Washing My Cloth Diapers

Basic Washing Routine:

  1. Wash the entire load on cold with detergent. Washing once on cold water is important to remove leftover "yuck" from your diapers.
  2. Wash the entire load again on warm or hot - also with detergent.
  3. Do a second rinse.
  4. You can dry almost everything in the dryer.

If you’re having problems with diapers that stink after washing:

  1. Try an extra rinse. Sometimes detergent residue can cause diapers to smell.
  2. Wash once with a small squirt of liquid Dawn. Rinse well.
  3. If the previous solutions don’t work, try 1/4 cup of bleach in the warm/hot wash cycle.

What detergent should I use when washing my cloth diapers?
Choosing the right detergent for your diapers is essential!  You need to find one that is free of perfums, dyes, additives and harsh chemicals. I have had success using "ALL Free and Clear". I will update this list at a later date. 

What detergents should I avoid?
Do not use detergents containing pure soap, enzymes, fabric whiteners, fabric brighteners, fabric softeners or anything scented.

Do I have to sanitize the washing machine after washing my cloth diapers?
Absolutely not. If the diapers are clean, the washing machine is clean.

How do I use baking soda or vinegar when washing my diapers?
Water, detergent, the sun and occasionally a small amount of something santizing like bleach is plenty to get your diapers clean and stainfree. We do not recommend the use of any other additives when washing your cloth diapers. Additives can damage the waterproofness and elasticity of your diapers. In addition, they can change the pH of your diapers resulting in skin irritations. 

My diapers are stained. Now what?
The best stain remover is the sun! Wash your diapers and then lay them out wet on the lawn with the stain facing the sun. It usually only takes a few hours before the stains are gone! If some remnants of the stain still linger, rinse the load again and repeat the process.

What do you do with stinky diapers or covers?
Wash your diapers again! Most of the time, stinky diapers just aren’t clean yet. Detergent residue or build up may also cause odors to be retained. Check the rinse water to make sure that you don’t see suds. If you do, use less detergent. A warm wash with a squirt of liquid Dawn (the dish detergent), rinsed well, does a great job removing stinky residue from diapers. When all else fails, try 1/4 cup of bleach in a large hot wash load.

My diapers smell like ammonia after being worn. What should I do to fix this problem?
The chief culprit for an ammonia smell is detergent scent or detergent residue. Make sure that you are using an extra rinse when washing your diapers and that you are using a detergent that does not contain any perfumes. A warm wash with a squirt of liquid Dawn (the dish detergent), rinsed well, does a great job removing stinky residue from diapers. Using 1/4 cup of bleach may be occasionally necessary to kill odor causing bacteria in the diapers.