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How to Wash Cloth Diapers: Everything You Need to Know

2011 March 1
by MieVee @ MummysReviews.com

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - Hang Dry

Here’s all about how to wash cloth diapers, so that you’d have an easier time when transiting to using cloth on baby. Over 2 years, I’ve experimented with different wash routines. Right now, I’m confident of getting Vee’s cloth diapers clean and long-lasting enough for future babies. Since I’m trying to share ALL I know about washing diapers with you, be prepared for a long post with lots of tips.

Before we start…

  1. Your ideal wash routine depends on many factors that would be discussed later
  2. Washing cloth diapers can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to
  3. Expect your preferred wash routine to change over time as your situation changes, baby grows and her output pattern changes

Areas Covered:

My Current Wash Routine
1. Who’s Baby’s Caregiver or Your Helper?
2. How Many Days Between Washes?
3. Machine Wash or Handwash?
4. Same or Different Load With Clothes?
5. Which Detergent to Use?
6. How Much Detergent to Use?
7. How to Remove Poo?
8. Need to Prewash Just Before the Real Wash?
9. What Water Temperature: Cold, Warm or Hot?
10. How to Dry Cloth Diapers?

My Current Wash Routine

  1. How to Store Cloth Diapers & Baby’s Laundry Until Wash Day.
  2. Remove poo from soiled diapers.
  3. Remove inserts from pocket diapers, unsnap soakers and remove any disposable diaper liners. Ensure all velcro laundry tabs are closed properly.
  4. Sort delicate items or those that would shed lint into different laundry nets
  5. Detergent: Pureen H-A-D 1/4 cup for full load (or any cloth diaper-friendly detergent recommended by other mums)
  6. Use washing machine’s Prewash function OR rinse once by hand in a pail (to dilute pee from diapers)
  7. Water temperature: Warm (If no choice, use Cold)
  8. Rinse 3 times (my High Efficiency washing machine automatically rinses 3 times). Otherwise, 2 rinses and check after laundry. If diapers smell of detergent or feel soapy, rinse again.
  9. Spin dry
  10. Line dry
  11. Once a month: wash in Hot for better sanitisation and remove possible detergent build-up (except diapers that can withstand only up to 40°C)

With a simple and clear wash routine, the washing can be easily delegated to the family helper or hubby when needed. Generally, only 5-10 minutes are needed to spray any poo and sort the items out, before letting the washing machine do the rest, except line drying.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Washing Cloth Diapers

Now, here are the various areas to tailor-make your own wash routine:

Part 1: Before You Start Washing

1. Who’s Baby’s Caregiver or Your Helper?

Increasingly, there’re many working mums who wish to cloth diaper baby too. If you delegate laundry work to the caregiver or a helper, you’d need to take her preferences and abilities into consideration. Some tips to consider:

  • Use simple-to-wash cloth diapers such as All-in-Ones (AIOs) or those with inserts that agitate out during the wash. AIOs also mean no stuffing of inserts. Unless the caregiver or helper is willing to learn and keep up with the routine.
  • Keep the wash routine very simple and systematic so that they can follow easily without constant monitoring. A simple routine also means a new caregiver or helper can take over the laundry easily.
  • Write down your steps clearly on a whiteboard or piece of paper so that she can refer to it conveniently.
  • Draw a marker line on the detergent cap so that she knows the amount of detergent to use.

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2. How Many Days Between Washes?

If you get a full load every day (especially when washing clothes and diapers together), then simply wash daily. This way, you’d need a smaller diaper stash to rotate.

With a smaller load or if you prefer to wash cloth diapers separately, then wash every alternate day. In this case, consider removing the poo off soiled diapers even on the non-laundry day. This helps to prevent poo stains from setting in.

Tip: In a humid country such as Singapore and Malaysia, the MAXIMUM is 2 days. Stretch to 3 days and you’d risk having mildew growing on the precious diapers.

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3. Machine Wash or Handwash?

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - Machine or Handwash

Personally, I’m all for using the washing machine. It’s one of the best inventions around, especially for people with hand eczema like my mum and myself.

Machine Wash

I’ve used a 10-year old antique top-loader at my mum’s place and my High-Efficiency (HE) front loader with various functions. Both are able to clean diapers well. It’s a matter of knowing your washing machine and choosing the right functions, water level, amount of detergent, etc.

