Want to learn about cloth diapers in person? Stop by our shop to chat about them any time during store hours, or join us during on of our monthly Cloth Diaper and Baby Carrier workshops! It's free, no registration required and is packed full of useful information as you begin your cloth diapering journey.
Can't make it in? Check out some of our tips and tricks below!
*Please note that the information provided here is what we have found to work well for our personal diapers and to be fairly common practices for cloth diapering families in the Kingston area. The manufacturers of the specific brand(s) of diapers you will be using may recommend different instructions regarding their care. Please check out their care instructions, understand their warranty(ies) and choose your wash routine accordingly.
We believe there are many factors that are involved in developing a good wash routine. The kind of washing machine you have, the detergent you are using, the kinds of fabrics and/or brand(s) you have, and your water hardness are all elements that affect your wash routine. A cleaning routine for a microfibre diaper may be different than for an organic cotton diaper, but when you have multiple different styles in your stash, you need to figure out a routine that will work for all of your diapers to wash together. We have found wash routine recommendations below to be a good starting point, but everyone's situation will be different and this routine may or may not be the best for you.
Find a storage system that works for you. We love the Mother-ease Diaper Pail with an AMP Pail Liner. Some of our friends use a large zippered wet bag to save on space, or if they have two spots they change diapers in their home. Whichever method you choose, all you do is throw your dirty diapers in the bag or pail liner. Breastfed poops and pee diapers can go directly in the pail. Solid or formula poops should be rinsed off first.
When you are ready to wash your diapers (your pail/bag is full OR it has been 2-3 days) you simply empty the diapers and the pail liner into the washing machine. Some people find they need to wash the liner separately depending on their machines' agitation.
We suggest using the basic washing routine detailed above in the infographic. Start simple and adjust as needed.
If your diapers smell clean, absorb easily and do not cause skin irritations then you have chosen a good detergent and a great cleaning routine. If you're having issues, you may wish to test your water hardness and consider adding borax to your routine, or switching detergents or amounts of detergent. You may also consider trying different wash cycles on your machine, or adding more articles to be washed in your main wash in the event that not enough water or agitation may be causing your issue.
* Pre-wash your natural fibre diapers 2-5 times for maximum absorbency and fluffiness. Synthetic fibres can generally be washed only once. Always check with the diaper manufacturer.
* Bleach should be avoided as much at possible, only use when you need to remove yeast or bacteria. Place your diapers in the SUN – a natural bleaching agent!
* Fabric softeners and dryer sheets should be avoided.
* If your diapers smell, you'll need to adjust your wash routine.
* If your baby has a rash and you have tried other solutions, you may need to adjust your wash routine. You can also consider switching to wool covers for more breathability.
* If your diapers are leaking, check that the PUL and elastics are in good working order and the covers fit snug but not too tight against babe's body. Add extra absorbency and then adjust your wash routine if there is still an issue.
* Diaper creams (especially petroleum based products) should only be used with a liner inside your diaper. Zinc oxide creams should be avoided. All natural diaper creams are safe and effective.