Cloth Diaper Washing

There are many different ways to clean the solids or poop out of your cloth diapers. It is trial and error sometimes as to what method works for you. If your child is exclusively breast fed (EBF), you do not need to clean the solids or poop out of the diaper until they start to eat food, usually at about 6 months of age. The poop will come out in the first rinse cycle.

Method #1:  Dunk and swish
Dunk the diaper in the toilet and swish it around to get the poop off. Once you have most of the poop off hold onto the diaper very tightly and flush the toilet. This will give you a fresh bowl of water to clean the diaper better. Dunk the diaper again and rub it together to get any left over bits of poop off. Wring the extra water out of the diaper and throw it into the diaper pail.
Method #2: Sprayer method
There are diaper sprayers that attach to the plumbing of your toilet. You hold the diaper just over the water in the bowl of the toilet and spray off the poop with the water that comes out of the diaper sprayer. You than wring out the diaper and throw it in the diaper pail.
Method #3: Wipe off method
You can use toilet paper to wipe the poop off of the diaper. This is best done holding the diaper over the toilet.
Method #4: Diaper liners
There are two kinds of diaper liners, disposable and reusable. The disposable kind you take out of the diaper and flush down the toilet or throw in the trash. The reusable kind you clean the poop off of and wash in with your diapers. It is a personal preference as to why a person chooses one over the other.

Recommended Wash Routine:

  1. Warm rinse cycle first
  2. Long or heavy soil wash with detergent
  3. Warm rinse

Tip #1: Don't allow dirty diapers to sit (even rinsed and dried) for more than three days
The longer the dirty diapers sit waiting to be washed, the more bacteria can grow and cause stink issues.  The stink issue is the result of bacteria's feces.  Try to rinse with a diaper sprayer for poop immediately, and rinse.  Bacteria cannot grow as easily if it's clean and the water inside the diapers are minimized.  Like all organisms, bacteria needs water.  Squeeze out as much water as you can and wash them soon.

Tip #2: Try to use detergents that are certified 'residue free'
Most commercially available detergents contain products such as optical brighteners, enzymes and fragrance that will cause build ups over time.  The cloth diapers may look and smell clean but over time people may notice repelling for materials that are supposed to absorb while wicking problems may arise with synthetic materials.  This theory is not limited to cloth diapers; clothes will become truly clean to its microscopic level with residue-free detergents.  With residue-free detergent, natural fibers will start to absorb more, synthetic materials will wick and keep moisture out and prolong the life of the cloth diapers.

Tip #3: Avoid bleach
If you are using residue-free detergent and washing the cloth diapers frequently, bleach is an unnecessary product that's only hazardous chemicals sitting in the house.  If your cloth diapers are not getting cleaned, bleach may not solve all the problems with stink issues.  Talk to us if you're having serious stink issues that doesn't seem to go away.  We can help.

Tip #4: Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets
Fabric softeners and dryer sheets does nothing but coat your cloth diapers with oil (often used with fragrance).  Though your cloth diapers may feel softer and smell good, these products cause more harm than good that affects the fabric property.  Like using non residue-free detergents, the oil will contribute to residue build-ups causing repelling issues for cloth diapers.  Irritation on the baby's bum is common when natural fibers that are meant to absorb is now repelling moisture.  The same goes synthetics when there are heavy build-ups.  People will often notice the wicking property disappears and the cover starts trap excess moisture.

Tip #5: Avoid 'wet pailing'
Wet pailing is a method where a large pail is used by soaking dirty diapers in water.  This is a serious safety issues.  Even if the pail came with a lid that may seem secure, it only takes 1/10th of an inch for the child to drown.  This theory is the same as keeping the toilet lid secure.  Soaking the diapers can also damage the diapers' fabric.  It may cause the fabric to not absorb well or shorten the life span.  As mentioned above on tip #1, rinse the diapers clean, squeeze the water out and either keep them in a dry pail or one of our wet bags.

Are you having problems with your cloth diapers and clothes that seem to not get clean over time?  Talk to us so we can help!