A High Efficiency washing machine uses very little water, so it’s important to use only 1/4 the recommended amount of detergent (unless you’re sure), else it could be hard to rinse the diapers sufficiently. There’s more on detergent later on.

Handwash

And why would any mum want to handwash diapers? Reasons:

  • No washing machine at home
  • The washing machine is spoilt
  • During travel
  • Only a few pieces to wash
  • Personal preference

Handwashing traditional square nappies can work fine because they open up to allow thorough cleaning. There’s also no stay-dry microfleece or suedecloth layer prone to detergent build-up.

But, handwashing modern cloth diapers with a stay-dry layer means you’d need to rinse the diapers VERY thoroughly, to avoid build-up and leaks.

Tip: To protect your delicate hands from detergents, invest in a pair of rubber gloves when handwashing.

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4. Same or Different Load With Clothes?

This is mainly a consideration when using the machine washine. I’m a cleanliness freak, and initially thought that washing diapers with clothes seems a bit gross. After baby arrived, and I saw poo and pee countless times a day, I became desensitised to the perceived grossness. Ha!

Same Load: For 1+ years, I washed Vee’s cloth diapers together with his clothes, including bibs and face cloths. Hubby’s and my home clothes and towels go into the same load too. This way, I’d a full load of laundry every day. After washing, everything smells clean. So bravo to washing all in the same load!

Different Load: Recently, Vee’a eczema patches got infected by fungal (yeast), and spread to his genitals. To kill the yeast, I washed his cloth diapers and wipes separate from everyone’s clothes in Hot for a few weeks, until the fungal infection went away. Now I’m back to washing in the same load again.

Some options:

  1. Machine wash: Run the cloth diapers on Prewash function, then add clothes to the load after the prewash is completed. This means you’d need to watch the washing machine, or
  2. Machine wash: Rinse the diapers by hand once, then throw diapers and clothes into the washing machine, or
  3. Just wash them together like I usually do. They do turn out clean! The exception is during a yeast infection.

Washing diapers and clothes together or separately depends a lot on your personal preference, and your choice may change over time.

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5. Which Detergent to Use?

Nellie's All-Natural Laundry Soda

Cloth diapering made me learn a lot more about detergent within these 2 years. With the right detergent, cloth diapering becomes so much easier.

Learn to read the ingredients stated on the detergent packaging. If nothing is stated or they sound dubious, then simply avoid it.

Also, avoid these detergent ingredients:

  1. Fabric softener: This leads to build-up and repelling.
  2. Enzymes: This is commonly present in the more expensive detergents. When enzymes come into contact with baby’s pee, they start to break it down and could attack baby’s skin too, leading to diaper rash.
  3. Chlorine bleach: This is very harsh to the cloth fibres and could reduce the lifespan of the diapers. Also, they can be harsh to baby’s sensitive skin too. If you really need to use it once in a blue moon, then rinse it away very thoroughly. On the other hand, oxygen bleach is fine.
  4. Essential oils: Over time, these could lead to build-up issues too.
  5. Laundry soap: Well, this isn’t really an ingredient. Anyway, soap may leave a waxy residue on the diapers, so isn’t appropriate.
  6. Artificial fragrance: Fragrance may mask any smell from the washed diapers. Avoiding it means you’d know whether the diapers are truly clean or not. Also, some babies’ skin are sensitive to fragrance.

Are you asking, “Why don’t you simply tell me what to use?” Well, here are some pointers instead:

  1. Choose a detergent proven to work with MODERN cloth diapers. Some packaging states that the detergent is suitable for cloth diapers when it’s referring to traditional square nappies, not the modern invention.
  2. Get recommendations from other mums living in the same region as you, where water conditions are similar. What works in Singapore may not work in New York.
  3. Check baby’s reaction to your chosen detergent. What works for others may not work for your baby’s skin.
  4. If you’ve a top loader, you may consider using laundry balls proven to clean modern cloth diapers. See an example here.

You’d also need to consider Water Hardness.

Water hardness refers to the amount of calcium and magnesium ions in water. The higher the mineral content, the harder the water.

In areas where water is “soft”, such as in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, it’s easy to rinse detergent off clothes and diapers. On the other hand, water in the limestone caves in Batu Caves would be really hard.

