If you’re a cloth diapering mom, or are considering it, one thing that might be a huge question on your mind is, how do I wash these things? Or, how do other people wash them? There are as many different wash routines as there are cloth diapering families, so today I’ll share mine.
Wash routines are affected by many variables: the type of diapers you have, what your baby is eating, what type of water you have (hard/soft), what type of detergent you use, your washing machine’s options, whether you use a wet or dry pail, and more.
At my house, I use pocket diapers stuffed with cotton prefolds. (I designed and sewed the diapers myself.) My children are both older and eating normal “adult” diets (although I don’t use a different routine when I have exclusively breastfed newborns). I have water that tends to be on the hard side. I generally use soap nuts, although I have played with my Seventh Generation unscented lately. My machine doesn’t have an option for an extra rinse, at least not unless I go and manually set it.
So here is what I do:
- Remove wet/dirty diaper from baby. Dump any solids into the toilet. I do not dip or rinse in any way; whatever doesn’t get off the diaper stays until it gets washed.
- Place diaper into wet bag until wash day.
- When ready to wash, add 1 bag of soap nuts (3 – 4 in bag) to a hot wash on medium or high water level. (I also try using the usual, small amount of Seventh Generation if I try that.)
- Add diapers to wash. Hot wash/cold rinse.
- Turn machine on a second time with no soap; hot wash/cold rinse.
- Dry diapers on the clothesline or in the dryer, depending on weather.
That’s it! I have not had stink issues or leaking issues or anything. On rare occasions, if the kids have been sick or had weird things going on, I’ve used plain blue Dawn to strip them (one good squirt in the washer, and an extra 2 – 3 washes to get all the soap out). I’ve occasionally added white vinegar to the wash but really haven’t found that I needed it. I don’t bother with soaking or wet pails or any of that stuff. I haven’t needed it in the 2.5 years I’ve been using cloth diapers.
How do you wash your diapers? What are your variables (water, type of diapers, etc.)?