How Often Do You Wash Cloth Diapers?

How Often Do You Wash Cloth Diapers


How Often Do You Wash Cloth Diapers?

One of the very first decisions new parents must make when they are gifted with a baby is the diaper situation. What brand of diapers to get, how many should you start with, and what type you should go with? Not many know this, but they still have places where you can buy cloth diapers, and disposable isn’t the only choice available.

The first instinct is to go for the disposable diapers; you assume they are easier to deal with, the baby has an accident, and you just throw them away once you are finished changing them. Before you know it, you have thrown away ten diapers in one day, and one of those was soiled immediately after putting it on the baby. What a waste. Those new parents do not realize all of the money they are wasting when they can be saving it with cloth diapers.

Now, the first question about cloth diapers is what maintenance is included in keeping the cloth diapers clean and ready-to-use when needed. How clean the cloth diapers are and what work goes into maintaining them is different for every parent, but some general washing guidelines should be followed if you’re trying to figure out if cloth diapers are right for your family.

How Often Do You Wash Cloth Diapers That Are Heavily Soiled?

The number of times you should wash cloth diapers will vary 1 – 3 days, depending on the state of the soiled diaper. If the baby had a big accident in the diaper, it should probably not be left to sit for 2 or 3 days, but be washed within that one day window. Then you would want to wait before that diaper again because you don’t want to re-use the diaper too soon and then have to rewash it within the same week.

How Often Do You Wash Cloth Diapers That Are Mildly Soiled?

On the other hand, if the cloth diaper is mildly soiled and doesn’t require too much attention, you can wait a couple of days to wash it, but you should not wait any longer than three days because then you are not only risking irreversible staining but also the chance of bacteria forming increases.

Bacteria On Cloth Diapers

Bacteria is a real threat and is something that you want to keep an eye on with anything that may come in contact with your baby. The best way to prevent bacteria is not to let a soiled diaper, no matter whether it’s due to a big or small accident, you do not want to leave the diaper in a dark, confined space. This allows bacteria to form. If you do not want to wash the cloth diaper right away then that’s perfectly fine, just make sure that the diaper is left somewhere with proper air circulation during the time between wash cycles.

Stains On Cloth Diapers

Washing more often does not decrease the likelihood of staining. If you do not want the diaper to be left with a stain, which no one wants, a neat trick is to leave the diaper in the sun. Like it does with hair, the sun is a natural bleacher since cloth diapers are white, then that means they will not lose their original color and makes this method color-safe. This avenue also helps parents to avoid using unsafe chemicals like bleach to return the white color to your diaper.
How Often Do You Wash Cloth Diapers Stains On Cloth Diapers

What About Changing A Non-Soiled Cloth Diaper At Bath Time?

Now, if the baby did not have an accident in the diaper and you are doing a changing because you just bathed the baby, or if you have changed the baby’s outer clothes and decided to change the diaper too, then you can wait a little longer to wash the cloth diaper.

The More You Wash, The Shorter The Cloth Diapers Lifespan!

When it comes to cleaning a cloth diaper, you want to try to keep the washing to a minimum. Like many clothes, the more it is washed, the shorter the lifespan. This doesn’t mean you should skip the washing schedule to get the cloth diaper to last longer, but you do not want to wash the diapers more often than they need to be washed.

Smelly Cloth Diapers

You don’t want to wait too long between days to clean the cloth diaper, because not only do you have to worry about staining, but also smell. The longer the diaper stays soiled, the worse the smell and harder it is to get it out. If your cloth diapers start to exhibit an aroma that is beyond the typical odor of a soiled diaper, it is time for a wash. This is left to your discretion, no matter when you last washed the diaper.

Cloth Diaper Manufacturer Washing Instructions

The one set of instructions that should be strictly followed are the ones laid out by the manufacturers. They know their products more than anyone else, so it’s best to always read the manufacturer’s care instructions and follow them to the best of your abilities. If they say to wash the diapers every other day, then that’s what you do.