If you happen to live in an area with hard water, then you may try the following:

  • Add a water softener to detergent during the wash
  • Use a detergent designed for hard water and is proven to be cloth diaper friendly

In Singapore and Malaysia, Pureen H-A-D is a popular and value-f0r-money detergent among cloth diapering mums. I’ve also tried out Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda (a review sample), which has reached Singapore shores. It works well too. The detailed review is here.

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Part 2: The Actual Wash

6. How Much Detergent to Use?

To prevent detergent build-up, start with 1/4 to 1/2 of the recommended amount.

  • If the diapers smell of pee after the wash, do an extra rinse and check if the smell disappears. On the next laundry day, use slightly more detergent.
  • If the diapers smell of detergent or feels soapy after the wash, also do extra rinses until the smell disappears and the soapy sensation disappears. In future, use slightly less detergent.

Clean diapers should smell of nothing. Within a few days, you’d be able to find the optimal amount.

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7. How to Remove Poo?

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - Diaper Sprayer

Newborns (especially breastfed ones) can poo many times a day, so it’s important to master this area. Vee used to poo up to 11 times in a day. Then he’d diarrhoea due to gastric flu virus recently and I faced poopy diapers 5 times a night!

Poo belongs to the toilet and sewage system, not the garbage system. If you read the disposable diapers packaging carefully, it states that poo should be dumped into the toilet before disposing the diaper. But very, very few parents know of this, let alone practise this.

These are the options you can choose from:

  1. Use a toilet sprayer to spray poo off the diaper and into the toilet. Do this once a day or straight after a poo, if you’ve time. Use the medium “strength”; if water shoots out too forcefully, you risk getting poo all over yourself! (Limitation: Cost of diaper sprayer)
  2. Use a toilet hose, cover part of the opening and spray poo off the diaper. (Limitation: harder to control water power, so practice makes perfect)
  3. Roll solids off the poopy diaper. Wet the diaper. Use an old soft toothbrush to scrub remaining poo bits off. (Limitation: takes a long time for newborn explosive poo)
  4. Use a disposable and flushable diaper liner. Simply throw the liner with poo into the toilet. (Limitations: #1 – poo may not be confined to diaper liner only, so some spraying may still be needed. #2 – Cost of diaper liners.)
  5. Breastfed-baby poo is water soluble, so simply throw diapers with poo into washing machine. (Limitation: Erm… not my cup of tea!)

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8. Need to Prewash Just Before the Real Wash?

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - Prewash

This is optional depending on the circumstances. Some options:

  1. No prewash: For newborn stage and before baby starts eating solid food. Diapers were easy to clean in the early months, so I skipped prewashing.
  2. Use Prewash function (if available): When baby starts eating solid food, poo is no longer water soluble, and total pee volume increases significantly. I recommend prewashing at this stage.
  3. Prewash by hand: Put diapers and inserts / soakers into a pail. Fill pail with enough water to cover the items. Agitate the items by hand (I wear gloves), then pour away the water. Repeat once more if preferred. Put items into the washing machine or handwash with detergent this time round.

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9. What Water Temperature: Cold, Warm or Hot?

Prewashing to remove pee and poo is done in Cold, to prevent stains from setting in.

Using the appropriate water temperature can make or break the cloth diapers, especially those made of PUL (polyurethane laminate). The PUL layer can delaminate from the diaper fabric, when the wash temperature is too high and for too many times. Delamination can lead to leakage. See an example of delaminated PUL below:

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - PUL Delamination

Also, PUL quality defers vastly depending on where the diaper manufacturer sources its fabric from. The most resilient ones can withstand regular hot washes. The weakest that I tried started delaminating after 3 hot washes!

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - Laundry Label

Strangely, there seems to be no universal definition of what “cold”, “warm” and “hot” washes mean. It’s much clearer if the exact wash temperature is stated on the laundry label, but this isn’t widely practised.

After 2 years of trial and error, here’s my own definition:

  • Cold: Maximum 30°C
  • Warm: Maximum 40°C
  • Hot: Maximum 60°C (i.e. highest quality PUL)

Usually, the lowest-priced cloth diapers can only withstand cold washes because high quality PUL is expensive.

How Do I Know the Recommended Wash Temperature?

