Wash and care recommendations are to be used after your new diapers have been prepped. Prepping your new cloth diapers is a very important step as it ensures the inserts have reached maximum absorbency before use. You can find Prepping instructions in this blog post here.
Attention all cloth diapering newbies: POOP DOES NOT BELONG IN YOUR WASHING MACHINE! It doesn’t belong in the trash either, which is why cloth diapering is a stellar way to make sure poop ends up where it belongs: in the toilet.
So, how do you wash cloth diapers?
The information on the graphics shared below is the same as in the body of the text below. We provide both to be accessible to all cloth diaper users, especially those using a text to voice translation tools that may not pick up text on graphics.
Daily Use Guidelines:
- Shake solids into toilet. (Use a disposable liner or a sprayer to facilitate this.)
- If needed, spray any remaining solids off with a diaper sprayer. (Don’t forget to use your Spray Pal! No muss, no fuss!)
- Important: Unsnap inserts from shells (if you've snapped them in).
- Remove inserts from pocket (*Optional: most inserts will agitate out during the wash cycle as long as they are not snapped in).
- Place diaper in pail liner or in a large hanging wet bag.
- On wash day (wash every other day for best results), start with a cold/warm prewash/rinse & spin or just a short wash. This is to saturate the diapers and spin out urine and any remaining solid particles and to prevent staining. (*If you are using a front loading washer, choose delicate cycle to allow washer to add the most amount of water possible. Check your washer’s manual to determine if this is the cycle that uses the most water.)
- Follow with a wash cycle on warm with a cold rinse (water temperature cannot exceed 120 degrees F or 50 degrees C) and the recommended amount of detergent for the brand you use (see Detergent Recommendations below).
- Finish with an extra rinse on cold. (Most washers have this option that you can select when you start the wash cycle so that the extra rinse begins right away.)
- Hang dry covers/shells or dry in the dyer on low/air fluff. Inserts can be line dried or tumble dried on low/med.
- Prep your clean diapers for use: Snap inserts into shells on top or stuff inserts into pockets of shells to prep the diapers for baby’s use. If you choose to dry your shells on low/extra low in the dryer, be sure that you DO NOT stuff shells that are still warm from the dryer. Wait until they cool before stuffing them, else you risk unnecessary stretching and potential damage/wear of the shells. Also, be sure to avoid wearing rings when stuffing diapers to prevent tears/snags in the TPU.
If you think it needs to be more complicated than that, then you might want to reconsider your advice source.
- DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER OR LAUNDRY ADDITIVES LIKE SANITIZER, BORAX, OR OXYGEN BLEACH ON DIAPERS.
- Bleach is only recommended when treating yeast or mold in diapers or to disinfect previously owned cloth diapers. Doing a "bleach soak" is never recommended. When bleach is needed, we recommend starting with clean diapers and using 1/8-1/4 cup of regular bleach (not splashless or scented) in the wash cycle followed by lots of warm rinses (until you can no longer smell the bleach).
- If you have stains after washing, place diapers in sunlight while they are still damp. This will help naturally lighten and remove the stain. If one sunning doesn't get the job done, you can rewet and resun. You can also try Buncha Farmers stain stick, which is cloth safe and recommended by many of our customers.
- There is no need to routinely strip your diapers. If you have a solid wash routine and an effective detergent, you shouldn’t be running into issues at all. There are a lot of “strip happy” recommendations out there, and some of the preached recipes for stripping are in NO way recommended by any cloth diaper company because of the damage it will cause to the materials. If you are running into problems constantly, you should be looking at your wash routine first and foremost, not stripping all the time. Please contact us if you need help with your wash routine (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are here to help you!
TIP: Use the recommended amount of detergent that is recommended by the detergent brand you are using. Aim for detergents with the least amount of additives.
***If you must use bleach due to yeast, mold, or to sanitize new-to-you diapers, make sure you rinse well on warm so that it doesn’t eat away at the fabrics and to avoid any rashes on your little one's sensitive skin.
*** We do not recommend soaking your cloth diapers in additives EVER. Soaking in caustic detergent or bleach eats away natural fibers such as bamboo and can de-laminate your shells rendering your diapers useless.
This list is compiled based on feedback from our customers. We are not detergent experts. New detergents come and go on the market; therefore, this list is not definitive and is intended purely as a general guideline.
Allen’s Natural (liquid and powder)
Eco’s Free and Clear (some report residue in hard water)
Gain (contains brighteners, scent and dye)
Tide Free (contains brighteners)
Tide (contains brighteners, scent and dye)
*** Disclosure: Lalabye Baby takes no responsibility in the washing of your diapers. This is a recommend list of detergents compiled from our customers. Not following care guidelines, including high water or dryer temperatures, and/or the use or overuse of non-recommended chemicals like bleach, borax, oxygen-bleach, etc. voids the limited warranty on your diapers and will cause premature wear and tear.
Here is an example of a wash routine from one customer:
If you have additional questions or need help, we are here to help! Just email us at email@example.com .