Cloth Diapering Mom Life

How to Wash Your Cloth Diapers

July 25, 2017

Is it weird that I thoroughly enjoy doing diaper laundry?

Honestly, diapers are the only load of laundry I dutifully fold immediately & put away.

Diaper laundry is almost like a science. It all depends on your water softness, your washer and what stage you’re at with your child’s poop. It’s funny, because I was nervous about dealing with poop, but now I don’t even bat an eye.

While I do use Honest laundry products for our regular day to day laundry, I don’t use natural products for diaper laundry. I’ve tried various brands, but my diapers never looked, smelled or felt as clean as they do with these regular “main stream” detergents I use:

I bought a new he front-loading set when we bought our home since there was no washer or dryer and it was what I had used while we lived with my mom last summer. Many in the cloth diapering world will say they prefer the older (and newer) top loading machines, because of the agitator and ability to use more water. While I think they have valid points, I’ve never had any issues of stink or needed to strip my diapers, and I’ve only used a front-loading washer.

We use large hanging wet bags to hold dirty diapers until wash day. I store them on the handle of a back door in our laundry room. When it’s full is when I wash, I don’t have a set schedule, and it usually is about 3-4 days in between. I leave the top of the bag unzipped to let air flow and avoid major ammonia smell. While yes, if I stick my head right next to the bag I can get an unpleasant whiff of pee, it by no means permeates the air or seeps into the room.

I make sure to bring our diaper cart (IKEA) in to fill up once I’m done. We don’t have a designated changing area for my son, so the convenience of wheeling this around is great.

So here’s my diaper laundry routine:

1. Everything into the washer.

We mainly use AIOs (all in ones) which are pretty much the same as disposables. The absorbent cotton part is sewed directly to the PUL (waterproof outer layer). We also use prefolds, inserts, liners, fitteds & covers, but they’re not my go-tos. Everything can go together in the washer. This is what a full load for me looks like.

I make a point to heavily spray any soiled (poopy) diapers with the oxiclean spray. Before putting poopy diapers in the wet bag I rinse them thoroughly with a diaper sprayer to make sure all the poop is discarded. (In the beginning if your baby is exclusively breastfeed you don’t need to rinse off breastmilk poop as it’s water soluble). I ring them out, but do leave them somewhat wet. Then pull the wetbag inside out and throw that in on top.

2. First a short, cold wash.

I do an initial Speed Wash with cold water and soil setting on high. It’s about a half hour. I do not add any laundry soap to this wash (besides what I just sprayed on the really dirty ones). The idea is that this first short wash will remove any leftover poop and let the next wash really clean in clean soapy water rather then poop filled water.

3. The long, hot wash.

Next is the long hot wash and where I add the soap. I use Tide original powder to the 3rd line and a scoop of the OxiClean Versatile to the 1st or 2nd line — it usually depends on how large and how many soiled diapers are in the load. Powdered soap in a front-load machine goes right in the tub with the diapers. I started my cloth journey using liquid soap, but switched over at about 6 months to powder and haven’t looked back.

I do the Cotton/Normal wash on hot, at the highest soil level and add two extra rinses. This wash usually takes about 2-2 1/2 hours, again depending on the load size. About every 1-2 months I also will add a splash of bleach to the wash to just do an extra sanitize.

Afterwards I throw them in the dryer on medium heat for about 45 minutes and they’re nice and soft and fluffy again. During the summer I will sun them outside on the line if I have any lingering stains to get out, but I take pride in knowing almost none of my diapers have any stains. And my kid eats blueberries like it’s his job. If you have a toddler in diapers who eats blueberries, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

And that’s it! Something that at first seemed so daunting & intimidating, is really quite simple.


I just love the smell and feel of freshly washed diapers. It’s fluff love.


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  • Reply Nancy July 26, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Loved your post. I did get an idea about poopie diapers more for underwear for older kids Boys lol . Can’t wait till I get mine up and running

    • Reply Marie July 26, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed this post!

  • Reply Kate August 28, 2017 at 10:50 am

    This is amazing Marie! I wanted to use cloth diapers but felt intimidated by the washing process because I have a front loading machine. Now that you’ve walked me through it, I know it’s possible! Thank you for all of the details about which soaps you use and which wash cycles you select. I’m definitely pinning and sharing this one.

    • Reply Marie August 29, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you, and you’re welcome! I too was VERY nervous about the washing routine. I think it’s more of a trial and error for everyone — and going with your gut.

  • Reply Sarah Althouse August 28, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Oxi Clean is the bomb. It gets everything out!!

    • Reply Marie August 29, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      PREACH! I use it in every load of laundry, regardless. Makes my life so much easier!

  • Reply Brittany August 28, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I use a front loader as well and have never had any issues! I do love your process though and might have to try oxiclean for the diapers!

    • Reply Marie August 29, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      Yeah I was a bit nervous when I bought our washer/dryer because I had read so many complaining reviews about how they loved their old top loader. Glad I stuck with my gut! I swear, oxiclean is a life-saver, it’s shocking to me the set-in stains it can get out.

  • Reply Brittany Ferrell August 28, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    I do not love laundry, though I do love to clean! Maybe because it seems so never ending! I did not use cloth diapers on my little for the sane reason, but you make it sound really easy! If I could go back, I would try your system.

  • Reply Heather August 29, 2017 at 12:40 am

    I don’t use cloth anymore, but I did with my first and for awhile with my second. I used to love diaper laundry too, even though I HATE laundry. Something about fresh diapers that is so satisfying.

    • Reply Marie August 29, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      SAME! I could let all other laundry pile up for days, but if I see the wet bag is getting full — I’m all in for diaper laundry!

  • Reply Kristi August 29, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Oh, I really like the idea of using the IKEA cart for the diapers. I have one but didn’t think of using it for that!

    • Reply Marie August 29, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      I LOVE this cart! I’ve considered buying a couple more for other areas of the house — very versatile. I just wish they came in more colors, but I guess there’s always spray paint!

  • Reply April Kitchens August 29, 2017 at 8:04 am

    We used cloth diapers! My daughter is well out of diapers but I still like reading posts about them. I like the stand that you are using to hold your diapers.

    • Reply Marie August 29, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Thank you! My little guy will be potty training soon I think, I’ll be sad the day I have to box them all up for either a future baby or tag sale.

  • Reply Lavanda Michelle August 30, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Awesome. I will certainly do this time I have my laundry day. Thanks for sharing just great tips.

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