My Cloth Diaper Wash Routine

It seems like a lot of people shy away from going cloth because they’re scared of the laundry aspect of it. I understand…it definitely sounds disgusting throwing “poopy” diapers into a machine that also washes all of your clothes. This was the reason my own hubby was a cloth skeptic. When I explained how it all worked, he started to see the light and now we are both SO glad we are a cloth family!

(Disclaimer: we do use disposables when we’re traveling or when it may be inconvenient to use cloth & we also use disposables at night because they just seem to hold more without using all the bulky insert layers.)


Here’s my washing routine in a nutshell:

*Cloth friendly detergent – Here’s a chart that rates different detergents to be used with your cloth diapers.

*Diaper Liners – We use these…just lay them in the diaper and it allows pee to soak through to the diaper while holding the poo so your clean-up isn’t too bad. They have worked great for us and they are 100% natural!

*Diaper Sprayer – to hose down the poopy diapers if your forgot a liner (been there, done that)…spray the yuck into the toilet then just toss the diaper into your pail to wash later. We use this bumGenius sprayer and it’s a powerful little sucker!

FACT: Before baby starts solids and you are nursing only, breastmilk is water soluble!! You DO NOT have to rinse your poopy diapers first…just throw ‘em right in the washer (so easy, right?!). I know that sounds disgusting, but it’s true! If you are formula feeding or have started solids, you will want to spray with a diaper sprayer first before it makes its way to the pail.

We use Ecos Free & Clear Detergent, which is a 4-star detergent for cloth diapers and is easy to buy at Target or Wal-Mart. We also have pretty hard water so I put in a tablespoon of Calgon Water Softener with it as well. You should NOT use fabric softeners with cloth diapers (it can cause a build up that will repel liquid and cause leaks).

Here’s my wash cycle (front load washer):
1. Rinse & Spin on cold/cold. Low spin (no detergent yet)
2. Put in Ecos detergent (filled to the lowest line) and about 1 Tbs. Calgon
3. Run the “normal” cycle on hot/cold, low spin, heavy soil, water-plus, with an extra rinse
4. Line dry in the sun (magically, stains lift right out) – just use the dryer on medium if it’s raining on wash day
5. Once a month add 1/4 cup bleach to the normal cycle.


Now, you’re done!! I hope this takes some of the anxiety out of going cloth and helps encourage you to give it a whirl!  I think you’ll be glad you did (not to mention the $$ you’ll save)! 🙂 sells top brands such as TotsBots, BottomBumpers, Blueberry, and Kangacare diapers! Check them out HERE

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