Cloth Diaper Laundry (It’s Easier Than You Think)

One of the first questions I am asked when I tell people I cloth diaper Jeremiah (after, “What do you do with the poop?”) is “How do you clean them?”  And this is a great question, because if you choose to cloth diaper your baby, you will be doing laundry every few days!

If you spend any time on a Facebook cloth diaper chat room, you will see a majority of posts about how people wash them.  Everyone has their own opinion about the perfect washing routine, and it can be overwhelming!  And while I know that each person will need to use some trial and error to find out what works for them, I’m going to share what it looks like on MY cloth diaper laundry day to give you an idea of how easy it is!


  • First, I start filling up the washing machine to the correct water level for the load size.  I also add in some Biz to help get them extra clean.  I have an “Extra Rinse” setting on my washing machine I use, but some also have Pre-Rinse settings.
  • IMG_1861Next, I take the wetbag where I store dirty diapers and dump them in the washing machine.  The wetbag also goes in the wash.
  • I let the diapers agitate a few seconds, then leave them to soak for a little while (30 minutes-an hour – I stop the cycle by opening the lid.).
  • After an hour, I close the lid and let the washer finish it’s extra rinse cycle and drain.


  • I set my washing machine on the longest wash cycle* (Super Wash) and add the correct amount of detergent for the load size.  Personally, I use powder Gain, but I know many cloth diapering moms who love Tide.  As long as your diapers come out smelling clean and the detergent doesn’t contain fabric softener, you are good!

*I don’t usually do an extra rinse at the end, but sometimes I forget to change the setting on my washing machine (as you can see in the above picture).  🙂



  • Our dryer isn’t the best, so to save money and energy, I use a drying rack for all my diapers and inserts.  Even if you have a great dryer, you may want to line dry the covers to minimize wear & tear on the elastic.

STEP 4: PUT THEM AWAY (and admire your pretty stash)IMG_1860

I use All-In-Two diapers, which don’t require any stuffing or extra prep.  Here is a picture of how I store my diapers.  I also have a basket of inserts sitting on the changing table to the right (just outside the picture).

Cloth Diaper Washing Do’s and Don’ts:

  • DO start with a simple routine that is similar to how you wash your regular laundry.  This includes using the correct water and detergent amounts for your load size.  Most likely, you can use your regular laundry detergent on your diapers (as long as it doesn’t contain fabric softener).
  • DON’T use fabric softeners (either in your laundry detergent or in your dryer).
  • DO change one thing at a time if you want to troubleshoot an issue.  If you change multiple things at once, you won’t know what is the key to your success or causing problems.

Well, there you have it.  Hopefully that gives you an idea of how simple it is to wash cloth diapers!  I have a lot more information on washing cloth diapers on my Pinterest board.  You should check it out here and follow me!

Leave me a comment!  What cloth diaper laundry questions or tips do you have?

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