Four Cloth Diapering Laundry Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Courtney Moser on March 29, 2015.

If you're new to cloth diapers, we don't want you to feel overwhelmed. However, we also want to make sure you get started on the right foot with good washing habits so that you don't get frustrated by laundry issues.
cloth diaper laundry mistakes
Based on years of helping customers troubleshoot problems and then establish good, simple wash routines, here are the top four mistakes we see that lead to problems:
  1. Not washing frequently enough. Don't let soiled diapers sit in the pail for more than three days between washes. The longer your diapers sit, the more the urea breaks down and converts to ammonia. Ammonia builds up in the fibers of the diapers and is difficult to wash out in a normal wash cycle (more noticeably with microfiber). 
  2. Using the incorrect amount of detergent. Too little detergent means you can get ammonia build up; too much may cause detergent residue. Both can irritate your baby's skin. Use the proper amount of a good detergent for a heavily soiled load.
  3. Skipping the pre-rinse. The more water you have flowing through your diapers, the cleaner they will be. A pre-rinse in cold or warm water ensures that you are not trying to clean your cloth diapers in dirty water. 
  4. Too many additives. Additives refer to anything you add to your wash routine aside from your trusty detergent. These include vinegar, baking soda, bleach, oxygen bleach, borax, essential oils, etc. Creating an overly complicated wash routine with multiple products often causes further problems.

Check out some of our cloth diaper laundry supplies to help you along your way!

Courtney Moser


  1. Anna Pry May 02, 2015

    its been a few years since i’ve had to wash cloth diapers but i still remember my washing routine, rockin green was always my fave to use

  2. Emily Cox April 28, 2015


  3. Sandra Watts April 27, 2015

    My niece is having her baby in August so I will pass on these tips for her. She plans on using cloth diapers.

  4. Kim Hampton April 24, 2015

    Great tips! Thanks for posting.

  5. Dorothy Boucher April 23, 2015

    Thanks for sharing this information, I really didn’t know that just skipping the prerinse would actually have a huge impact, again thanks

  6. Emily Endrizzi April 23, 2015

    I guess cloth diapering is the big thing these days. My mom used them with my sister and I when we were babies. She used a diaper service back then. The thought never even crossed my mind when I had my first baby in 1998. I didn’t know of anyone that used cloth diapers even in 2007 when my youngest was born. Now it seems that everyone is using them. What was it that cause this shift from disposable? My sister used cloth diapers when her daughter was born 2 years ago and that’s the first I heard of anyone doing this. I am glad I read these tips because I would have been the type to overdo the detergent! I try to stay out of my sister’s way when she’s doing the diaper laundry though because the one time that I tried to help she got angry with me when I added a dryer sheet to the diaper load. Apparently you aren’t supposed to put dryer sheets in with them. I had no idea!

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up