Final Thoughts

Cloth diapers are great to have for new parents, especially if money is tight, but you have to take care of them.

They should be washed often enough to keep them free of bacteria, stains, and odor, but also not so much that you wear the diapers out before you get your money’s worth out of them. Cloth diapers are not something you can neglect without facing the consequences of making them unusable.

At the end of the day, it comes down to being a judgment call. You have to be able to see and smell a cloth diaper and be able to decide whether or not it needs to be washed, regardless of the last time that it was done. If you just washed it a couple of days ago and it is stained and smelly then rewash it before using it.

When it’s something that deals with your baby, corners should never be cut because it is not worth dealing with the aftermath. If you can’t decide whether or not wash the diaper, then wash it. It is better to wash it more often than not often enough.

Works Cited

GroVia. “Top 6 Laundry Mistakes.” GroVia,

“Washing Cloth Diapers.” Nicki’s Diapers,

Photo Credits,

Choosing the Right Laundry Detergent for Cloth Diapering

Woman Choosing the Right Laundry Detergent for Cloth Diapering

Laundering cloth diapers is actually incredibly straightforward once you’ve got your system down. Choosing the right detergent for your diapers is not as difficult as it sounds, either! The main factors to take into consideration are:

  • Cost
  • Effectiveness
  • Environmental Impact
  • Ease of Use



Detergents come at a number of different price points – but most are within a few dollars of each competing brand. If you’re at a place where cost really is the most important factor, the following strategies are recommended:


Buying in bulk


Co-op and bulk-bin stores will let you purchase detergents by the ounce in your own refillable container. Just weigh your clean, empty container, and then fill up with as much or as little as you want to bring home. Because you can measure exactly how much you’re buying, you can make sure you stay exactly within your budget. Bonus – the cost per ounce is usually lower than buying typically packaged detergents, as you’re not paying for the bottle or the increased cost to transport the packaging.


Buying powdered detergent


Powdered detergent used to be the gold standard in home laundering. With the advent of high-efficiency machines, and ease of dispensing into small receptacles in the machines came liquid detergent as we know it today. While powder is typically a lower-cost option, with so many liquid detergents available, some powdered detergents are becoming increasingly difficult to find in stores.


Making your own


Making your own detergent can be highly economical as the ingredients themselves are fairly inexpensive. I wouldn’t use homemade laundry soap on my cloth diapers, so I can’t recommend it for my readers. I wrote about why I don’t use homemade Laundry Detergent for my cloth diapers .

However for those of you still interested, you usually have to buy a large container, but that container will last you ages. If you have access to a bulk bins store, you may be able to purchase smaller quantities to make a smaller batch. You can also customize it to meet exactly your family’s needs, especially important If you’ve got an allergy or sensitivity. The Eco-Friendly Family has a fantastic DIY Recipe if you want to try it out. (1)



Whichever detergent you get should ultimately have the same end result – clean, sanitary diapers! If that’s not happening, then it doesn’t matter which of the other categories it satisfies. To ensure you’re giving your detergents the most optimal conditions to work its magic, make sure you’re washing them properly. See our article Cloth Diaper Washing Instructions ~ That Work

If diapers aren’t getting as clean as you’d expect, or they aren’t as clean as they used to be, you can troubleshoot before switching detergents.

  • Check that diapers aren’t holding onto excess detergent residue. Even with proper cleaning, diapers can hold onto residue from detergents, reducing their absorbency, and ultimately looking and feeling less “clean”. You can find out more about how to strip the residue from your diapers here.
  • Make sure your washing machine isn’t overdue for a deep cleaning. All washing machines are prone to needing a deep cleaning every now and then. To help get a cleaner clean on all your loads, check out how to effectively clean your washer.


Environmental Impact



Ease of Use


Like many aspects of 21st-century living, convenience has trumped environmental impact when products are marketed to consumers. Being a savvy consumer though, you can learn where these “convenience” items are actually traps and where you can both save money, and reduce your environmental impact by choosing the most eco-friendly options.




