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You Can Clean Your Cloth Diapers

The number one reason families *do not* choose cloth diapers as an option for their growing family is hesitancy about laundry and getting their diapers clean.

Let’s debunk this a little and talk about how we can overcome it! If you are in cloth diapers part or full time, you probably have seen a plethora of differing opinions and misinformation when it comes to keeping these pieces of fabric clean. Something previous generations did without issue is now a hot mess of confusing jargon, “approved” wash routines and clean “tests” that take time and open Pandora’s box of fixes with the added bonus of worry that your diapers could actually be harming your baby with trapped bacteria. Take a deep breath and remember, you can successfully clean cloth diapers without overcomplicating things.

Keep Your Wash Routine Simple

Cloth diaper washing IS easy! The graphic below outlines this in four simple steps from start to finish, nothing more, nothing less. Your detergent can be a mainstream detergent, and if you have sensitivities email us for recommendations! Much like your favorite cookie recipe, once you start adding a-pinch-of-this and a toss-of-that, things can get complicated. As you stray from these four steps, all of a sudden you may notice stains or odors creeping up.

cloth diaper basic wash routine

Signs Your Diapers Are Not Clean

Odors. Simply put, odors. Stains happen, especially with new foods, illness, teeth, all kinds of things! Sunning wet diapers outside (yes, even in the winter!) is very effective and for stubborn you can use Shout stain remover gel. Stains fade over time and are not indicative of a poor wash routine.

Odors can also be normal at two times:

  • for soiled diapers in your pail
  • overnight diapers in the morning

Diapers are fabric, and if they are sitting in urine + feces for hours at a time, you will have odors coming from them. When odor is not normal:

  • A freshly peed-in diaper
  • Fresh out of the dryer

Such orders indicate you need to disinfect and troubleshoot the wash routine, email us for help!

cloth diaper laundry meme

Let’s talk about Build Up”

Can detergent buildup in your diapers? Yes. Is this indicated by dribbling water on them? No. What about slightly murky water after swishing them around in a glass of water? No. See this article or email us if you’re concerned you may have some kind of build up in your cloth diapers.

MOST issues of leaking are from fit or absorbency issues, not buildup. If you have enough detergent buildup to repel urine, the diapers will have odors. Even the most fragrant detergent cannot hide this smell, you will have a perfumed-feces smell (not pleasant, don’t recommend, 0 out of 4 stars).

If your diapers are leaking, email us for fit and absorbency troubleshooting, we are happy to help.

cloth diaper laundry tips

Bleach & Cloth Diapers

Bleach seems to be a 5 letter word in the cloth diaper world. Chlorine bleach is necessary for some parts of your cloth diaper journey, but should not be a *regular* part of it. If your wash routine continually leaves your diapers full of odors, email us to fix it. An occasional and necessary bleach wash cycle (not soak) may be needed during a bacterial rash issue, yeast, pre-used diapers, and other medical or disinfecting circumstances. Email us for help with how to do this and lessen the impact on your diapers <3

Remember diaper laundry does not have to be complicated or scary and we’re here to help. You can clean your little ones’ cloth diapers!

As the winter months go on we’re all doing our best to enjoy what the season has to offer while keeping our families cozy and comfortable. Why not pass some time with a GIVEAWAY of some favorite Thirsties products. See the giveaway form here to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy Your Cloth

Though the view out your window may be dull and gray with these Thirsties prints and solid the view at your changing table is sure to be CUTE! Ice Blue and Night Owl are recently discontinued fabrics so this is a great chance to add them to your stash. We’re also including Thirsties new Organic Cotton Flat which pairs perfectly with our popular Duo Wrap. To finish off the cloth diaper portion of this prize package we had to include a fan-favorite pocket diaper in our gorgeous new print, Sakura!

Organize Your Gear

Raise your hand if your family struggles to keep all their winter gear organized! Thirsties wet bags are an easy way to keep your family’s hats and mittens in order. Hang a wet bag by the door for items that need washing or give each family member their own bag to store their winter must-haves.

