Washing/Caring for Your Cloth Diapers

Caring for cloth diapers is easy!

Just follow these very simple steps.

Before You Start Using Your Diapers - Very Important!!
You'll need to wash all of your diapers prior to using them on your baby for the first time. This is important so that your diapers will be fully absorbent for your little one. Hemp as well as other unbleached and organic fibers will need to be pre-washed a minimum of 3 times in order to

remove the natural oils and waxes that inhibit absorption. To do this, you'll want to wash diapers in hot water with a small amount of zero residue detergent such as Rockin Green or Charlie’s Soap and place them in the dryer to dry.  Test your diapers for absorbency before you use them! If your diapers are made of natural fabrics, you can test their absorbency by pouring a small amount of warm water onto the fabric. It should be absorbed immediately. If your diapers have any sort of ‘stay dry’ synthetic layer, you will have to apply light pressure before liquid absorbs. If the water beads on your diapers, they are not ready to use! If your cotton diapers do not absorb properly after 3 washes and your synthetic diapers after 1 wash, you probably need to increase the water level in your washing machine. Always check the washing instructions for the specific product you have purchased as they may be different.

What To Do With Dirty Diapers
Remove the diaper from your baby. Shake any solids into the toilet
after each diaper change. You can also flush away the flushable liner if you

use them (these are great and pretty easy to use. Highly recommended!!). If your baby is exclusively breastfed, there is no need to shake excess waist into the toilet as it will wash out easily. Unfold your diapers to ensure thorough cleaning and remove liners or inserts. Secure hook and loop tabs by sticking them to the fold back tabs (on the inside back of the diaper cover or diaper).  Put wet or soiled diapers in a dry pail or a wet bag. A standard 52-quart garbage pail with a lid works great along with the wet bag and can be purchased at your local department store. Dirty diaper covers can be stored with your dirty diapers (never soak them!). Wash every 2-3 days. Polyester diaper covers can be washed with your diapers or with your regular laundry; nylon and wool diaper covers should be washed separately. Cloth wipes such as Thirsties Fab Wipes are also a great product to use with your cloth diapers and can be moistened with a wipe solution or bottom cleaning solution such as Baby Butt
Wash sold by many of the cloth diaper companies. These wipes can be thrown into your wet bag with the dirty diaper and laundered with your diapers.  With no waste to diapering your baby, you won't even need a garbage can.

Washing Your Diapers
There are 3 simple steps to washing your diapers in the washing
machine. First run a cold pre-wash (or a short cycle with no detergent for HE machines). You can use a pre-wash solution if desired during this process such as Thirsties Pre-Wash. Then do a regular wash in hot water (60C/140F max). Do not use a sanitize cycle on any products with hook and loop type closures or elastic. Use a zero residue detergent during the wash cycle such as Charlie’s Soap. Follow with a second rinse cycle to be sure all detergent is cleared from the diapers. Remember to use the highest water setting for all steps in order to ensure the diapers clean and rinse properly.  Using this setting will avoid build-up of detergent, bacteria and urine. Follow the wash routine by hanging your cloth diapers to dry or dry in the dryer.  Add a dry towel to the dryer to speed the drying process. Wool dryer balls by Rockin Green also work well. Drying in direct sunlight is the very best method for drying and disinfecting your diapers at the same time. This will also help to preserve the textiles and to keep your diapers white and free of stains. Sunlight is a natural brightener and disinfectant! Once washed, your diapers should not smell like urine or detergent. If they do, chances are you have a residue problem. There are some products that can be used to treat this problem as well such as Rockin Green’s Funk Rock or RLR.


Detergent
We recommend using a zero residue detergent! If you have a top
loader, you can use the full recommended amount of a zero residue detergent. If you have a front loader or HE machine, stick to the lower end of the recommended amount of detergent. If you are using anything other than a zero residue detergent, use maximum half of what the detergent package tells you to use and one quarter of the recommended amount if you have a front loader or HE machine. Choose a detergent that does not contain any of the following additives, as they can create residue problems. Detergent residue will leave a residue on your diapers that will affect the absorbency and will cause odors and diaper rash. Additives to avoid include: Fabric softeners, natural oils, perfumes, bleach, dyes, UV brighteners, stain guard ingredients, enzymes (they will not  affect performance, but may cause rashes on some babies’ skin).  Also avoid all soaps, many "Free & Clear" and popular baby detergents.