How to Wash Cloth Diapers

How to Wash Cloth Diapers


After taking off cloth diapers/reusable baby nappies/washable diapers, place them in a holding container. Some parents put the diapers in a wet pail filled with some water, so they can pre-soak before a wash. Others shake the solids into the toilet and drop the diaper into a plastic-lined pail after a change.

Do whichever option you prefer, or try this method from Beth Eckert, founder of The Cloth Diaper Connection. Instead of having an actual pail full of water, you rinse the diapers off after changing your baby, then throw them into the dry pail. This way your diapers are still getting the benefit of getting rinsed and a mini soak because they’re in the pail soaking wet. You may find it helpful to keep your cloth diaper pail in the bathroom if you use this method.

Follow these basic steps to launder cloth diapers:

  • Remove inserts from pocket diapers.
  • Always use the highest water level allowed by your washer.
  • Begin with a cold rinse, no detergent.
  • After the cold rinse, run a regular wash cycle on hot, using 1/4 cup detergent. If you’re using a cloth diaper detergent, follow the instructions on the package.
  • Follow up with an extra rinse on cold to ensure all residual detergent is completely rinsed away.
  • Dry on hot.

Don’t worry that washing cloth diapers/reusable cloth diapers will leave your washer stinky. It will be exactly as clean as the diaper and drains to the same place your toilet does.

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