Snacks at the Ready

You and the kids are sure to need some snacks after a fun-filled adventure outside. Whether you’re on the car ride home after hitting the slopes or simply coming in from the backyard Thirsties snack bags are a great way to be sure everyone has a perfectly portioned snack. After enjoying your snack, or even before you head out the door, use Thirsties Booty Love to protect your family’s faces from winter chapped cheeks!

thirsties giveaway prize package

We hope this prize package warms your hearts and shows you the best of Thirsties this winter. Thank you for participating and good luck!

When a cloth diapering parent hears the word “flat”, thoughts of tedious folding, leaking, and how-on-earth-will-I-get-this-on-my-wriggly-baby overtake our minds. I mean, just look at it, a plain, white, large square of organic cotton. #Boring

Bear with me for just a second…what if I told you that flats can be the diapers with the lowest cost, easiest washing, longest durability, and more versatile ways to keep leaks at bay, from newborns through toddlers?

Shocking, I know!

Flats & Newborns

Flats are perfect for newborns who are leaky, explosive, and need the most diaper changes. You don’t need extensive Origami training to be able to make this work! Simply fold into smaller squares for the perfect pad fold in the duo wrap, a fantastic tutorial can be found here.

You can also be creative with rolling in the sides, “The Bikini Twist” (sounds like a great summer dance party!) or a myriad of others ways to make this diaper fit perfectly, and contain everything your little bundle of joy can dish out. Flats, being fewer layers, are also incredibly easy to wash and very fast to machine or hang dry without the potential for mildew issues in thicker diapers.

Older babies and toddlers? Let’s take a dive-

A flat inside Thirsties Duo Wrap

The Versatility of Flats

Flats for older babies retain the same easy wash/dry perks that we went over for newborns, but hold some extra “pros” for those babies who are crawling, walking or getting close to potty learning.

Since flats can be use SO many ways they are arguably the most versatile style of cloth diaper. For some great folding tips, take a peek here:

Benefits of Flats

You can reuse your cover throughout the day, or replace if it becomes soiled, keeping costs to a minimum! And without elastics, snaps, seams or laminates, flats will last through potty learning for your little one, making the investment one that pays off over time.

And speaking of potty learning? With flat diapers, those natural wetness cues will be a great way for your toddler or preschooler to learn about their own body, and recognize the cues that facilitate the process.

Flats also make diapering a heavy wetter easy. With a number of ways to optimize absorbency where your toddler needs it most, and thin enough to layer hemp, bamboo or cotton inserts to hold overnight, and wrap absorbency all around (not just down the middle).

DID YOU KNOW that there is even a fun challenge for flat users? Every year hundreds of families enjoy challenging themselves to a week of using only flat diapers + covers, and handwashing. The Flats Challenge is a fun way to learn about flats and connect with like-minded families.

Flats combine the best of many perks of cloth diapering, and after your little one is out of diapers, can be repurposed into cleaning cloths, dust rags, or any number of uses for an absorbent piece of fabric. Consider adding one to your collection today!

Have you tried Thirsties flats? We would love to hear what you think!

Thirsties products and prints of 2020

2020, the year everyone can’t wait to say good-bye too, amirite!?! Before we put 2020 in the rearview mirror let’s take a moment and remember that though this year filled the world with much heartache, Thirsties as a community and a company, saw some rainbows amidst the storm.

Reusables to the Rescue

When disposable diapers and even toilet paper were hard to come by reusable products like Thirsties cloth diapers and wipes came to the rescue!

The global pandemic and resulting lockdowns brought many new families to the cloth community. We are so grateful for our fabulous tribe, The Thirsties Groupies, and how they welcome and help cloth diapering newbies. We also have to thank our wonderful retailers who put in many extra hours serving the cloth community, pivoting their business practices, and keeping their chins up during uncertain times.

