How To Clean Cloth Diapers + Free Downloadable Cloth Diaper Washing Guide

If you’re considering cloth diapers for your little one, or have just started your cloth diaper journey, you’ll probably be wondering about washing. Our most common questions include...
  • How will I clean my cloth diapers? 
  • Is it going to take more time?
  • Is washing cloth diapers hard?
We have good news, cleaning cloth diapers is way easier than you think - no soaking, scrubbing or special detergents required. This blog breaks it down to help you clean cloth diapers with ease. You can also find our EcoNaps Cloth diaper washing care guide here. Stick around to the end of the blog and grab our FREE cloth diaper washing guide download. This cheat sheet is perfect to put near your washing machine so everyone in the household can clean them with confidence. Every brand of cloth diapers will have slightly different instructions when it comes to washing (so please check the labels carefully), however, here are our recommendations to clean your EcoNaps brand cloth diapers. By following these instructions you will help preserve the quality, and extend the life of your EcoNaps cloth diapers.

Prepping Your Diapers

Before using cloth diapers for the first time, you need to wash them. Like any absorbent fabric, this first wash helps wear them in and prepare them for some thirsty work ahead. This doesn’t take long. See our simple 3 step process below. If you want to (or have time up your sleeve waiting for bubs) you can repeat these washing steps 2-3 times with your inserts to maximize absorption. 

  1. Soak your inserts overnight in warm water. 
  2. Wash both inserts & covers with mild detergent. 
  3. Completely (air) dry inserts and covers (in shade).

Washing Routine Basics:  Here’s how to clean cloth diapers in 4 simple steps.

  1. Remove solids. Drop poo in the loo and store the used cloth diaper in a dry pail. 

  2. Pre-wash cycle. Run a pre-wash cycle 100-140 degrees with mild detergent daily, no bleach. This removes the majority of soiling and gets your diapers ready for the main-wash. Store diapers in a dry pail until the main wash.

  3. Main-wash cycle. Run a long main-wash cycle 100-140 degrees with mild detergent every 2-3 days. Do not use bleach, whiteners, boosters, softeners or oxidized bleach additives.

  4. Hang to dry. Air dry diaper shells in the shade by hanging the center of the diaper crotch over the line to distribute weight evenly. Leave until they are completely dry. Air dry inserts and boosters until completely dry. If you want more drying tips, check out our 7 simple tips to help you dry cloth diapers, even in winter, here

A Note on Poo

Many first-time users of cloth diapers wonder what to do with poo, again, it’s not as bad as you might think - we have written a blog all about dealing with number twos here if you want a little extra guidance. For extra help making number two changes easier we recommend trying our Mess Free Compostable Liners.

Sample Washing Routine 

Families have a variety of washing routines to suit their lifestyle and preferences. You’ll soon develop your own rhythm that works best for you. But to demonstrate how easy it is, here’s an example washing routine that many families follow, especially if using cloth diapers overnight.

  • Every morning Run a pre-wash cycle containing yesterday's used diapers and last night’s night diaper. Do not add bleach to your pre-wash. Place pre-washed diapers into a dry pail once finished.
  • Every second night Run a main-wash cycle containing all pre-washed diapers from the dry pail. Make this a long wash at 40-60 degrees. Do not use bleach, whiteners, boosters, softeners or oxidised bleach additives. Hang to dry (center of diaper crotch over the line) the following morning.

The Don'ts of Cloth Diapers Washing & Care

Although there are various opinions on cleaning cloth diapers, it's important to note that our washing guidelines are designed specifically for our eco-diapers. It's advisable to avoid following the care guidelines of other brands or organizations, as doing so can potentially shorten the lifespan of your diapers by causing degradation to the elastics and PUL lining. Please be mindful to exclude the following from your care routine:

  • Do not use bleach
  • Do not use fabric softener
  • Do not use whiteners, chlorine bleach, oxygen-based bleaching agent, dyes, perfumes, or essential oils.
  • Do not use detergent containing additives (whiteners, chlorine bleach, oxygen-based bleaching agent, fabric softeners, dyes, perfumes, essential oils) or natural soap
  • Do not tumble dry
  • Do not was in temperatures exceeding 140ºC
  • Do not soak
That’s it! See - washing cloth diapers doesn't have to be hard or complicated. Play around and find what works with your family’s daily rhythm. The more you have in your diaper stash, the more relaxed your laundry routine will be. Check out our bundles to bulk up your cloth diaper supply here.  
If you would like more tips and tricks for clean cloth diapers, please visit our cloth diaper washing instructions page here..  

Cloth Diaper Washing Guide (Free Download)

Download our free washing guide to help make cleaning cloth diapers simple for everyone in the household. This free download is designed to be printed and placed near your washing machine for perfectly clean diapers, every time.   DOWNLOAD WASHING GUIDE HERE

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