  1. Before buying the cloth diaper, check the recommended temperature on the manufacturer’s website. If it’s not clearly stated, ask the manufacturer before buying.
  2. If you missed the above, read the laundry label of every new cloth diaper before washing it. This prevents using a water temperature that’s too high, and voiding any warranty.

Are Hot Washes Necessary?

I’ve washed our diapers on Cold at my mum’s place for almost 2 months, and they turned out clean. Washing diapers regularly on hot tends to break them down faster. Even the highest quality PUL can delaminate after being washed in hot for hundreds of times. If you plan to use the diapers for future babies, then don’t wash on hot every time. Schedule it for once a month or so.

Also, if you plan to wash clothes together with cloth diapers, then the hot washes will damage the clothes much faster. For instance, the collars of my home clothes started tearing apart after months of hot washes.

Hot washes also use up more electricity than warm or cold wash, which will rake up the electricity bill.

The exception: When baby has a yeast infection, then wash on Hot until the yeast clears up.

Because of the occasional hot washes that may be necessary, I still prefer buying cloth diapers that can withstand hot washes. This means paying a little more while not risking damages. Again, this is a personal preference.

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Part 3: After The Wash

10. How to Dry Cloth Diapers?

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - Drying

Finally, we’re left with drying the diapers! Some options:

  1. Line drying under the sun
  2. Line drying indoors, catching as much sunshine as possible
  3. Line drying indoors, using a fan to blow at the items
  4. Dryer

I’ve tried all 4 methods and love drying under the hot sun because this is a great way to bleach away poo stains naturally. It’s simply amazing! Usually, the diapers take 4 hours to dry on a sunny day, and 2 days to dry on rainy days. Thick inserts / soakers, fitted diapers and All-in-Ones (AIOs) take the longest to dry.

During rainy days, using a fan or the dryer would help to speed things up.

Tip: Once you’re comfortable with cloth diapering, have enough diapers to rotate. This reduces the “stress level” on rainy days or when baby uses more diapers than normal.

More Tip: Covers dry faster than inserts / soakers, so have several traditional square nappies or prefolds as back-up inserts / soakers for rainy days. They’re low cost and are quite absorbent.

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By now, this post should have answered almost all your queries related to washing cloth diapers. As said in the beginning, washing cloth diapers can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. Once you’ve chosen your preferred routine, washing should soon become second nature.

Any questions? Any more laundry tips? Please share them in the comments box.

P.S. Catch all my Cloth Diapering Tips HERE, including:

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40 Responses leave one →
  1. March 1, 2011

    Very useful and detailed post, MieVee! Thanks a lot for sharing. I didn’t know we are supposed to remove poop from disposable diapers until I read this in one of your entries some time ago. Now I diligently ensure the poop goes into the toilet before discarding the diaper. :)

    I’ve recently grasped the “art” of using my washing machine and making sure my cloth diapers come out smelling clean. E’s diapers used to smell like a fish market.

    I can’t wait for your review on the laundry soda. Have been looking high and low for a good one.

    Kudos and thanks again!

  2. March 6, 2011

    Thank you for a very comprehensive writeup! :)
    I wash my cloth diapers separately from the other clothes for the simple reason that I only use baking soda + distilled vinegar (or sometimes I don’t use anything) for the diaper wash. I do rinse out the diapers with TOP detergent first though.
    Also, I find that it’s important to wash the diapers in MORE water than regular clothes need, because more water will allow the diapers to agitate better during the wash, allowing for cleaner diapers.
    Having used both a top-loading and front-loading washer, I find that the top loader does its job better as the diapers hardly smell after a wash. And with the front loader, I’m using your tip and washing ‘em on the Jeans cycle – works all right to me!

  3. Jasmine permalink
    March 7, 2011

    Hi. I saw that u recommended Pureen HAD detergent but I think this has been discontinued.. Now wondering what other detergent can I use?

    • March 8, 2011

      Hi Jasmine, at a baby fair in KL last year, Pureen staff told me H-A-D is still being produced. I just saw them at Bangsar Village, Village Grocer recently. A few months back, I grabbed several bottles at Parkson Pavilion.

