You committed to second hand diapers (after reading our Considerations for Buying Second Hand Diapers) and now you don't know what to do with them!
First thing, congrats on your new diapers! You will love using cloth diapers and will find it to be much less complicated than you anticipated.
What to do?
1) Check over all your diapers to look for any deficiencies in the diapers. Missing snaps, loose elastics, waterproof PUL that looks damaged (wrinkly or ripping apart). If you see signs of these, consider that your diapers may not function properly and you may end up with more leaks and messes.
2) Once you have checked over your diapers, you will want to count them out and make sure you have all the pieces. If you have pocket diapers, do you have the inserts? If you have cotton fitted diapers do you have enough covers in each size? What about wipes? Ensuring that you have enough supplies will make cloth diapering more user friendly and make you feel more successful.
24-30 cloth diapers
4-6 covers in each size (if required)
3) Once you have all your pieces, you will want to wash them carefully before using on your child. While I don't recommend using bleach on a regular basis with your diapers, the exception is when you purchase diapers second hand. Diapers can hold bacteria and yeast in them from one baby to another. I always recommend doing a bleach (preferably oxygen bleach) soak with your diapers prior to putting used diapers on your baby. Soak your diapers in a bucket, bathtub or in your washing machine overnight with water and 1/2 to 1 cup of bleach.
4) Once you have bleached your diapers, run their through your machine on a regular wash cycle with hot water and detergent. Rockin Green and Allens are excellent more natural and cloth diaper friendly detergents.
5) After washing your diapers with a regular wash cycle, you will want to rinse your diapers. I suggest rinsing your diaper 4-6 times. This will "strip" your diapers - aka, remove all the extra detergent and soap build up that may have occurred from the previous user. Soap build up is a major cause of stink, rashes, leaking and lack of absorbency.
6) Hang to dry or dry on medium in your dryer. If your diapers smell clean and are absorbing well then you have prepared your diapers properly.
If your diapers continue to have problems, you may want to consider investing in some new diapers. It will be worth it - I promise. Try our most popular selling diaper, the AMP One Size Duo with AMP Hemp Inserts.