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Thread: Cleaning/Washing Cloth diapers

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning/Washing Cloth diapers

    I have never found a place that explains this. maybe im not looking hard enough, maybe im just being me again and its in plain sight but i cant see it.

    can somone tell me how do you clean Cloth diapers. in the wash? is there certain stuff you should or shouldnt use? ((fabric softener, bleach, ect))
    and can you dry them in the dryer with heat?

    Also ive heard alot of people say "well i soak it before i wash em" or something along those lines. what does that mean?

    and since im talking about cloth diapers, how do you wash plastic pants?

    Also, any advice on storing the wet ones till they can be washed?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by AbbeyJunction; 29-Jul-2009 at 00:18.

  2. #2


    Fetware - plastic pants, adult sized plastic pants, plastic panties, and diapers

    That was the only site that I order from on a regular basis that had them on the website. diaperconnection used to have them, but only the frontend of their site seems to be up.

    Anyway, what I do is machine wash on permanent press with the regular detergent that I use. Then I dry on the perm. press cycle. Plastic pants are washed in clean water by hand.

  3. #3


    Wash cloth diapers in hot water with a little bit of vinegar to get rid of the pee smell. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER it will ruin the absorbancy of the diaper. Dry in the dryer... it may take a few times through if the diaper is thick.

    Wash your plastic pants by wearing them in the shower when you get up in the morning... use regular soap or shampoo... hang them to dry.

  4. #4


    NEVER use bleach or fabric softener -- they will drastically reduce the absorbency of your diapers. Dreft is a great detergent for diapers and 20 Mule Team Borax is a great booster and odor eliminator.


  5. #5


    Darkfinn nailed it! The only thing I can add is I toss mine in the washer on normal cold with the lid up so it doesn't drain to soak them. The next day's I add and let it rinse and leave the lid up again. (I store the dirtys in the washer full of clean cold water.) Hot water sets stains and cold loosens them. Then I'm ready, up to five diapers, I let them all cold rinse then add soap & run a hot wash. Bleach wrecks elastic so I only rarely add any.

  6. #6


    You can also wear them (or take them) into the shower with you and give them a good rinsing. Wring the excess water out of them and hang dry till you can wash them in the washer. If the hang dry option is not for you, grab some old towels that no one will miss, lay the diaper on top of the towel, (flat) and roll up. The towel will help dry the diaper. If it is going to be a few days you want to change the towel with a dry one so the diaper doesn't "go a funk."

  7. #7


    i'm guessing you're using flannel cloth (being in the US)? don't know much about the long-term care of them but, as for what to do with wet nappies 'til you can wash them: rinse them through in the shower or sink in the morning. wring them out, also.
    we don't have a tumble-dryer so, i dry mine on my bedroom radiator or, if it's summer, i'll just hang them from one o' those coat-hangers with the clips, in my room, again.
    also, when washing, i do an extra rinse cycle and add a bit of store-brand Dettol (that's a disinfectant/antiseptic) and that helps keep away any of the usual damp clothes smell whilst drying; it also helps with the sweaty smell that can happen when a nappy+placky-pant is worn for a while.

    if, after washing and drying, and following the no fabric conditioner advice, as given previously, the nappy feels somewhat rougher, then you would be advised to use liners for comfort and also to help maintain the pristine quality of your cloth........ok, i mean to avoid skids
    while liners aren't as readily available as they used to be (in the olden days - see Peachy about them), the same material is now used as frost protection 'fleece' for plants and is available from gardening stores/centres in rolls which can be cut to size. i'd recommend doubling these liners as the feeling is very silkily smooth when done and adds an extra dimension to the sensation of wearing.

  8. #8


    this is assuming you have a diaper pail or bucket you keep them in when dirty.

    You can keep a solution of 1/4 c cider vinegar and 2 gallons of water in the pail but it is not necessary.. If there is solid waste then shake that into the toilet and flush- no need to rinse the diaper. When you are ready to do a load of diapers then put the contents of the diaper pail (drain the solution first if you use it) into the washing machine and run it through a cold prewash cycle. Next run it through a hot wash/cold rinse cycle and then rinse again on cold. This will get out any detergent residue and keep the user from getting diaper rash. hang the diapers on the clothes line until almost dry. This santizes them and bleaches any stains away. When they are nearly dry put them in a hot dryer for 10-15 minutes to soften them up. Do not use softeners on the diapers as it will make them less absorbant.In the summertime You may want to go ahead and use the vinegar solution in the diaper pail, especially if you have a fly problem. Cloth diapers with maggots on them are not fun to find, but it can happen. The best way to avoid this is to keep the diapers submerged in the vinegar solution and wash regularly.

    with thanks to How To Make Cloth Diapers

  9. #9


    any recommendation on washing them for the first time? I saw that DarkFinn recommended that they should be washed before the fist use, but any recommendations

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