      If you’re from Singapore, then it’s now harder to find Pureen H-A-D from other mums’ feedback.
      I’m trying out and reviewing a CD-safe detergent called Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda. So far, it’s working well for the couple of weeks. In Singapore, it’s distributed by Moo Moo Kow.

      I also have a new box of CD-safe detergent called Tiny Bubbles, by the same manufacturers of GroVia diapers. Yet to try it, but quite sure it’s fine as I read several reviews before buying it. I got it at Tiny Tapir here.

      Milagro Trading (or Whoopeekiddies) also sells bumGenius Diaper Detergent. Go to here. The 10% discount code should apply.

  4. March 24, 2011

    Hi, just wondering how u are finding Nellie’s? Am currently using Pigeon baby detergent, but thinking of switching to either Countrysave or Nellie’s. Any feedback? I was in Taiwan for one year, and my diapers were stinking badly! I had no hot water in the washer, and it’s hard water, plus when winter came, we hardly had any sun! So in my last month there, I gave up & used disposables. Now am so glad to be back in Sunny Singapore.

    • March 29, 2011

      HI Rebecca, Nellie’s has been working well for us, probably more than 1 month now. Clean diapers and clothes, no build up so far.
      I remember looking at Pigeon baby detergent years ago, but wasn’t sure whether it’s modern CD-friendly cos the detailed ingredients aren’t stated.

      As for hard water, I’ve read rave reviews on Rockin Green.

      And yes, I love sunny weathers for drying the diapers! :)

  5. April 11, 2011

    Hi,

    I’m a bit confused with the “use 1/4 of the recommended amount of detergent” that I generally see on all Cloth Diapers FAQ. If washing with a cloth diaper friendly detergent, and mixing with regular clothes, does this still apply? I’m just wondering if the regular clothes will still come out clean with less detergent.

    Thanks!

    • April 13, 2011

      Hihi Christina, it’s usually 1/4 – 1/2 of the recommended amount, depending on how concentrated the detergent is.

      For example, when I use Pureen H-A-D (which is cloth diaper friendly & is VERY concentrated liquid), only a little bit needs to be used, about 1/4 cap for a load consisting of diapers and home clothes / towels / etc.

      Then when I tried Nellie’s Natural Soda (also cloth diaper friendly & in powder form), I need to use almost the recommended amount — about 2 teaspoons per load.

      When unsure, it’s better to start with less then the recommended amount. If diapers smell after the wash, then use slightly more detergent the next time round. It’s also because every one’s full load size / washing machine maximum capacity & efficiency are different.

      Personally, I use cloth diapers to “judge” whether the laundry comes out clean because they’re the most soiled items. When they’re clean and smell fresh (no detergent and no urine smell), I conclude that all the regular items are clean too.

      Hope this helps. :)

      • April 20, 2011

        thanks for the reply mievee! i’ve really been hunting all over for info and it think you’re right, it depends on what you use and how much you’re washing. a bit of trial and error i guess :) anyway, it makes a whole lot more sense now!

      • April 25, 2011

        You’re most welcome, Christina. After a while, you’d be able to find your own best combination. :)

  6. Christine permalink
    July 16, 2011

    Hi MieVee,

    I have a small egg shape washing machine. 1kg load only, if use Nellie’s Natural Soda, How much powder should I use? Usually 1 wash just can put in 8 inserts 4-5 diapers.

    For diapers, will the colored surface damage if put under the hot sun for 4 hours ?

    • Christine permalink
      July 18, 2011

      Btw, do u put diaper liner on cloth diaper?

      • July 18, 2011

        This depends on the situation:

        - newborn: Vee used more of traditional cloth diapers (no stay-dry layer), so I added liner for the stay-dry feel, for a less fussy baby.

        - for modern cloth diapers with stay-dry layer (fleece or suedecloth), then I don’t add liner. Poo can easily for sprayed off into the toilet.

        - diarrhoea: once, Vee had bad diarrhoea. Diarrhoea may stain diapers, so I used a liner.

        - day potty training: generally use diaper with no stay-dry layer and no added liner, for the “feel wet” feeling

        - long nap / night-time / rashes: Vee is prone to ezcema or fungal outbreaks if he eats certain allergenic food. If his genitals are affected by rashes, I’d need to use diaper cream and medicated cream, so I add a disposable liner to prevent build-up on the diapers.

