washing cloth diapers

This is probably the number two question I get when people find out that I use cloth diapers.The first one being, CLOTH DIAPERS!? (which maybe shouldn't count as a question but more so a remark)

How do I wash these babies?

Before I get into the laundry details, I want to make a couple of comments.

Cloth diapering does mean you need to do more laundry
I'm not hiding that. Cloth diapers add about one extra load every two days. This is washing enough cloth diapers for two children, keep in mind. I'm used to doing a load of laundry every day, so instead of seven loads/week, I have around ten loads/week. Luckily laundry is my favourite necessary evil on the chore list!

Washing cloth diapers can be gross
I always want to paint them in the most positive light because of the enormous environmental and financial benefit they have been for us, but I need to be honest too. I don't want you to hear from me exclusively how easy they are (and they are!!), and then start using them and be discouraged by the added work and yuck. Now, I will say that I consider changing poopy diapers of any kind to be gross. Its part of the gig that I never really embraced fully. Pampers, Huggies, or cloth. It's gross. Washing cloth diapers is not exempted from that.You've been warned.

Washing cloth diapers does not add substantially to your Hydro bill
This is a fear many people have when committing to washing them at home instead of using a delivery service, but it's quite a low cost. Apple Cheeks has a lot of information about this on their site if you're interested. 
Now that I've got that off my chest, let's continue mk?

  • Store wet/dirty diapers in a wet bag or plastic bin with lid. I keep a wet bag in my purse and diaper bag for when we're out and once we're home the soiled diapers go in the plastic garbage pale with secure lid.  If you don't have a wet bag, cloth diapering will be all but impossible when you're out of the house.
  • If a diaper has poop, plop that sucker in the toilet. If the poop is runny, that's when cloth diapering gets gross. I use toilet paper to push it in the toilet. It's sick, but my kids each only poop once a day, and usually at this point it's solid. ThankyouJesus.
  • When the diaper bin is full (every 1.5-2.5 days) throw them in the washing machine and start with a COLD rinse cycle.
  • Follow cold rinse cycle with a full wash on HOT. This is when you use detergent. Most cloth diaper retailers will tell you the best detergent is Rock N' Green detergent, but each diaper brand has special specifications so research carefully. We use Rock N' Green. Two scoops per load.
  • Finish with another COLD rinse cycle. This is actually optional, but we've always done it and I think it's why they've lasted so well. If I'm in a hurry or there were no major poopy diapers in the load, I'll skip this step.
  • Hang diaper covers to dry. Heat is no good for these guys, so if you can't hang them, then tumble dry on low. The inserts/liners are generally not made of material that is heat sensitive so you can dry them on medium or hot, but we do medium.

hope that helps!

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree that the poopy diapers are gross.... but so are the massive bags of disposable diapers that leave our house if we aren't cloth diapering for some reason (rash, travel, diaper stripping).
    Our starter kit came with a Diaper Sprayer and it is GENIUS! I honestly don't know how cloth diapering parents get by without one! Its basically a spray hose that attaches to your toilet (like the kind you often find on kitchen sinks). I just spray poop off into the toilet and ring out the excess water before tossing the diaper in the diaper bag. Still a little messy, but manageable!