Increased packaging under the guise of convenience has been at play for decades now. Smaller package sizes, multiple layers of plastic packaging bags, wrappers and such all increase the amount of waste that consumers must go through before even getting to their product. By opting for packages with as little extra waste as possible, you are able to help your home and the planet at the same time! Look for individual items that don’t have extra “wrapping” around them, and avoid sample sizes or multipacks and opt for larger containers, where possible.


Pod Detergents

Laundry Pods
Pod detergents have become increasingly popular due to their easy portioning and dispensing. They don’t come without their own set of concerns, however. The containers that they come in are almost exclusively plastic, and while many can be recycled, unfortunately, it is estimated that less than 10% of plastic that is sorted for recycling is never actually recycled. (2)

If you do prefer pods, opting for cardboard packaging (3) or reusing plastic packaging around the house first would help extend the life of this otherwise single-use container.

Reusable dispensers


Hands down, the best way to eliminate waste when purchasing laundry detergent, is to eliminate single-use packaging altogether. You can do this by making your own detergent and storing it in your own containers, or by purchasing pre-made detergent in bulk at co-ops or other stores that offer bulk items for purchase. If you don’t have access to any locally, you can also purchase refills for dispensers you already own. Brands like Method (4) and Grove Collaborative (5) both offer refill packs for your liquid detergent. Just keep in mind that with both of these options, you’re still receiving the detergent in a plastic bladder bag, although single-use, it is far less plastic than buying an entirely new dispenser bottle each time.


Ease of Use

Another very legitimate consideration when determining what laundry detergent you’re going to use is how difficult it will be for you to use it. Suggesting that everyone simply choose the detergent that had the highest marks in each category and leave it at that would be incredibly short-sighted, as we know each option is not feasible for every family.

Whether you don’t have access to low-cost ingredients, you don’t have the space to store large quantities, or you don’t have the funds for the up-front cost of larger sizes or reusable containers, it is understandable that how the detergent gets used is one of the factors in which is right for you as well.

We hope this guide was helpful and gave you many factors to consider when choosing how you will launder your cloth diapers. When you’re ready to start discovering brands that are specific to your needs and preferences, we have a few resources that you can use to help guide you right here on Simply use our search function to find what you’re looking for! Can’t find the information you need? Head on over to our Facebook Page and send me a message detailing your concerns or questions and I will help you the best I can!!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

How To Clean Washing Machine With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Cloth Diaper Washing Machine Care

When you feel the need to ask – “All Right . . . Who threw the fish in the washer?” then you know it is time for some proper washing machine hygiene. Why? Because with everyday use, be it sweaty socks, gym shorts, undies, musty towels, food-ridden dish rags, all-day-wear clothing and cloth diapers (nappies), your washing machine will develop a build-up that needs to be removed.

As with any well-used appliance, your washing machine’s care is an absolute necessity to keep it in good working condition and to keep your family’s laundry smelling fresh.


How To Clean Washing Machine With Vinegar and Baking Soda Step 1

Water Can Contain Sulfur

Make sure that the problem is actually that of your washing machine because in some situations it could be your water supply. For instance, well water can contain sulfur in the water. This smell can best be compared to the smell of rotten eggs. If this is the case, a water filter system for all your incoming water would be the answer. If your water is supplied by the city, you may be smelling chlorine. Again, a filter would be required. However, if you have eliminated those concerns, then you can assume you have a build-up of residue within your washer that needs cleaning.


Loosening the grunge and grime


Empty Washing Machine Drum

Starting with an empty washing machine, run HOT water up to the highest washing level your washer offers. When the water is full, and the washer begins agitating, add 3 cups of distilled white vinegar (2 cups of lemon juice can be substituted) and 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water.

Allow the cycle to run almost completely, advancing it to ‘spin’ right as the water starts to drain. By doing this, the washer will spin and drain at the same time.

