adding a little extra detergent. You may need 2x the amount of some plant-based detergents versus the recommended amount on the container. If you notice your diapers aren't smelling fresh out of the machine, then you may need to adjust your washing cycle or detergent. You won't ruin your diapers by using the wrong detergent, but you may need to strip them more frequently or adjust your routine.