Caring For Cloth Diapers Is Easy

If you've researched cloth diapers at all, you've probably run across dozens if not hundreds of suggested washing "routines."  Some are simple, and some are so complex it seems like you'll be spending an entire day washing

Soiled Diapers

1. Rinse solids off in the toilet. I use a sprayer that my husband made from a kitchen sink sprayer. You could easily use a peri bottle, or just swish.

2. Put into either a 'dry' or 'wet' pail.

  • Wet Pail
    This is a bucket (with a locking lid) that you soak dirty diapers in until washing day. Some people add a pinch of baking soda. This requires a spin before washing to get all the extra nasty water out. This can be heavy and nasty to carry to the wash though. If you find that you HAVE to wait 3-4 days before washing (NOT recommended), use the wet pail method.
  • Dry Pail
    This is what most people do. They simply have a dry container for putting the soiled diapers in. 


Do's and Don'ts


Cold prerinse & spin

Use store bought UNSCENTED liquid detergent

Hang in the sun to remove stains

Always include hot water and detergent in your wash routine




DO NOT Use any fabric softener

DO NOT Use bleach of anything made with PUL fabric

DO NOT Use Sportswash, Charlie's Soap or Bac-Out.  These products can cause allergic reactions when used improperly.

DO NOT Iron your pads or diapers (really, how much time do you have!?)

DO NOT Overfill your washing machine.  Your pads and diapers needs good water circulation to get clean.

DO NOT Soak in a wet pail without a LOCKING lid (this is a drowning risk!)

DO NOT Let your pads or diapers sit unwashed for more than 3-4 days. They will develop mildew stains and will become incredibly hard to get clean.

DO NOT NOT NOT use a homemade laundry soap with felsnaptha. I learned the hard way not to do this. It actually puts quite a barrier on the diaper making it hold in stink, not get stains clean AND unabsorbent. 

Wash Day

1.  Hopefully you have already removed the solids-  Whether you choose to swish, shake, or spray, remove as much solid matter as possible and dispose of this in the toilet. 


2.  Cold Prewash-  Cold water will remove any remaining solid material without setting in stains. With front loading HE machines, run a standard cold/cold wash, with an extra rinse. If your machine will let you program to do a cold soak, do it.