Cloth Diaper Care
- + Before Wearing
Wash all diapers at least one time before use, using a cloth diaper safe detergent.
Thirsties hemp products can be used after 3 wash/dry cycles, and will reach maximum absorbency after 8 wash/dry cycles. You will need to wash Thirsties hemp products separately from your other diapering products for these initial cycles.
- + Diaper Changing Station
Shake solids into toilet after each diaper change. Store your soiled Thirsties Cloth Diapers in a DRY diaper pail. A standard 52-quart garbage pail with a lid works great and can be purchased at your local department store. Be sure to line your pail with a Thirsties Pail Liner to avoid having to clean your pail on every laundry day.
Stow your stash of Thirsties Fab Wipes in an accessible location to your changing table along with some fresh water for wipe dipping. Toss soiled wipes into your pail along with your diapers.
- + Pre Wash
*Although soaking can aid in stain removal, we do not recommend soaking anything but natural fiber diapers for any longer than 10 minutes. This is due to the fact that it can eat away at lamination, and lock in odor. This will void your warranty.
For optimum cleanliness, limit the size of your load to no more than 18 M/L or 24 XS/S diapers and wash every other day (plus inserts and wipes). Set your washer to an adequate water level for the amount of diapers. The diapers should have enough room to move around during the wash cycle. Use cold or warm water for the pre-wash cycle to help pre-clean your diapers. If you do not have a pre-wash cycle on your washer, a short or quick wash cycle will work just as well. You may add a small amount of detergent to the prewash cycle if desired.
For HE machines, we suggest a load of 12-15 diapers. Diapers need a good amount of water to clean them properly, and HE machines use less water. Here are some tricks to adding water to your HE diaper load:
- Adding a wet bath towel to your diaper laundry will trick the washer into adding more water. You will use this in the prewash cycle, and leave in for the wash and rinse cycles.
- Select the Soak option to fill the washer with water, and then spin the water out. This will wet the diapers, making them heavier. In turn, that will trick the washer to use more water.
- Spray the diapers with a diaper sprayer before putting into the diaper pail. This will wet the diapers, making them heavier. In turn, that will trick the washer to use more water.
- + Wash
Choose a HEAVY cycle and wash on HOT for the main wash, using an adequate water level. The diapers should have a bit of room to move around. Please be sure not to use temperatures over 130 degrees for any item with components. Use the recommended amount of cloth diaper safe detergent per load.
Most detergents on the market will leave a residue on your diapers that will affect the absorbency and will cause odors and diaper rash. Please avoid soaps as well as additives such as bleach, fabric softeners, brighteners, and dyes. These can not only harm your diapers, but your baby's sensitive skin as well.
As a general rule, please avoid:
Bleach (oxygen or chlorine)
Sanitize cycles, whites cycles, or other high heat cycles in HE machines
These practices and/or additives can void the warranty on your Thirsties products. If you need to disinfect your diapers due to infection, please contact us and we will be happy to help find a solution.
Rinse on warm, adding an extra rinse.
- + Dry
Hang your cloth diapers to dry or dry in dryer on low. Inserts, flats, and prefolds may be dried on medium settings.
*Routine drying in the dryer will hasten the life of any diapering product - especially on diapers or covers with components such as hook and loop fasteners and elastic. Drying on high heat may void the warranty on your Thirsties products.
Add a dry towel or wool dryer balls to the dryer to speed the drying process.
A hot, 15 minute dryer cycle once a month is beneficial to lamination.
Drying in direct sunlight is the very best method for drying and disinfecting, and at getting rid of stains. However, take care not to leave diapers out longer than neccessary, as UV rays and high temperatures can also have an ill effect on diapering products. Cotton and hemp diapers will be somewhat stiff when hung to dry. One option to soften sun-dried textiles made from natural fibers is to use the dryer while still slightly damp.
- + Stripping
You will need to strip your diapers if you have residue or diaper odor. Residue can be caused by hard water, diapers than are not cleaned or rinsed thoroughly, detergents, or from greasy products such as diaper creams or fabric softeners. You could also have soap scum if you use a non-approved soap or detergent.
Following are the instructions for diaper stripping. Strip only as needed, as it can be harsh on your diapering products.
Maximum load size is 24 XS/S or 18 M/L diapers.
Starting with clean diapers:
1. Fill machine with Hot water on the highest water level, using a heavy cycle.
2. Add 2 Tablespoons of Dawn Classic dish soap to the wash water and agitate for about 10 seconds.
3. Add diapers and run wash cycle, adding two extra warm rinses.
4. If the rinse water is slimy or has any bubbles during the last rinse, you should add another rinse.
Dawn dish soap is NOT low sudsing. Please do not use dish soap in a High Efficiency machine, as this will most likely void the warranty on your machine. You will need to use a top loading machine or the bathtub to strip with Dawn dish soap.
If you need to strip your diapers in an HE machine, you can use RLR. This can be found online.
Maximum load size is 15 XS/S or 12 M/L diapers.
Start with clean diapers, and follow instructions on the RLR package.
*RLR can be harsh on components, especially Aplix fasteners. Please use only when needed.
If you have residue on your diapers, you will want to strip the diapers but also take care of what is causing the problem. First make sure you are using the correct wash instructions above.
If you are not using a recommended detergent, you will want to strip your diapers and change to a cloth diaper safe detergent.
Make sure that if you use a diaper cream that it is cloth diaper safe. You may want to use a liner when using diaper creams.
For hard water, you will need to use a water softener such as Calgon Water Softener or 1/4 cup baking soda to your wash load.
- + Recommended Detergents
Most mainstream detergents on the market will leave a residue on your diapers that will affect the absorbency and will cause odors and diaper rash. Please avoid soaps to wash your diapers, and detergents with ingredients such as bleach, fabric softeners, brighteners, dyes, and fragrance. These can not only harm your diapers, but your baby's sensitive skin as well.
You can find a detergent rating chart here: http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html
The following can void your warranty: Additives, Chlorine bleach, Oxygen bleach, pure soap, Borax, high heat in the dryer, and sanitize/high heat cycles on HE machines.
Here is a list of detergents recommended for use on Thirsties products:
Allens Naturally Liquid*
Country Save Liquid
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
* = HE safe
For powder detergents, please dissolve in hot water before adding diapers.
For hard water, you may also use Calgon Water Softener or 1/4 cup baking soda as needed, along with your detergent.
For Thirsties recommendations on how to wash your diapers, please go to: http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/customer-center/care-use/