Cloth Diapering 101

New to cloth diapering? Use this guide to learn the basics.

Laundering Tips

Pre-Wash

Before throwing soiled diapers in laundry pail be sure the hook and loop closurs are attached to the laundry tabs on the inside of the diaper. This step will help prevent the diaper from becoming tangled during the laundering process and will lengthen the life of your hook and loop.

For optimum cleanliness with standard washing machines, limit the size of your load to no more than 18 M/L or 24 XS/S diapers (plus inserts and wipes) and wash every other day. Also be sure to select the appropriate load size to provide an adequate amount of water to wash your diapers. Use warm water and a small amount of detergent 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.

For HE washing machines, we suggest a load of 12-15 diapers. Diapers need an ample amount of water to clean them properly, and HE machines do not normally use an adequate amount of water. To trick the washer into adding more water, add a large, wet bath towel to each load. You will use this in the pre-wash cycle, and leave in for the wash and rinse cycles.

*Although soaking can aid in stain removal, we do not recommend soaking anything but natural fiber diapers for longer than 10 minutes. Soaking your diapers for extended periods may damage laminates and lock in odors.

Wash

Choose a HEAVY cycle and wash on HOT for the main wash, using an adequate water level. You will want to use enough water to cover your diapers allowing them to soak. Please avoid using water temperatures higher than 130 degrees Fahrenheit for any item with components such as hook and loop, elastic, and laminate.

Many detergents on the market will leave a residue on your diapers that will affect the absorbency and will cause odors and diaper rash. Use a cloth diaper safe detergent that doesn’t contain additives such as bleach, fabric softeners, pure soap, brighteners, and dyes. These can not only harm your diapers but also your baby's sensitive skin and in many cases will void your warranty.

When washing diapers or covers with components such as hook and loop, elastic, and lamination, please avoid; Borax, sanitize cycles, and vinegar.

For hard water the use of additional detergent or Calgon water softener may be needed.

Rinse

After wash cycle add a warm rinse cycle.

Drying

Drying in direct sunlight is the very best method for drying, disinfecting, and getting rid of stains. However, take care not to leave diapers out longer than necessary 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 cotton and hemp products is to add 1/2 cup vinegar to the second rinse cycle, or use the dryer while product is still slightly damp.

If using the dryer, we recommend drying on low. Adding a dry towel or wool dryer balls will shorten the drying process.

*Routine drying in the dryer will shorten the life of any diapering product - especially diapers or covers with hook and loop fasteners and elastic components.

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