How to care for your cloth diapers to get the most out of them is simple. I can’t stress enough how the care with the diapers varies greatly from one family to another. It is important to find a way that not only works for you but that also feels easy in your routine.
Washing and drying your cloth diapers is not that different from your usual laundry routine. For some ideas, you can check how I wash my cloth diapers with a simple routine.
Besides all the basics of washing and drying your diapers, it is relevant to pay attention to the way you handle your stash.
Things like stains, odor and long lasting use of your diapers can all be better addressed if you take some extra care.
Depending on what kind of cloth diapers you have, the approach might vary. I’ll share with you the approach I take with the ones I have so far – pockets, all-in-ones and flats.
How to Care for Your Cloth Diapers
How do I care for the used diapers?
The very first thing I do is rinse the diapers in the sink every time I remove them from my child. It helps to prevent them from smelling in the pail.
I also have a pail where I put all the dirty diapers after rinsing. The pail I use stays in my laundry room, and it doesn’t have a lid. I prefer a pail without a lid to facilitate ventilation on the diapers.
In my pail, I often add baking soda to help with the odor as needed. Either I am really used to the odor of my diapers, or the baking soda really helps tremendously!
Now, I don’t just sprinkle a tablespoon of the baking soda. I usually add 1/3 cup at the very bottom of the pail and then a little less than this after I pile on a few diapers. No hard fast rule here either. Sometimes you’ll notice that it won’t even be necessary.
What do I use to wash my cloth diapers?
To wash, I use gentle soaps which recommended. It’s said that regular soap can leave residue in the cloth diapers. And if you have a sensitive skin child, whose skin reacts to that residue, using a gentler soap will be a much better option. You can check my simple washing routine here.
Maybe a solution for using regular soap would be using it in smaller amounts or rinsing the diapers more times. But take into consideration how many extra loads you’d need for that. But again, do what works best for you.
Now I am washing my supply with cold water and do hot loads twice a month. I noticed that washing with cold water has given me the same results as washing with hot water. Besides that, it saves me on gas and electricity!
What else do I use?
I always add baking soda when I wash my diapers too. It will enhance the effectiveness of the laundry soap I use and help to deodorize the diapers too.
I also use in every single wash chlorine-free bleach to fight stains. Chlorine-free bleach is safe enough to use in cloth diapers.
How do I dry my cloth diapers?
To dry my diapers, I usually remove the shells from the dryer after about 15 minutes. I learned that the hard way, when I noticed that the diapers’ elastics were getting worn out by the heat.
You can keep the diapers in the dryer for the whole cycle – I am guilty of it myself. It doesn’t mean that your diapers’ elastics will be bad in a week, but your elastics will definitely wear out much sooner.
Loose elastics make the diapers more prone to leaking because they won’t fit as well as if the elastics were working well.
It might be tricky with all-in-one diapers because you can’t detach the insert from the shells. What I do is let them finish drying by hanging.
You might want to just remove the diapers from the dryer a few times per week rather than every time you dry them. But you were warned of the risks. It is all up to you, your time and routine!
What about the diaper rash ointment?
I have used different kind of ointments. Today, I use oils as ointments or some sort of ointment jelly. But I still have regular ointment left over as a back up.
If you use gentle laundry soaps, you might want to stick with ointments that are not petroleum based. You can still use it, but if you do, use the bare minimum amount.
Petroleum, natural oils or natural ointment are all oil based right? But petroleum based ointments will stick and leave more residue than the other two. That way it can be harder to remove stains and clean the cloth, especially if you use natural products.
If you have ointment buildup constantly, you might need to strip the diapers more often, and the diapers might wear out sooner too.
What type of system do I have?
Most of the diapers I have are pockets. I love them better than any other system. Why? Pockets are simple, and they are not as “inconvenient” to handle as it seems.
When thinking about pocket diapers, we only think about the stuffing aspect of it. While in reality, it might be its best feature!
Pocket diapers are great because I can wash them very properly since I can remove the inserts from the shells. I will always remove the inserts from the shells and not let the washer do that for me.
This will allow the diapers to get cleaned much better, easily remove the shells from the dryer to save my elastics and dry faster which you can’t get with the all-in-ones.
It might look like a lot, but I promise you it is not. Those are steps you build over time as you do your laundry in general. So don’t be intimidated by it.
This is how I care for my cloth diapers to get the most out of them in the long run!
How do you care for your cloth diapers? Jot down a note for us in the comments below. I would love to learn from you!
See you around the blog,