Washing cloth diapers is very easy. Years ago when I started using cloth diapers the recommendation was to dip the diaper in the toilet to get all solids off, then to soak the dirty diapers in a bucket of soapy water and lastly washing the diapers on three to four cycles. While I found that do-able, I have found a much easier way, that not only saves time but is gentler to my cloth diapers.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
I use homemade laundry detergent for my diapers. My laundry detergent costs less than a penny per load and I find my diapers come clean every load. When I am ready to wash a load of diapers I dump the diaper pail into the washer and add the detergent. You never want to add fabric softener or bleach to your cloth diapers as it will break down the absorbency of the cloth. It is also important not to add to much detergent, as this will cause the diapers to have an odor when they are finished washing and drying.
In general I wash my diapers on two wash loads. First I wash on cold. After that wash load is complete I wash on hot or sanitary cycle. My sanitary cycle heats the water hotter than a normal hot load. I use the hot if the diapers are mostly wet or not too dirty. If I have a lot of dirty diapers I may even do a cold rinse load after the cold and sanitary loads.
When my cloth diapers begin to have a little odor to them (you know that smell when your clothes don't come out smelling fresh) I wash one last cycle to strip the diapers.
In order to strip cloth diapers, you will need to purchase Dawn Liquid Dish Detergent. Don't purchase the fancy Dawn Detergent (scented and colored) just the plain blue original Dawn. Wash the diapers in a cold load with one to two tablespoons of Dawn Liquid Dish Detergent.
When the diapers are completely finished washing they should smell fresh and clean. I love to hang mine up outside or in the laundry room to dry. Because the diaper itself is a thin material, it dries very quickly. The insert takes a little more time, but not long, especially if you have a washer that spins the water out well.
Here is a list of Laundry Detergents recommended for cloth diapers.
- Allens Naturally Laundry Detergent – liquid or ultra concentrated powder
- Bum Genius Diaper Detergents
- Claudia's Choice
- Country Save Laundry Detergents
- Mountain Green – Free and Clear
- Mountain Green – Free and Clear Baby
- Natural Clean
- Natural Clean 3X
- Nellie's All Natural Laundry Soda
- Rockin' Green Diaper Detergent
- Thirsties Super Wash
- Tiny Bubbles
- All Small and Mighty
- Bio-Vert with no perfume
- Charlie's Soap
- Drops Baby
- Dynamo 2X Ultra
- Eco Max
- Ecos Free and Clear
- Ecover Liquid
- Mountain Green Ultra Citrus
- Mountain Green Baby
- Publix Free and Clear
- SA8 Legacy of Clean
- Seventh Generation Delicate Care
- Gain Free and Clear
- Trader Joe's Cleanliness is Next to Godliness Detergent
- Xtra Perfume and Dye Free
Important Ingredients To Avoid
The most important ingredients to avoid in detergent to wash your cloth diapers are the following: enzymes, fabric softener, brighteners, scents and dyes. Read labels carefully and watch for hidden ingredients that will keep your diapers from smelling their freshest and being the most absorbent! If your diapers suddenly begin to leak, it would be prudent to first try stripping the diapers and then change the detergent.
Many of these detergents can be purchased from Ace Hardware Stores or Amazon.com.
Check out a video of Carrie demonstrating
the ease of washing cloth diapers!
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