    • July 18, 2011

      Hi Christine, for 8 inserts and 4-5 diapers, i think can try with 1/3 scoop first.
      If the diapers come out smelling clean, then use the same amount.
      If they come out smelling of pee, then run it through another rinse. And for next wash, use slightly more.
      It’s a bit of trial and error.

      So far, our diapers coloured surface have not faced any discolouration after being in the hot sun.
      Generally, once the diapers are dry, can bring them in. It’s to prevent certain elastics from melting.

  7. Jasmine permalink
    September 29, 2011

    Have anyone tried Autumnz Laundry Detergent for modern cloth diapers?

  8. danielle permalink
    December 18, 2011

    Could you please tell me, is it OK to iron the inside of a cloth pocket diaper with PUL (inside is made of fleece), while my baby has an echerihia colli infection? Is it going to damage the diaper? I ask this because I wash diapers on 40°C (to preserve the PUL), which is not enough to kill the bacteria …ofcourse, I wash the insert on 60°C (I used the traditional square nappies to sew the inserts).

    Greetings from Europe!

    • December 22, 2011

      Hi Danielle, hope your baby is fine. I don’t know the answer to ironing a diaper to kill the bacteria.

      My boys have gotten yeast infection before. When it happens, I only use diapers with PUL that I know can withstand hot 60 deg C washes. I do the hot washes until the yeast infection is gone, usually 1-2 weeks.

      Is there any way you can know if the PUL on your diapers can take any hot washes? At least a few?

  9. Niki Faris permalink
    April 27, 2012

    The problem I’m runnin into is our washer does not have hot water hooked up at all. Both water connections are cold :( Can I still cloth diaper w/ all-in-one’s?

    • April 28, 2012

      Hi Niki Faris, you may still cloth diaper, of course! I’ve continued cloth diapering full-time when back at my mum’s place for almost 2 months, and her washing machine washes with cold water only.

      Occasionally, you may consider using an oxygen bleach (such as Nellie’s Oxygen Brightener) and/or rinsing the diapers by hand in hot water.

      And dry the diapers under the hot sun as often as you can. :)

  10. Sher Lee permalink
    August 24, 2012

    If wash the all-in-one pocket diaper or all-in-two cloth diaper together with home clothes using washing machine, do I need to use different laundry bag to separate the shells & inserts with other clothes? If yes, is it one laundry bag for the cloth diaper shells and another one for the inserts?

    • August 24, 2012

      Currently, this is my practice:

      - home clothes: laundry net
      - diaper shells / pocket diapers: “fragile” materials such as bamboo silk – laundry net. Regular ones (especially those poo-ed on) – no net (for more thorough washing)
      - inserts: no laundry net (for more thorough washing)

      Hope this helps! :)

  11. Chantel permalink
    September 6, 2012

    Hello. I am just starting out with cloth diapering my 5 month old son. You have provided lots of information and tips to help. But im still confused on washing cloth diapers. I will be using pocket diapers with prefolds and microfiber inserts. So i have a couple questions.
    -Is Tide laundry poweder okay to use? Im getting a lot of recommendations for this
    -is the prewash necessary?
    -ill be using either a laundromat or my in laws top load washer, any tips on this?
    -i wash all my sons clothes seperatley from mine. Can i wash the diapers with his clothes?

    • September 7, 2012

      - Tide: I haven’t tried. Found this info at Happy Heinys here
      - I always do a prewash, especially for older baby / toddler with lots of stinky pee. I prewash by either rinsing inserts once in a pail or selecting “prewash” function. I wash diapers with clothes, so prewashing is even more important.
      - Laundromat: I haven’t tried.
      - Top loader: usually uses more water, good for thorough rinsing.
      - In law’s washer: if it’s an old washer, check the compartment for pouring in detergent. If it’s coated with detergent, clean it out.
      - I’ve always washed baby clothes with diapers, perfectly fine.

  12. Kathy permalink
    October 3, 2012

    Hi.. do i need to put my soakers and diaper covers / shell in a different laundry net whenever i wash it. Do i need to use laundry net? I use a front load washing machine and wash the diapers separately from baby clothes.

