How to Clean Cloth Diapers

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The one thing that holds more people back from using cloth diapers is worrying about cleaning them after they’re used.

If it’s not the gross-out factor of having to clean out handfuls of cloth diapers every day, then it’s the concern about making sure you get them properly cleaned and sterilized.

But cleaning cloth diapers doesn’t have to be hard, and once you learn how to clean cloth diapers, you can save an awful lot of money and help the environment at the same time. Read on to find out how to do this.

How to remove cloth diapers

When taking off a cloth diaper, you’re going to be wondering what to do with what’s inside. That depends entirely on how you’re feeding your baby

Breastfed babies have poop that’s generally more liquid, and it also happens to be water soluble. That means you don’t have to do anything special. Just drop the diaper into your storage container and wait to clean them all together.

Formula fed babies tend to have poops that are more solid and held together, so just drop the contents into the toilet, then store the diaper as above.

What’s a diaper sprayer?

A diaper sprayer lets you spray down your cloth diapers directly into the toilet. It clips on and allows you to pre-clean your diapers before you actually clean them.

This obviously saves on time and smell in the long run. You don’t have to use a diaper sprayer, you can use a shower head if it’s close enough to your toilet, just be careful not to turn it on too high. That tends to end messily.

What are diaper liners

Designed specifically for cloth diapers, it sits inside of the diaper and provides a tight, waterproof seal on the inside, so you can remove the liner, drop it into the toilet and reuse the diaper, as long as it’s clean and you’re careful.

How to clean cloth diapers

Cleaning your cloth diapers is as simple as putting them in the washer with detergent and switching it on like you normally would.

That’s literally it.

It might help to run them through a cold cycle first, because that helps free up everything that’s in the diaper and get everything flowing, ready to be cleaned.

Run the second cycle on hot, and if your diapers need it, you can always run an extra rinse to make sure that everything is extra clean.

It’s recommended that you use scentless or specific baby detergent so that your little one doesn’t suffer from any irritation or other skin issues.

It’s also recommended that you don’t wash more than 15 – 20 diapers at a time. Any more can overload your washing machine.

How to dry cloth diapers

Drying cloth diapers is, if anything, easier than washing them.

You can either toss them into the dryer, without any softeners or other products, and let that sort them, or just hang them up and leave them to dry naturally. Either works and considering the small amount of material, they’ll be dry in just a few hours.

How often should I wash my cloth diapers?

You’re going to need a certain amount of cloth diapers so that you’ve always got spares in rotation.

Bear in mind that in their first few months, a baby might be using anywhere up to twelve diapers a day on average, so having that many on hand, with a few spare, is almost essential.

That means that you need at least twenty four diapers on hand. Twelve for the day, and the other twelve being washed.

This means that you’re going to be washing your cycles of diapers every single day.

You should also bear in mind that you’re probably going to want to wash your dirty diapers every day anyway. Otherwise, they’ll start to smell and they could become a breeding ground for bacteria.

If you’re using diaper liners, or you’re using hybrid diapers, then you’ll need a lot less overall diapers, which means a lot less washing. This is because you’re going to be changing the liners as they catch all of the waste, and only changing the diapers when they actually get dirty because of accidents or overspill.

Having a large stash of diapers isn’t essential, but it is very handy. Don’t worry if you can’t quite manage that, though. As long as you keep on top of things and keep everything washed and up to date, then you’re not going to have any issues.

Where can I keep my dirty diapers?

If you’re going full on with cloth diapers, then a diaper wet bag can be a fantastic pick-up. They’re a great place to store dirty diapers, and they go a long way to sorting out any issues you might have with smells, too.

If you’re going to get a wet bag, get two. That way, you can wash each bag with the set of diapers that were stored in it, keeping everything clean and tidy.

Diaper cleaning services

If you live in a metropolitan area, then there’s probably a service close by who will clean your diapers for you. They might even pick them up and drop them off, too.

Obviously, this is an extra cost, but if you’ve got the option, then go for it!

Hints and tips

  • Breastfed baby poop is water soluble, so it’s much easier to clean cloth diapers if you’re breastfeeding
  • Formula fed baby poop is a little more solid, so empty the diapers into the toilet first
  • Cleaning is as easy as putting the diapers into a standard wash, maybe with a rinse first
  • You can dry your diapers in the dryer or by hanging them up
  • You’re going to need at least two days worth of diapers, maybe more
  • Check your brand of diapers. Some require dedicated cleaning products or wash settings
  • Instead of using whitening detergent, add half a cup of lemon juice to the wash
  • If diapers get smelly, add half a cup of baking soda and some white vinegar to the wash

That’s all you need to know. Now you know everything you need to know about how to clean cloth diapers. Cleaning your cloth diapers doesn’t have to be hard, but it does require work and a set routine.

Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll fall right into it. It’ll be absolutely natural and you can feel great knowing that you’ve got your baby’s cloth diapers handled.

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