Ask the Experts: How Do YOU #washdiapers?

Posted by Courtney Moser on May 28, 2014.

We recently discussed all of the varying instructions out there on washing cloth diapers and how that can be frustrating for parents who are just getting started with cloth.

Our advice is to start with a very basic routine of rinse-wash hot-rinse. There may be a bit of trial and error at first to find what works for your situation - it will depend on your washer, water type, and detergent. However, once you find a wash routine that works, your cloth diaper laundry goes on autopilot and it's very manageable!

Photo by Anthony Woodside

Our Experts Weigh In

We checked in with some of our favorite cloth diapering bloggers to hear about their wash routines, and here's what works for them:

Suzi of Cloth Diaper Addicts shares: "I like to keep it simple. Pre-wash on warm with a scoop of Rockin Green Funk Rock, wash on hot with 3 scoops Rockin Green Classic Rock, and a double rinse keeps my diapers clean and fresh."

Christine of Thoughts of Fluff says, "I do a cold rinse, hot wash, and then double rinse on warm or hot. I always dissolve my detergent in hot water before adding to the wash so it cleans better. HE FL machines use more water the more delicate the cycle. Use permanent press or delicates for these machines if you need more water."


All Natural Katie tells us: "My cloth diaper wash routine is simple: cold rinse or light wash (no detergent), followed by a hot heavy wash (with detergent). Stained diapers get dried in the sun or air dried until next sunny time of the day."

Laundry Pitfalls to Avoid

All of the wash routines above are reasonable and will keep your diapers good and clean. If you're finding that you have to "strip" (i.e. deep-clean) your diapers every few weeks, then you need to make some adjustments. You may need more or less detergent, a different detergent, hotter water, or more water.

Rockin' Green's founder and CEO, Kim, has heard it all! "We get some people that try to use a cup or more of RNG, we have had some try way too little- like a teaspoon, we have had people wash with bottled ammonia, we have had the 'home chemist' who tries to add in vinegar and baking soda together, we have people try to make their own soap and end up with repelling, we have had people who wetpail with chemical concoctions 24/7, we have people that refuse to rinse, people that rinse 10 times each wash, we get the people who stuff their machine to the brim and then get upset when diapers are still dry in the middle of the drum, we have had people washing in the dishwasher, we have had people try fish ammonia remover.....we could go on and on!"

FuzziBunz customer service representative Lindsay has helped troubleshoot wash problems for customers on both ends of the spectrum. She's heard from those who overdo it - for example, "a full wash cycle with no detergent, followed by two full hot wash cycles with detergent (and possibly baking soda or vinegar), followed by another (or two) full hot wash cycles with no detergent." She's also worked to help others realize that they aren't doing enough to get their diapers clean - obviously, a single hot wash with one teaspoon of detergent isn't going to cut it! 

What's Your Routine?

If you have found a great wash routine that doesn't result in smells or repelling, tell us all about it! You can either leave a comment below or tweet about it! (We'll be sure to tweet back to you!)

Courtney Moser


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