100 Ways to Wash Your Cloth Diapers

Posted by Courtney Moser on April 15, 2014.

In my (totally unscientific) review of an insane amount of online cloth diaper discussion forums, I've concluded that the most talked-about topic is how to wash them

And no wonder! Just peruse different manufacturers' recommendations on how to wash cloth diapers...

Manufacturer Washing Instructions


...and you'll see that there must be at least 100 different recommendations out there! 

Just a few examples of conflicting cloth diaper washing advice include:

  • bumGenius says to wash dark cloth diapers separately, and use bleach once a month.
  • Thirsties say not to use any bleach.
  • SoftBums says to use 1/4 the recommended amount of detergent in the initial cold cycle, then a hot cycle with no detergent.
  • GroVia says always use the full recommended amount of detergent.
  • FuzziBunz says to do a cold rinse first and then wash on hot using 1/2 ounce of detergent.
  • Kissaluvs says that the pre-wash for cloth diapers is optional.

Our Advice on Washing

Clearly, there's no one-size-fits-all routine for washing cloth diapers. Someone with hard water and a high-efficiency machine won't do things exactly the same way as someone with soft water and a top-loader. If you've been following your wash routine for months on end without experiences problems with smelly diapers or repelling, then don't change a thing! 

We suggest a simple routine starting with a pre-rinse cycle on warm, a hot cycle with the full recommended amount of detergent (one that does not contain bleach, softeners, or optical brighteners), and a final rinse on warm or cool.

Overall, our best advice is just to keep it simple. Don't add lots of unnecessary laundry additives or use your kitchen gadgets to try to wash your cloth diapers! 

What's Your Cloth Diaper Wash Routine?

Leave a comment below! 

Courtney Moser


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