Follow by wiping down the inner tub, removing any residue that has been loosened by the cleansing process. To remove all remaining residue, follow this with a complete COLD water cycle. Adjust your washer’s agitation to high (where you would place it for heavily soiled clothing). This technique should remedy any lingering soap scum or mineral deposits both in the drums of your washing machine and the hoses.


Why Baking Soda and Vinegar?


  • Baking Soda:: Baking Soda lifts residue effectively from the inner tub of a washing machine to dissolve easily in the wash water, flushing out the pipes/hoses on the way. Because it is so very water soluble, it dissolves before its soft crystalline molecules can scratch or damage a surface. Baking Soda has the power to neutralize odors, instead of just covering them up. It deodorizes by bringing both acidic and basic odor molecules into a neutral state.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is mildly acidic in nature, which makes it ideal for cleaning. It has the ability to eliminate soap residue and build-up on any given surface while neutralizing odors.


Finishing Up


Now that the inside of the washing machine is clean, do a once over on the external parts. If you have/use the dispenser(s) for fabric softener and/or bleach, remove those, cleansing thoroughly. You may find the need to soak the fabric softener dispenser to rid of the residue as it is common for a build-up to occur. If you have a top-loading washing machine, don’t forget to wipe over the top rim of the inner tub – though it isn’t easily seen, it can develop a good bit of grime.


Your Washer’s Anatomy


Washing Machines Clean Vinegar Baking Soda

To understand why it is necessary to upkeep your washing machine, be it front or top loading, you need to understand the anatomy of your washing machine. Both front and top-loading washing machines have two tubs. The inner tub holds the clothing and the outer tub holds the wash and rinse water during the wash cycles.

The technique we suggest above is designed to cleanse both tubs within automatic clothes washers. With regular usage, a layer of both laundry detergent and fabric softener can build-up leaving a sort of curd on both tubs. This curd will leave a constant odor in your washer. Cleaning only the inner tub (what is visible to your eye) will not remove this sour smell.


Rusty spots on your diapers?


If you are finding rusty spots on your diapers or other laundry, there is a good chance that one of the tubs may have damage. Though you can combat the rust temporarily with lime or lemon juice ran on a hot water setting, ultimately you will need to replace the damaged part.


Did all this and the smells remain?


First, check to see if your washing machine is still under warranty. If so, you may want the convenience of calling and having your washer serviced by a professional. If your washer is not under warranty, with top-loading machines, you can easily do it yourself.

  • Safety first:: Unplug your washing machine.
  • Second:: Remove the washer’s front. For a top-loading machine, this requires no more than a screwdriver to remove the front panel or in some cases, the entire cabinet. The washing tubs and the inner workings of the machine will be exposed. If it has been a while since the tub has been cleaned, you may see a build-up of dark gunky residue at the top of the tub. Wipe clean (or scrub, depending on the time it has been there)
  • Third:: replace the outer shell and run an empty cycle on HOT with the water level set to high.

We do not recommend you remove the front panel of a front loader. The reason? The front-loading machine has more than just a front panel that you will need to remove to get to the inner tubs/drums.

First, there is the washer’s main front, then the counterweight (very heavy) that keeps the machine balanced while spinning. Finally, there is the Boot (Tub) Seal that provides the water seal between the main tub and door (not something you want to be messing with). If you feel up to it, however, please consult your owner’s manual or go to for more information on how to do this efficiently.


Thinking Ahead


Once your machine is thoroughly clean and your diapers are nice and fresh once more, consider a few tips (along with regular maintenance) to avoid future build-up problems.

  • Avoid using more than 1/2 of the cup that is provided with standard commercial laundry detergents. Obviously, the manufacturers are not going to tell you to use less of their detergent (a sales-oriented approach is to suggest using MORE). However, most have found that using even 1/2 the recommended amount is more than enough to get the same level of cleanliness. This is going to vary according to water types and detergent types, but ‘play’ with amounts until you settle on what is right for your diaper laundry or laundry in general.
  • Avoid using liquid fabric softeners (try the all-natural fabric softening ability of distilled white vinegar instead). However, if you are set on using fabric softeners, be certain to dilute it with water when you pour it into the receptacle in your washer. Too much fabric softener has been known to leave black marks on clothing when used in full strength – as well as the negative effects of build-up in the fabric softener dispenser and in the tub(s) of the washing machine.
  • Choose liquid over powder detergent. Often powder detergents do not dissolve and cause a build-up on clothing and your washer’s tubs and pipes/hoses (this is true of dishwashers as well).
  • Do not overload.




