So you’ve picked out the perfect cloth diapers and accessories, you’ve placed the order and now you have to figure out how to take care of them once they arrive. Rest assured, it’s really much easier than most think. There’s a plethora of information out there on caring for cloth diapers but honestly it’s largely a matter of preferance.
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions and warranty info.
Generally you’re going to have to wash your diapers multiple times prior to using. This helps the diapers absorb better. I usually wash them about three times before the first use.
You’ll want to be careful with laundry soap. Choose one that does not contain a lot of fragrance, enzymes, softeners, etc. I make my own using a few simple ingredients. I’ll share the recipe for my laundry detergent with you in the next post so stay tuned if you’re interested. It’s easy, inesxpensive & works very well.
You can use plain white vinegar along with the detergent to help soften and deoderize if needed once you start using them.
Drying your cloth diapers is going to depend on your preference/manufacturer. I’ve seen lots of different opinions on drying the diaper shell in the dryer, but generally drying the insert seems to be fine. During the warmer months I dry the shell on a drying rack outside in the sun. When it’s cold out, I prefer to dry them in the dryer because it just takes too long to air dry.
Once you start using the diapers, you’ll want to make sure to wash them about every three days. So roughly twice a week.
I store the dirty diapers in a garbage can with a wet bag in it.
Since my daughter’s still breastfeeding a lot, her poop isn’t solid enough yet to use the diaper sprayer, but once it gets to that point I’ll be spraying the poop into the toilet prior to placing the diaper in the can/wet bag. For now all I do is open the diapers and take apart the shell/insert & take out any cloth wipes. I place everything in the washer together, along with the wet bag.
Next, I run the rinse & spin cycle on my washer with cold water.
After that, I change the soil setting to “extra heavy” and use hot water and detergent/vinegar.
At this point I will either hang them to dry or place them in the dryer with my wool dryer balls. I usually have to dry them for two cycles to get them completely dry.
Once they’re dry, I sort through everything and get them ready to use.
That’s it! Super easy and takes only a little extra effort and time.
In addition to regular washing, I usually “strip” my cloth diapers about every six months or so depending on how they smell/perform. Over time oils and dirt build up causing the diapers to hold onto odors and leak. I will say, I’ve had very few issues with this brand and even after nearly 10 months I still haven’t had to go through the process yet! If you’d like more info on what kind of diapers we’re using and loving, check out my previous post here:
Stay tuned for a post on my DIY detergent next! I’ll also be sharing a post on stripping your cloth diapers to freshen them up every so often.
I hope you found this post encouraging and helpful if you’re new to cloth! There’s a lot to love about cloth diapers! If you have used cloth and you have some great tips, please share them in the comments! 🙂