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Thread: Should cloth diapers be washed the first time?

  1. #1

    Default Should cloth diapers be washed the first time?

    I'm not planning on actually using some new cloth diapers - but only wearing them.

    Do I need to wash/prep them for that?

    I'm just going to be very curious when I get them and would like to try them on (and not wet) before having to wash them!

  2. #2

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    You can try them for fit and all. They need to be washed two to three times to get the natural oils
    out and get them more absorbent. Remember don't use fabric softener on them or dryer sheets
    when drying them. If they're twill diapers they will start to quilt up and get softer. Enjoy them.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSR View Post
    I'm not planning on actually using some new cloth diapers - but only wearing them.

    Do I need to wash/prep them for that?

    I'm just going to be very curious when I get them and would like to try them on (and not wet) before having to wash them!
    Would you wash a new shirt from the store before you wore it? New pants? Of course you would. Who knows what sorts of residues and things are on/in a wearable item from manufacturing, shipping, and handling? Even if you're not going to use the diaper, I'd recommend washing it anyway just so that you know it's hygienic.

  4. #4

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    Washing before wearing is always recommended. Fabrics can be treated with chemicals to make processing by machines easier. Those chemicals are not always washed out before sending them to market. I used to break out in spots if I wore new clothes without washing them first. In the diaper area, that would be most uncomfortable.

  5. #5

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    Well, plus some kinds of cloth diapers -- prefolds especially -- are made of fabrics that shrink a lot during the first few washes and take on a completely different feel. Wearing these kinds of diapers without first washing them several times won't be at all like what it's supposed to be, and the fit might seem way off.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleman72 View Post
    You can try them for fit and all. They need to be washed two to three times to get the natural oils
    out and get them more absorbent. Remember don't use fabric softener on them or dryer sheets
    when drying them. If they're twill diapers they will start to quilt up and get softer. Enjoy them.
    I just quickly bought them without much thought. Thanks for your advice



    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    Would you wash a new shirt from the store before you wore it? New pants? Of course you would. Who knows what sorts of residues and things are on/in a wearable item from manufacturing, shipping, and handling? Even if you're not going to use the diaper, I'd recommend washing it anyway just so that you know it's hygienic.
    Haha, I don't actually wash a new shirt or pants before wearing them. I do however wash new sheets or underwear. Maybe that's made me rethink what I'm doing.



    Quote Originally Posted by Carruthers View Post
    Washing before wearing is always recommended. Fabrics can be treated with chemicals to make processing by machines easier. Those chemicals are not always washed out before sending them to market. I used to break out in spots if I wore new clothes without washing them first. In the diaper area, that would be most uncomfortable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cottontail View Post
    Well, plus some kinds of cloth diapers -- prefolds especially -- are made of fabrics that shrink a lot during the first few washes and take on a completely different feel. Wearing these kinds of diapers without first washing them several times won't be at all like what it's supposed to be, and the fit might seem way off.
    Thank you both for your help, that adds some good insight too

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSR View Post
    I'm not planning on actually using some new cloth diapers - but only wearing them.

    Do I need to wash/prep them for that?

    I'm just going to be very curious when I get them and would like to try them on (and not wet) before having to wash them!
    You should wash AND dry them multiple times. Not only is it good to get rid of the chemicals, and increase capacity and make more absorbent. It will also thicken the diaper and make it fluffier and softer.

    Make sure you never use bleach or fabric softener, because they will deteriorate the diaper and it won't last as long.

    With that said I've hardly use my cloth diapers, I usually wear them over disposables for added thickness. The more you wash them the softer they get. If recommend washing AND drying them multiple times.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeTaLMaNN1983 View Post
    You should wash AND dry them multiple times. Not only is it good to get rid of the chemicals, and increase capacity and make more absorbent. It will also thicken the diaper and make it fluffier and softer.

    Make sure you never use bleach or fabric softener, because they will deteriorate the diaper and it won't last as long.

    With that said I've hardly use my cloth diapers, I usually wear them over disposables for added thickness. The more you wash them the softer they get. If recommend washing AND drying them multiple times.
    Perhaps I should've been clearer in my initial post (my apologies, I'd had a few drinks last night).

    I don't plan on using them, so therefore I don't need extra absorbency.

    However with it being said that the need to wash them is to get rid of the chemicals, I'm wondering if these chemicals are potentially harmful?

    Basically I just want to wear it for a short time when I get it, to see what it feels like. But I'm unsure what 'chemicals' they use to make cloth diapers, so I'm not sure if it would be unsafe to wear before washing.

  9. #9

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    If it's a white diaper then bleach is one though it doesn't matter much what chemicals are used as they'll still be on the diaper and it doesn't take long to do a quick wash cycle and dry it at least once.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSR View Post
    Perhaps I should've been clearer in my initial post (my apologies, I'd had a few drinks last night).

    I don't plan on using them, so therefore I don't need extra absorbency.

    However with it being said that the need to wash them is to get rid of the chemicals, I'm wondering if these chemicals are potentially harmful?

    Basically I just want to wear it for a short time when I get it, to see what it feels like. But I'm unsure what 'chemicals' they use to make cloth diapers, so I'm not sure if it would be unsafe to wear before washing.
    Most likely, they'd be the same sorts of chemicals involved with making ordinary clothing-bleaches and/or dyes to color the fabric, treating agents to make the yarn behave in a certain way, things of that nature. Maybe it would be just fine to wear without washing, but I'd just as soon wash it and know it's clean, even if I wasn't planning to use it per se.

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