When hard water calcium and soap bind together, a soap ‘curd’ is formed. This ‘curd’ can build up on the inner and outer tub of a washing machine over time making the washing machine less efficient. Usually, owners must add more soap to overcome hard water’s effects and the smell that occurs – as well as more fabric softener because the curd elevates static electricity This curd can also cling to clothing (or your diapers) and keep them from smelling fresh. They become dingy and gray. If you live in a hard water area, consider a water softener. At the least, recognize the need for a higher level of maintenance for your washing machine to keep it working efficiently and smelling fresh


Would I Have To Clean My Washing Machine With Vinegar and Baking Soda If I wasn’t Washing Diapers?


It would be nice if the answer were “No” wouldn’t it? Well, it isn’t, the answer is still an emphatic “Yes!” Think about it – why would you not? We flush out and clean our toilet bowls and scrub our showers, tubs, and sinks . . . All get dirty and are used to cleanse our bodies and dispose of ‘wastes,’ right? Well, why should the washing machine be any different?

It is suggested by many washing machine manufacturer and repairmen (who often view the side effects of too little care of one’s washer) that every 2 to 3 months owners do a little bit of upkeep. You know what they say . . . “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Though your diaper doublers may pull a disappearing act

The leftover residue and resulting funky smell emanating from the washer will not! It makes itself obvious, and without proper attention, your washer’s tub (and the laundry in it) will smell more like the fish dock or a day at the stables than the freshness anticipated. Sure the stains are gone, but the smell is full strength. Never fear – put away your fishing poles and saddles – you don’t have to ride this one out, there are a few simple procedures that you can follow to keep this from happening.

When Good Washing Machines Smell Bad – home and garden.
How To Clean A Dishwasher –
Is America Becoming a Failed State? –
Washing Machine Care –

How To Clean Poop Out Of Cloth Diapers

How To Clean Poop Out Of Cloth Diapers


How To Clean Poop Out Of Cloth Diapers

If you’re considering using cloth diapers, you’ve probably thought about the worse thing that can happen in a cloth diaper. But poop doesn’t have to be so scary. Parents have been using cloth diapers for many years, and you won’t be the first to have to clean poop from a diaper. You’ve got this!


My Background With Cloth Diapers

I was a cloth diaper-wearing baby! My siblings and I were all born in Cuba before disposable diapers were available to families there – especially the ones who lived on farms.

My mom used cloth diapers on all of us, and she survived! You can too!  She often retells her experience with cloth diapers and what she had to do to make them look and smell fresh.

For starters, she didn’t have a washing machine like we do in the US; she had to wash everything by hand.  And since the cloth diapers were white, she wanted to make sure they were still white after she washed them.  She would first rinse the poop off the diapers outside in the backyard with a hose. Then, she’d wash the diapers in hot water and scrub them by hand with castile soap.

If the cloth diapers still weren’t clean and was a little stained, she’d boil the cloth until the cloth looked white again.  Since she didn’t have a washing machine, she didn’t have a dryer either.  All cloth diapers were hung out in the sunshine. This helped them get the cloth even whiter.

Breastfed Baby Poop

But let’s face it, we’re not in Cuba, and we don’t need to wash our cloth diapers by hand. However, we still want those diapers to smell and look as fresh as possible. Right?

