Saturday, June 12, 2010

Clean 'Em Up, Clean 'Em Up

When it comes to cloth diapers, there are many different ways to clean them. There's the overnight soak method, the pre-soak method, the no soak method, etc. If you asked 10 people how they wash their cloth diapers, I'm sure you'd receive at least 7 to 8 different answers.

If you're wondering how to clean your cloth diapers, I suggest you read the instructions provided by the manufacturer. 

Here's a few ways that I've found:

Many companies suggest you pre-wash your cloth diaper 5-10 times before the first use. This is to remove all the chemicals and oils from manufacturing. This may seem a bit extreme but it will help increase the absorbency of the diapers.

*none of these methods work for washing wool - I have no experience in washing wool so I haven't added any tips for fear of confusing myself and you! :) *

Overnight Soak Method:
* Prewash - Place all your cloth diapers in the wash and run a prewash in cold water. This will remove most of the loose particles from the soiled cloth diapers.
* Overnight soak - Rerun a cold wash, let it agitate for a minute or two then turn it off and let the diapers soak overnight. Now spin the diapers to remove the excess dirty water.
* Hot wash - Run a regular hot wash with 1/4 of the recommended amount of additive free detergent (we recommend Rockin' Green Soap!)
* Extra Rinse - Run an extra cold rinse to remove as much of the soap, as possible.

Pre-Soak Method:
* Pre-soak - Run a cold water pre-soak and let the diapers soak for an hour or two. Drain.
* Hot wash - Run a normal hot wash with 1/4 of the recommended amount of additive free detergent.
* Extra rinse - Run an extra cold rinse to remove all the extra soap.

No Soak Method:
* Cold wash - Run a normal cold wash cycle.
* Hot wash - Run a normal hot wash cycle with 1/4 of the recommended amount of additive free detergent. 
* Extra rinse - Run a normal cold rinse cycle.

There are also a few no-no's when it comes laundering cloth diapers:

  • It's recommended that you DO NOT use fabric softener, vinegar, or any soap with whiteners, brighteners, softeners, additives, etc.
  • It's also recommended that you don't use any rash creams as it could cause the diapers to start repelling.
As for drying, many companies recommend you tumble dry on low heat OR line dry. (Code bubbles) They're now starting to say that drying the PUL liners on HOT is good to re-seal the fabric, however, it's not good for the elastic. If you notice that the diapers are starting to get a little bit leaky, I'd throw them in the dryer on hot and it should fix it right up. Otherwise, I'd use a low setting or line dry them.

If you were paying attention, you noticed that I hid a code somewhere throughout this post, too. If you actually read this and noticed the code, please submit a comment with the code word as well as your email address. It will give you 5 extra entries into each giveaway during our Fluffy Bottom Cloth Diaper Event. *Your email address will only be used to notify you if you win!*

Please add your code comment below. The comments will not be visible until after this comment closes at 11:59pm, PST! Any comments left after 11:59pm, PST will be disqualified and will be deleted.

Please don't post the bonus code entries, yourself. I have a system going and will enter them for you, at the end of each giveaway, after it has closed. You will not see them in the entries but they will be counted!


  1. bubbles!! at gmail dot com

  2. Code Bubbles!
    nurseniki at comcast dot net

  3. Code: bubbles

    I love that you are doing this! What a fun idea!

  4. Great article! I'm pretty new to cloth, so it is nice to hear what others do to wash their diapers.


    butterfly1979_ at hotmail dot com

  5. code: bubbles

    angiedkelly at gmail dot com

  6. Hello! The code word is bubbles! I use Bum Genius diapers on my son and the only problem I have had with them is that they start to stink REALLY badly and I have to strip them every 6 months or so. Bum Genius has instructions on their website on how to do this. Other than that, they have worked great! I wash them in Ecos Free and Clear on the sanitize cycle in my washing machine, and dry them normally. Love those Bum Genius diapers!
    I am on Facebook under The Foodie Mommie
    My e-mail address is

  7. Code is bubbles :)

    seksi_missy at hotmail dot com

  8. First time I have ever seen someone say to not use vinegar...

  9. Code word: Bubbles

  10. I live in an apartment complex and will have to use the shared laundry facility (read: NO control over the temperature of the different wash cycles, and $1.25 a load to boot!). So I guess what I'll be doing is rinsing the diapers very well with a diaper sprayer right after changing, washing on hot, and then line drying in the sun. Based on your cloth diaper experience, does that sound reasonable?

    Above all, I hope it doesn't make too many BUBBLES! ;-)


  11. Code word BUBBLES!

    kingryanheather at msn dot com

  12. I like the overnight soak method... I didn't think of doing that.. I just do the no soak method, then do a rock-a-soak in a tub occasionally. This would be great to do occasionally to help keep them in good shape without extra work! :D

    and code is bubbles. :)

  13. The code is Bubbles!! =)
    Thanks for sharing this info! We will be 1st time cloth diaperers (is that a word? LOL!) when our baby is born in September. After using sposies on our 1st 3, I feel so lost when it comes to cloth! This is the first I've heard of drying PUL liners on hot to reseal... I'll have to remember that little tip when I start having problems!
    garyandalesha at cox dot net

  14. Code: BUBBLES!!

    I'm so happy a got into this one!

  15. Code "bubbles"! =)

    lisar79 at msn dot com

  16. Bubbles! :)

  17. Code bubbles
    tomokofive at gmail dot com

  18. I love these posts!
    Code: bubbles

    (this is my second try posting - I got an error the first time)

    jdeemarie @

  19. Code bubbles! Hopefully I'm not too late to post, I don't get to read my blogs as often on the weekends =)
    naturalbabygiveaways at gmail dot com

  20. Okay, that adorable picture makes cloth diapering look so glamorous but everything about it sounds so complicated!! I really have to look into it and consider it for the next potential baby.

  21. The additional code entries have been closed. No more entries will be counted. Please check back, soon, for the next bonus entry.

  22. I'm sure I'm too late, but Code bubbles just in case.

    Anyway, THANKS AGAIN for all this great info! But, how easy is it? It sounds like a lot of steps? Also, could you give more info the diaper rash cream? Can you not use that at all on cloth diapers (ever)?


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