The Definitive Guide to Washing Cloth Diapers
There is no question that using cloth diapers is much healthier for your baby and better for the environment, but many parents hesitate to use cloth diapers because they are not sure how to wash diapers. You can hire a diaper service that will clean the diapers for you, but often they use harsh chemical cleaners that can irritate your baby’s skin and cause rashes or other skin problems. The best thing to do is to wash the cloth diapers yourself. Don’t worry if you are not sure how to wash cloth diapers. It’s easier than you think. Here are some tips to make washing cloth diapers at home a lot easier:
Don’t wash diapers with other laundry: Diapers need to be washed all by themselves. You may be able to put some diaper covers in with a load of diapers but don’t put other clothes, especially baby clothes, in with diapers. It may mean that you have to do a few extra loads of laundry to wash diapers separately, but it’s the best way to wash them. Make sure that you don’t overload the washing machine when you wash diapers. Most washing machines can handle about two dozen diapers in one load.
Use a natural detergent: The most important thing when it comes to washing cloth diapers at home is to use the right soap. The diapers are going to be in direct contact with your baby’s very sensitive skin for hours at a time. Always use a natural detergent. Natural detergents like Rockin' Green have no chemicals, no added fragrances, no bleach or other harsh chemicals that might cause rashes or other skin problems. You might think you need to use bleach or harsh cleaners to get diapers clean and sanitary but you don’t. Natural detergents work great on cloth diapers.
Always wash cloth diapers before you use them for the first time: When you buy new cloth diapers, wash them at home before using them for your baby. That will remove any chemical or soap residues that might be on the cloth. It will also increase the absorbency of the diaper. That means when your baby is using them, you can go longer between diaper changes. Just run them through the wash before adding them to your diaper rotation and they will perform a lot better in the long run.
Don’t soak dirty diapers: It might seem like you should soak dirty diapers in a pail of hot water in order to make them easier to wash, but that’s not the case. You can pre-treat heavy duty stains but soaking ultimately ruins the fabric and makes the diaper unusable.