As many of you know, Thirsties Pre-Wash and Super Wash detergents were discontinued last year. We were sorry to see it go, as we know many of our customers were. Many of you are wondering when we will have a new detergent. We are not sure if we will come out with another detergent in the future, but we do have some recommendations for detergents to wash your Thirsties products.

Before I get to the list, I would like to address why it is so important to use a cloth diaper safe detergent.

 Why do we say to use a cloth diaper safe detergent?

It is not simply to sell our own. From experience, we can see what some ingredients can do to cloth diapers, and what problems it creates for the users. Cloth diapers have unique washing needs compared to our clothing. They become heavily soiled yet need gentle care to keep them in good condition. The diapers need to stay absorbent, the elastic needs to stay stretchy, the Aplix needs to stay sticky, and the waterproofing needs to stay waterproof. Let’s take a look at standard detergents and why we don’t recommend using them:

  • Mainstream detergents can cause leaking, odors, diaper rash, and may also damage your diapering products.
  • Standard detergents can leave a residue on your diapers that will affect the absorbency. Result: Leaking, odors and/or diaper rash
  • Many contain oxygen bleach, Borax, or other harsh ingredients.  Although these ingredients do clean well, they can have ill effects on diapering items. When used on a regular basis, oxygen bleach can deteriorate certain components such as fleece, fold over elastic, PUL, or hook and loop fasteners. Borax can damage Aplix (hook and loop) fasteners.
  • Many contain chemical fragrance and dyes. Result: Possible irritation to baby’s skin
  • Brighteners are residues left intentionally on the fabric. These make the fabric appear to be brighter, but it is not actually cleaner. Result: Possible irritation to baby’s skin; possible leaking, odors, and diaper rash
  • Please keep in mind, just because a detergent says it is cloth diaper safe, it does not mean it is approved by Thirsties to use on our products. 
  • Pure soaps can cause repelling, leaking, and diaper odor. We do not recommend the use of Fels Naptha, Castille soap, or other pure soaps on your absorbent diapers.
  • Fabric softeners in detergent or added to the washer or dryer will coat the fibers of the diapers causing them to repel rather than absorb (causing leaks).
  • Important! These ingredients or additives can void your warranty: Chlorine bleach; Oxygen bleach; pure soap; washing soda as an additive; and Borax. Also, sanitize cycles in HE washing machines for anything with components.

Below is a list of detergents recommended for use on Thirsties products. They have good reviews for cleaning, and the ingredients have been screened for harsh additives. If you see a * after the detergent name, it is HE safe.

Allens Naturally Liquid*

Country Save Liquid

Ecover Laundry Liquid

Ecover Powder*

Mountain Green Free and Clear Baby*

Mountain Green Ultra Baby*

Nature Clean Laundry Liquid

Nature Clean Powder*

Planet Delicate Laundry Wash*

Planet 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent HE*

Planet Ultra Powdered Laundry Detergent


For hard water, you may also use Calgon Water Softener as needed, along with your detergent.

For Thirsties recommendations on how to wash your diapers, please visit:

Our care and use instructions are in line with the RDA washing guidelines:


To find out how a specific detergent rates, please visit:


Helpful tips:

-It is important not to use additives along with your detergent unless otherwise suggested by Thirsties. Detergents are PH balanced, and if you add something you can throw off the PH balance of the wash water. This can cause issues with rash or odor.

-Use the specified amount of detergent for your machine type. Hard water may need a bit more, but be careful not to add too much.

-Remember to always add an extra rinse after the wash cycle.

-Use an adequate water level. Diapering items should be soaked and covered with water in the washer to ensure proper cleanliness.

We know that cloth diapering is an investment. Following the manufacturer’s care and use instructions and using a recommended detergent will help avoid potential problems and additional cost. We recommend printing the care and use instructions and keeping them by the washer for reference. We are with you on this journey! Feel free to send any questions to!



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