Play & Learn

Cloth Diapers 101: How To Wash And Clean

ByJerni Camposano-GomezNovember 21, 2022
Folded cloth diapers in laundry room
Mamas who made the big switch to cloth diapers have come to realize in more ways than one that they made the right decision. From saving a substantial amount of money to being an Earth warrior by opting for a more sustainable option, they are more affirmed that theirs is an excellent choice.
For mamas who are dilly-dallying on shifting to the more eco-friendly way of diapering, the most common concern is that washing cloth diapers takes more work compared to disposable ones. This may be true in some sense, but it doesn’t have to be daunting and difficult. Mama, it’s easier than you think. Here are some tips and tricks to washing and cleaning cloth diapers.
1. Check the packaging to see if there are specific washing instructions.
Sometimes, the answer is right under our noses. Some cloth diaper brands include an instruction card or manual on how to wash their products. Just check and follow the steps indicated there.
2. Empty the diaper by removing the solid waste.
If your little one is exclusively breastfed, your problem is simple because their poop is water soluble. You can just easily toss the soiled diaper into the pail or storage bag without rinsing.
It gets a little complicated when your child is formula-fed or has started eating solids. You can choose to do any of the following: scrape the poop off the diaper, spray the stool into the toilet bowl, or use the dunk-and-swish method.
3. Wet pail method vs dry pail method
If you are not going to wash the dirty diapers yet, store them in a pail. Now, should you leave them to soak in water or just simply put them in a dry pail? Choose what will work for you. Both have pros and cons.
As the name suggests, the wet pail method uses a pail filled with water such that you are like pre-soaking the diaper. As a result, there are fewer stains and there is no need to pre-rinse once you toss the cloth diapers into the washing machine. However, diapers from the wet pail can be heavier to carry and load onto the washing machine. And because it involves water, it can be a drowning risk to little children and pets.
On the other hand, the dry pail method is the more common way because dirty diapers are just put directly into the pail after removing the waste. You can add stain or odor eliminators in the pail to reduce the unpleasant smell.
4. Wash cloth diapers every two days.
Because they are damp, diaper pails are a good breeding ground for mold and bacteria. So do not leave your dirty diapers sitting on the pail for a longer time. You can wash them daily or after you’ve built a stash. But the recommended frequency is to wash every other day.
5. How to wash cloth diapers?
First, pre-rinse the dirty diapers in a cold-water cycle and do not use a detergent yet. After pre-washing, add a detergent and run a regular wash cycle using warm or hot water. You can also add some baking soda to neutralize acidic odors and remove stains.
If you have the option for an extra cycle to rinse the diapers, go for it. The more water running through the diapers, the better and cleaner they will be.
Avoid using bleach and fabric softeners on cloth diapers as the former can damage the fabric while the latter can affect fabric absorbency.
6. Air or line dry washed diapers.
The recommended drying method is still outside under the sun to keep the diapers fresh and dry. But if weather or space doesn’t permit it, you can dry them inside your home. Just ensure that you don’t ruin the elastic stretch when you hang the diapers.
Again, check with your diaper manufacturer if the product can be put in the dryer. If yes, use low settings so as not to damage the cloth diaper.
Now that you’re familiar with the steps of washing and cleaning cloth diapers, it’s time to shop for them!
Our recommendation: Snappies, a brand of washable diapers that uses soft, breathable cotton and suede to guarantee all-day comfort for your precious child. The brand carries cute and cool designs that you can mix and match with your little bean’s OOTD. Check it out now!
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