Washing Brand New Products...
New diapers do need to be laundered prior to their first use. Some items such as pocket diapers, covers, inserts and items made from micro-terry or bamboo only need a quick wash; warm or hot water works best (detergent is optional but recommended).
Organic/Unbleached Cotton and Hemp products...
Organic and unbleached cotton and hemp products (inserts, prefolds, etc…) do require several washes BEFORE they will be absorbent; otherwise, leaks will occur. Generally it can take between 5-6 hot water washes (or more) before the natural oils from the cotton or hemp are removed and allows the fabric to properly absorb. Items will become more absorbent with subsequent washes.
For optimal results use hot water for the wash and warm water rinses (if an option on your machine). We do recommend drying the diapers between washes - however, you can also opt to wash twice, dry once, and continue repeating until the diapers are fully prepped.
Washing Soiled Diapers – Keep it Simple!
Cloth diaper laundry recommendations are a dime a dozen. However, we all use different washing machines, different detergents, and even different diapers. Therefore, finding a diaper laundry routine that suits you best can be cumbersome. We recommend keeping it simple!
The following routine has proven to work well for most people, regardless of what type of machine or cloth diapers you use:
- 1 short cycle cold water wash with detergent
- 1 long/heavy duty cycle hot water wash with detergent (use slightly less detergent)
- 1 additional rinse*
*Warm water rinses, if an option on your machine, work best at removing residue.
Detergents We Recommend:
There are a plethora of cloth diaper laundry lists available with other recommended detergents but we like to stick to what we have personally tried and know works well.
Note: Rockin' Green, bumGenius, and Tiny Bubbles detergents have all been formulated for use with cloth diapers. Therefore, you should follow the recommended amount on the packaging.
Baking Soda (1-2 tablespoons) - helps neutralize acid and odors. Baking soda can be used in place of detergent in the initial cold water wash, or substitute ½ of your detergent for baking soda in the initial cold water wash.
Bleach: (1-2 tablespoons) - While bleach is typically a cloth diapering "no-no" - we do recommend a periodic bleaching of micro-terry inserts; especially since micro-terry is more prone to build-up and stink issues. Do not use on other types of cloth diapers, especially those with PUL.
Vinegar (1/4 cup or less) works by breaking down residues making them readily wash away. Also helps restores the pH balance in fabrics, reduces lint, and naturally eliminates static cling. Not recommended or necessary unless you develop consistent problems with residue build-up. Use in the rinse cycle—either with a Downy Ball or in the fabric softener dispenser in your washing machine.
PLEASE NOTE: Some manufacturers explicitly state not to use these additives, and the use of these additives can void certain manufacturer warranties. While every effort has been made to provide safe, reliable and helpful information, Kelly's Closet is not responsible for any damage or injuries resulting in following our recommendations/suggestions.
Have specific washing questions and need help? CONTACT US!
How do I handle and store soiled diapers?
Wet diapers only are a breeze – just toss in the diaper pail and go!
Soiled (bowel movement) diapers do require a little more attention.
Newborn poo doesn't typically stain… therefore some people just toss soiled diapers directly into the diaper pail or wet bag until laundry day and do a prewash to loosen up and rinse away most of the debris. However, for optimal washing results, we like to recommend either using a disposable diaper liner or a diaper sprayer.
Disposable diaper liners such as the Bummis Bio-Soft or Kushies Flushable Liners facilitate an easy breezy clean up! Simply remove the liner from the diaper and toss and flush in the toilet – and voila, you're done!
Otherwise, we strongly recommend the use of a Diaper Sprayer! Diaper Sprayers allows you to remove most (sometimes all) of the solids from the diaper right into your toilet, without having to utilize the dreaded dunking method. Diaper Sprayers are also great for personally hygiene uses too!
For storing your soiled diapers until laundry day we strongly recommend the use of a dry pail. Dry Pails are diaper pails that do not use water to soak the diapers in. Wet pails pose a safety hazard and are more likely to cause stink buildup in the diapers.
Therefore we recommend lining a lidded 13 gallon plastic trash bin/can with a diaper pail liner such as Planet Wise or Wahmies Diaper Service Quality pail liners. If you don't have much room for a plastic trash bin you may alternatively use a hanging diaper pail liner, such as Knickernappies Doorknob Diaper Pail, on a door handle inside your bathroom or connect it to your changing table.
For on-the-go storage we recommend using a wet bag. Planet Wise are our most leak-proof and odor resistant wet bags. Wet bags wonderful for storing not only soiled diapers but all wet items such as swimsuits, towels, wet clothes, etc…
We also recommend the use of a diaper pail deodorizer to help combat stink inside the diaper pail between washes.