Washing Cloth Diapers

Tara - posted on 04/18/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )




I having a baby boy in June and I'm going to use cloth diapers. I'm not sure what inexpensive way I should wash my diapers in. My friend said she uses All Free and Clear and a slpash of vinagar. Any sugestions please?


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Katrina - posted on 04/22/2010




I've used regular Tide and Charles Soap in the past, but switched to Rockin Green about -8 months ago and love it. The diapers come out of the wash clean and without any stink at all. My son was having some issues with rashes, and ever since I switched to Rockin Green, he's been rash free.

Caroline - posted on 04/21/2010




I don't use detergent at all! I have bamboo insert cloth nappies (made by a WAHM in Australia) with minky or fleece covers and wash them on a cold cycle, no detergent and dry on the line outside (or inside if weather is no good). Every 6 weeks or so I do a strip wash in hot with a drop of dish washing liquid to get rid of any lingering smells. This was as the maker recommended and it works fine. The nappies do not smell and stains are removed by UV from drying in daylight. They are also really absorbent.

Meagan - posted on 04/20/2010




I do the exact thing your friend does, All Free and Clear with some vinegar added in. I use half of a load's worth of detergent. I am sure to do an extra rinse with the diapers, and I've only had to strip them twice in the year I've been using them. All Free and Clear is nice because it's so cheap, especially if you use a coupon!

M - posted on 04/19/2010




I personally don't recommend any of the standard detergents on the market - mostly because these brands may be gentle enough for baby's clothes, but still have things in them that can build up on diapers over time and cause diaper rash, retained odors, etc. Below is a list of detergents that are approved by most of the major cloth diaper manufacturers. It also breaks out which ones are best for HE washers vs. top-loading washers. These detergents can also be used to wash baby's clothes and other items as well.


in terms of wash routine - if you use one of these recommended detergents, you can keep things simple like this:

1. cold rinse with no detergent (to remove any leftover fecal matter)
2. hot wash with detergent (to clean and sanitize diapers)
3. final rinse (to remove any leftover detergent residue)

Vinegar Watchouts:
-Vinegar in the rinse cycle is a great way to naturally soften and kill odor causing bacteria but overuse can breakdown the PUL in your diapers (this is important if you use all in one or pocket diapers). I recommend using it no more than once a month. Instead you can use wool dryer balls in your dryer to soften your diapers and remove static. You can also sprinkle your diapers with a bit of baking soda when you toss them in the diaper pail to keep odors from setting in.

Claudia - posted on 04/19/2010




Allen's Naturally powder works great for me. My wash routine: run one cold rinse, then add detergent and run a hot wash/cold rinse cycle, then add a cup of vinegar and run another cold rinse. Kind of a pain in the butt (pun intended :) ) but DD had terrible diaper rash before we added the vinegar rinse, and it's all gone now.

Jan - posted on 04/19/2010




We usually just use regular tide HE liquid, we do have to do an extra hot wash cycle every 4 or 5 weeks to help get rid of the extra soap that doesn't rinse out and I strip with RLR every couple of months to get the mineral and soap residue out. If you are buying new diapers that have a warrenty you will want to use one of the manufacturers recommended detergents, and it can take a few tries to find what works well with the washing machine and the type of water you have so be prepared to try a few options before you can settle on one rutine. I'm in the process of tring soap nuts for our diapers and so far they seem to be working, but time will tell, I find you have to wash your diapers 4 or so times before you know weither or not a specific detergent or rutine is working. Jillian's drawers offers a sample package of a few different types of cloth friendly detergents if you want to try out a few different types, but if you do that I would strip with RLR before you switch to esach different type of detergent so you know for sure what is working the best. Wish I could be of more help but it really takes some experimenting to figure out what will work best for you.

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