    • October 4, 2012

      Hi Kathy, generally, I use laundry net for diapering items that:
      - shed lint, so that lint doesn’t build-up on other items that tend to catch lint. E.g. fleece soakers

      - are small, so that I don’t drop them when removing the clean laundry to dry. E.g. cloth wipes

      - are made of more fragile fabric, so that they last longer. E.g. silk bamboo diaper

      - have loose velcro laundry tabs, to prevent them from damaging other items. E.g. older velcro diapers

      Otherwise, it can be fine to wash everything together with no laundry net.

      Hope this helps! :)

  13. Ixchel permalink
    December 28, 2012

    I have a 15 days baby and we use cloth diapers, i am having a strange stink problem, i throw the diapers to the washing machine, because it is breastfed poo, i have a top load machine, i prewash, then wash in warm and finally 2 cold rinses. we use special detergent for cloth diapers, but i notice a rotten egg stink in my diapers, only with the new born diapers, because my older son also used cloth diapers, and they did{t smell like egg… what is happening.??

    • January 4, 2013

      Hi lxchel, are the cloth diapers new or passed down from another child? If passed down, they could have some ammonia build-up. Try sanitising them with an oxygen bleach such as Nellie’s Oxygen Brightener.

      Do you spray the newborn poo off before throwing the diapers into the washing machine? If not, try doing so?

      Hope this helps. Good luck! :)

  14. Joanna permalink
    January 5, 2013

    Hihi!

    Just discovered my baby has a yeast infection :(( what’s the best way to wash the diapers? My machine can go up to 90 degrees…. I’m tempted to wash at that temperature but am afraid of spoiling the covers! Is 60 degree sufficient?

    I use country save detergent. Can I use that to get rid of the yeast?

    Thank you!!!

    • January 9, 2013

      Hi Joanna, hope your baby is better now. Inserts / soakers with NO PUL / snaps can be washed to the max temperature, 90 deg in your case.

      Anything with PUL, snaps and elastics should not. This means the covers. Only certain PUL quality can withstand 60 deg washes. Read the laundry label or websites to be sure. Those that state “Hot Wash” should withstand more 60-deg washes than those that state “Warm Wash”.

      By washing a PUL cover that can’t withstand 60-deg wash, there’s risk of PUL delamination. I’ve had this happen to several diapers, but fortunately, no impact of the waterproofness (yet?). So once yeast infection strikes, I’ll still wash them on 60-deg.

      Also for this reason (of difficult laundry), I’ll switch to using disposable diapers (with lots of diaper cream to prevent spread of yeast infection) until the infection clears.

      Personally, I think it’s more of the water temperature than the detergent that kills the yeast.

      All the best!

  15. Katie permalink
    January 28, 2013

    I just started cloth diapering about a week ago. My question is for drying the diapers, I have a HE washer/dryer with settings for drying temp. Do I dry on High, Medium, Low, or Extra Low?? I just finished drying them on medium, and now I’m afraid I may have ruined the PUL.

    • January 30, 2013

      The only time I used a dryer to dry the diaper covers was during our Perth trip. Usually, we line dry them since it’s sunny almost all year round where we live.

      Check the washing label for the PUL covers. Or clarify with the manufacturers on the drying temperature?

  16. February 15, 2013

    This is awesome! I am getting myself acquainted to cloth diapers especially on how to wash them so that I am somewhat ready for my little kiddo in April. This is a very very good review and I am learning alot! Hopefully, I can successfully cloth diaper the kid and come up with a suitable washing method for myself.

    Thanks MV!

  17. Mikel permalink
    March 28, 2013

    Have you had a pocket diaper that had sticky PUL or resistance while stuffing Pocket and it worked fine for a long time? Half of my new bumgenius pockets have sticky PUL. I want to know if you’ve had diapers like this and used them and they were fine. Just worried they’ll continue to deteriorate. I can attempt to get replacements since they’re under warranty, but I didn’t use cloth diaper safe detergent. I have never used dryer. And wash warm. It sucks that I know it’s the varying PUL manufacturers :-(. Don’t want to suffer with these sticky pockets.

    • May 4, 2013

      Hi Mikei, I’ve 2 pocket diapers with delaminated PUL due to hot washes. Interestingly, they still work fine after a long time. Since you mention that half of the BGs have sticky PUL (which means the other half is fine), it may be a batch issue? Consider taking photos, email to the retailer and attempt to get replacements?

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