Are you considering using cloth diapers for your baby? If so, you’re making a great decision for both your child and the environment. Cloth diapers are not only cheaper in the long run, but they also create less waste than disposable diapers.
The process of washing cloth diapers can seem daunting when its your first time, but it’s actually quite simple once you understand the basic steps involved. In this easy step-by-step guide, I will walk you through everything you need to know about how to wash cloth diapers.
You will even learn about best detergent for cloth diapers, how many cloth diapers do I need and cloth diaper’s for beginners.
This post is all about washing cloth diapers
Before You Start Washing Cloth Diapers
There are a few things you need to do before you start washing to ensure extra clean cloth diapers:
1. Choose the best detergent
Not all laundry detergents are created equal as some will leave detergent residue. With all the detergent choices you will need to use a detergent that is specifically designed for washing cloth diapers. Borax or any type of baby laundry detergent will work just fine.
2. Prepare your diapers
Before you wash your cloth diapers, you need to remove all solid waste from them. The best way to do this is to use a diaper sprayer. This is a handheld device that attaches to your toilet and allows you to spray the waste off of the diapers directly into the toilet.
3. Choose a washing method
There are two ways to wash cloth diapers – in a washing machine or by hand. If you choose to wash them in a machine, you will need to use a diaper pail liner. This is a bag that fits inside your diaper pail and catches the dirty diapers. You can then wash the liner along with the diapers.
4. Collect all of your supplies
Before you start washing, make sure you have everything you need. In addition to a diaper pail liner and diaper sprayer, you will need a laundry basket, laundry detergent, and a wet bag.
Once you have all of your supplies, you’re ready to start washing!
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to wash cloth diapers effectively and efficiently:
1. Start by separating your soiled diapers into different piles
Based on the type of stain or mess that they have. For example, you might separate any diapers that have been stained with urine into one pile and the soiled diaper by poop in another.
2. Next, you’ll want to start pre-soaking your diapers
In a bucket or your washing machine with a water temperature that is cold or slightly warm water with enough water. Use a small amount of baby detergent or borax the amount of detergent will depend on the load. Read the detergent instructions to make sure you use enough detergent. Let them soak for at least 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.
3. Once your diapers have been pre-soaked
You can start washing them in the washing machine according to the recommended settings for your specific type of cloth diapers. Be sure to use a mild detergent that is free of any harsh chemicals or fragrances, as these can irritate your baby’s delicate skin. Also, it is not a good idea use fabric softeners, dryer sheets or wool dryer balls as it will take away from the diapers ability to absorb liquid.
4. After the wash cycle has finished
inspect your diapers for any stains or lingering messes that may require an extra rinse cycle or soak to remove. If needed, repeat these steps as often as necessary until your cloth diapers are clean and ready to be used again.
5. You have two options to dry cloth diapers
You can either line-dry them outdoors or in your dryer on the lowest heat setting. If you choose to line-dry, be sure to hang them in a shady area out of direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors in your diapers to fade.
6. Once you’re done washing and drying your cloth diapers
Be sure to store them in a dry and cool place until it is time to use them again. And remember to wash your cloth diapers regularly, at least every two or three days, for best results.
Whether you’re just starting out with cloth diapering or have been using them for years, washing your baby’s cloth diapers doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your cloth diapers are clean, fresh, and ready for use every time.
Top 5 questions: Cloth diapers for beginners!
These tips will help guide you in making the best cloth diapering choices for your baby.
How many cloth diapers do I need?
As new parents or being new to cloth diapers this may be the first question you have. When I began cloth diapering my baby was 6 months old. Through trial and error I quickly discovered that he went through 8 -10 cloth diapers each day. As a cloth diaper beginner your needs will depend on the age of your baby and when you decide to start cloth diapering.
See the list below for a simple guide to help you get started.
- Newborn 8-12 cloth diapers per day
- Infants 8-10 cloth diapers per day
- Toddlers 6-8 cloth diapers per day
Now you know about how many new diapers your baby will go through in a single day. Next, you will need to decide how often you will be able and willing to wash your babies cloth diapers.
When I was a beginner to cloth diapering I started out with only 12 cloth diapers and 12 cloth inserts. Which meant after putting my baby to bed each and every night I would have to wash and dry all my cloth diapers to be ready for the next day. Thankfully each month I was able to buy 6 more diapers until I reached a total of 24 cloth diapers. I now wash my cloth diapers every other night instead. My plan is to continue to add to my cloth diaper collection so I can scale back on my laundry workload!
Because of the cost of cloth diapering at the beginning I suggest starting small and building your collection month by month. This way you can analyze your baby’s particular needs and your own workload capacity.
When to start cloth diapering?
In my personal opinion I would say wait to cloth diaper your baby until he or she is at least 3 months old.
This is because as a cloth diapers beginners you will need time and patience to learn this new skill. With all the changes you will already be experiencing those first 3 months after the birth of your baby it may be best to hold off just for a bit.