Thirsties Products & Prints of 2020

Over the course of 2020, we managed to deliver on some long-awaited #ThirsitesGroupies requests. We added three new products to the Thirsties line up:

Despite needing to tweak our originally-planned release schedule we came out with a delightful bunch of limited edition prints: Otterly in Love, Green Scene, Jaws Two, Fish Tales, Cruising, We All Scream, Alice Brights III, and Polar Plaid. Remember those wonderful hard-working Thirsties retailers I just mentioned? Many of them partnered with us to do some fantastic retailer exclusives in 2020.

unity thirsties #blacklivesmatter cloth diaper print

Here is “Unity” a beautiful exclusive with Fluff Journey featuring artwork by artist Fatina Harbali. Proceeds from this print were donated to the NAACP. To close out the year we re-released two customer favorites, Rainbow and Floribunda, and added a lovely new solid, Seafoam, to the regular Thirsties line up of products.

2020 has certainly been a year to remember for the good and the bad. We would love to hear what was your favorite thing from Thirsties this year. Thank you for making Thirsties a part of your journey. We can’t wait to show you what we have planned for 2021!

stages of diaper laundry

Newborn Diaper Laundry

When you hold your tiny little baby in your hands, you will spend countless hours marveling at the exquisite detail of their little body. The toes, the fingers, the ears, the nose…And you will also spend countless hours marveling at how that perfect little body can produce SO MUCH POOP! An absolute machine dedicated to not only generating copious amounts of it, but also being able to project it across a room and into your master closet across the hall (true story). The good news is, even at this stage, diaper laundry is incredibly easy. Until your baby’s bowel movements change form from liquid to semi-solid (meaning it isn’t completely runny and has some texture to it), absolutely nothing needs to be done with it. A good rule of thumb is that you don’t have to spray or dunk poopy diapers until your baby produces enough poo with the texture that you could spread over a piece of toast. Simply plop in the wash and let the machine do the work! You can rinse if you want to, but it is optional. Keeping the water temperature hot will release most stains (make sure your detergent is a good one!), and stubborn stains can be sunned out, sprayed with lemon juice, or Shout stain remover gel if they are sticking around. Diapers will add up quickly, so making a full load every 1-2 days will be easy.

laundry basket of clean newborn cloth diaper
image by Thirsties Groupie, Kayla Russell

Watch #ThirstiesLive Ages and Stages of Diaper Laundry

Diaper Laundry & Starting Solids

Once your baby starts solids, you will notice a pretty substantial change in their bowel movements, and once fully on solids, another one into fully formed and solid bowLearn how your baby’s ages and stages of development through newborn, starting solids, and approaching potty training will impact your diaper laundry.el movements. In *any* stage of your child’s life, new foods or illness will mean less than formed bowel movements will happen from time to time. Formed movements are easily “ploppable”, just roll them off into the toilet, flush, and then take care of the remaining waste by spraying or dunking to remove before putting the diaper in the pail. A diaper sprayer can be an invaluable tool at this stage, but workarounds of dunking/swishing are easy to do without it becoming messy. You might notice your quantity of dirty diapers decreasing a little, as babies tend to hold it for slightly longer periods of time, but washing every 1-2 days is still important to keep odor and stains at bay.

Diaper Laundry & Approaching Potty Training

diaper laundry and the toddler stage

Many babies will start the potty learning process at this stage, so the time your toddler is in diapers may be short-lived, or, you may still have a few years ahead to master this stage. Either way, knowing how to handle the larger amounts of poop is helpful! Much like the baby stage, taking care of the semi-solid and solid waste is important, but what changes here is the quantity of diapers going into the pail. Toddlers tend to hold their urine for longer periods of time. Instead of tiny pees and poops every few minutes, they will have growing muscle control, and then release substantial amounts of urine at one time. In cloth diapering lingo this is referred to as “flooding.” While there will be fewer diapers in the pail, the intensity will be stronger. Rinsing and wringing out nighttime diapers and particularly strong or full diapers can be helpful. If you need to bulk up loads to make sure diapers still get washed every 1-2 days will help consider adding hand towels or other household items to the diaper laundry.

Remember, at every stage Thirsties recommends this wash routine:

  • Prewash
  • Hot wash with detergent
  • Extra Rinse
  • Hang dry or machine dry on low