If you do decide to start cloth diapering your baby sooner you will want tips on how to prevent leaks.
Once your baby is 3 months old you should hopefully be getting more sleep and feel much more ready to tackle cloth diapering!
P.S You also will not have as much laundry to do if you wait past the newborn phase as pooping has decreased a bit.
What is the best method for washing cloth diapers?
After all this talk about laundry it seems only natural to talk about the next most commonly asked question for cloth diaper beginners. How to wash cloth diapers?
Here is my own wash routine. As a very busy mom of three I opted for the easiest and least time consuming way to wash my cloth diapers. You may choose another way to go about cleaning your cloth diapers, but here I will share my personal experience and explain why I made this choice.
First, I decided I did not want to spend the extra time and money on a cloth diaper toilet bidet. I also did not particularly care for the possible mess I would encounter. Instead I chose to use the disposable flushable cloth diaper liners.
With these liners I was able to quickly remove my babies poop and place it into my diaper pail. This meant there were little to no stains on my cloth diapers and little to no messy clean up.
With this choice of disposable liners my cloth diaper washing routine became very simple.
Here is my cloth diaper washing routine.
- After placing all cloth diapers into washing machine set washing machine on warm temperature and quick wash.
- Use Tide powder detergent or Borax for load size.
- Once finished place into dryer at low heat for 1 hour/60 minutes.
With these easy steps cloth diapering has become a breeze when it comes to cleaning!
How much do cloth diapers cost?
Before I answer this question I want to point out that as a cloth diaper beginner you have MANY options!
I started with buying gently used cloth diapers online. This is something I only recommend if you know exactly what you are looking for and can be sure you are buying quality items! There are certain tips I have suggested in my blog post ” 5 Tips & Tricks for Cloth Diaper Beginners”. If you decide to go this route.
After not being happy with my used cloth diapers I discovered I really liked the cloth diapers that came with the waterproof shell and insert . I liked the fact that I could double up on the inserts when I put my baby down for a nap or before bedtime keeping him nice and dry. I also LOVED that with the waterproof outside and inside layer of absorbent material my baby almost never leaked!
This was a huge relief as I had tried many other types of cloth diapers and they all leaked at least once a day!
Regardless of the type of cloth diaper you decide to go with the average cost per diaper is between $15 – $25.
With the 24 cloth diapers I now have I spent about $300. This is including extra inserts as well.
That is a HUGE savings when you are comparing the cost of disposable diapers vs cloth diapers.
What are the Pros and Cons of cloth diapering?
The pros of using cloth diapers are many. To start, you will be saving money over time by not having to spend money on disposable diapers.
In addition to being affordable, cloth diapers can also help the environment by reducing waste and unnecessary landfill use. They are also hypoallergenic, usually made with natural fibers and more natural than their disposable counterparts.
On the downside, cloth diapers can be more work than using disposables. They require regular washing and some extra care. However, many people find the pros outweigh the cons and make the switch to cloth diapering!
Are you thinking about making the switch to cloth diapers?
I hope this post has helped answer some of your questions! If you have any other questions about cloth diapering I would love to hear from you!
Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly!
Thanks so much for reading, and good luck with your cloth diaper journey! 🙂
Is it sanitary to wash cloth diapers in the washing machine?
Yes, it is perfectly sanitary to wash cloth diapers in the washing machine. In fact, it is the recommended method for cleaning cloth diapers. However, I would not recommend washing them with your regular laundry or main wash.
Can I use disposable wipes with my cloth diapers?
Yes, you can use disposable wipes with your cloth diapers. Many people find that using disposable wipes is more convenient than using reusable cloth wipes. However, if you are interested in using reusable wipes there are many great options available.
What is the best way to store my cloth diapers?
The best way to store cloth diapers is in a dry, well-ventilated area. Many people use a diaper pail or storage bin with a lid to store their dirty diapers until they are ready to be washed.
Do you have to wash cloth diapers after every use?
There is no set rule for how often you should wash your cloth diapers. Some people prefer to do a full wash every day, while others only wash every few days or even once a week. The frequency with which you need to wash depends on a variety of factors, including the type of diaper and how many babies you are diapering.
Do you wash cloth diapers in wet bag?
No, you don’t have to wash cloth diapers in wet bag. However, many people find it helpful to use a wet bag to store dirty diapers until they are ready to be washed. Wet bags keep the diapers contained and prevent them from making a mess in your home.
Do babies in cloth diapers potty train faster?
There is no evidence to suggest that babies who use cloth diapers potty train faster than those who use disposable diapers. However, many parents find that using cloth diapers can make potty training easier by allowing babies to feel wetness sooner. Ultimately, however, it is up to your baby and how they respond to potty training cues.
Can toddlers wear cloth diapers?
Yes, many toddlers can wear cloth diapers. You will need to wash them more often than if you use disposable diapers.