Poop is probably the smelliest and dirtiest of the deeds our babies drop into their diapers. Whether you will be using a washing machine or washing your cloth diapers by hand, you’ll want first to rinse the poop off the diapers before you wash them.  I recommend rinsing the poop off using a manual bidet and letting the poop go right in the toilet.  You definitely want to keep the poop away from your kitchen sink. The kitchen sink may seem to be the most convenient, but you don’t want poop to splatter off the diaper and onto the counter or your nearby clean dishes.

If your baby is exclusively breastfed, their poop will be on the watery side and will not have a strong smell. This will make it a lot easier to wash off and should not stain the cloth because it is completely water-soluble. However, since each baby and breast milk is different, you want to rinse the poop off as soon as possible to avoid any stains. You should be able to wash the cloth diapers right in the washing machine along with your other peepee only diapers.  I would recommend washing them in either hot or warm water since the heat will help pull out any stains.

Once Solids Are Introduced


Things will get a little more complicated once you start introducing solids into your baby’s diet. Their poop will start to get thicker and sticky.  It will also start to stink. Some parents choose to use liners inside the cloth diaper, but you have to be careful the liners won’t irritate your baby’s skin. I’d prefer not to use liners and rather wash the poop off immediately to avoid staining. Once your baby starts to produce the stickier, smellier poop, you’ll want to rinse the poop off as soon as you become aware of it.

One of the best things you can use to rinse off the poop directly into the toilet is the manual bidet or now also known as a diaper sprayer. If you turn the diaper inside out – or poop side down into the toilet, most of it will fall right in, and you can just flush it down.  The remaining stain and stickiness will need to be washed off either in the washing machine or by hand.
How To Clean Poop Out Of Cloth Diapers 4

How To Clean Poop Out Of Cloth Diapers – Safely

One of the biggest mistakes we make with washing our cloth diapers is using the wrong detergents and using fabric softeners.  A lot of the chemicals in these detergents can ruin the cloth and can cause diaper rash . I recommend using a combination of Country Save laundry detergent, listed on our “Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Choices” and borax in your wash. Use equal amounts of each depending on your load size.  This is easy and inexpensive and will not ruin your cloth or your baby’s sensitive bottom.

In the rinse cycle, use a half cup of white vinegar.  White vinegar is a natural fabric softener and its PH balanced. Using other fabric softeners may cause skin irritation and will leave a residue on your cloth diapers that will eventually make them lose their absorbency.

When washing your cloth diapers, use the hot cycle since the hot water will help lift any stains off and will ensure that any bacteria or germs are cleaned out.  Lastly, if you still find that there are some light stains remaining, consider hanging the diapers in the sun.  The sun can naturally help bleach those stains out.

You’ll want to make sure you wash your dirty diapers daily.  The ammonia from urine can start to build up in the fabric and cause a funky smell that will not be easy to remove and will cause the diapers to smell really bad as soon as your baby wets. I know my mom wouldn’t have left the diapers in a pail for a few days and then try to get the stains out. It would be safer to wash your load of diapers daily not only to ensure you get them as clean as possible but also to ensure that you always have clean diapers on hand.

One last note I’d like to leave you with. I don’t like the idea of dunking and swishing the diaper in the toilet.  No matter how clean you think your toilet may be, it is still going to have some of our adult germs and bacteria in there from our poop, pee, and other fluids.  So, I’d abstain from this practice.

If you don’t have a manual bidet or diaper sprayer , use a spackle spatula or other flat spatula that you use only for this and then wash your diapers in the washing machine with hot water.  Dunking and swishing in the toilet is gross in my opinion and may end up adding more bacteria to your cloth diapers than removing them. Invest in a simple sprayer that you can use, not only for your soiled diapers but as a bidet for adults.

~ Dina Montero

40+ Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Choices!

Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Give Your Fluff Love

Picking The Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

If cloth diapering is a new thing for you, I can not emphasize strongly enough how much easier your life will become by choosing a really good detergent. Make your routine as simple as possible.

If you want to experiment with your favorite detergent down the road, do so, but only after you are successfully cloth diapering so you know what normal is.

In a hurry?
It’s ok! I’m a mom too! I understand your time is valuable.
I switched to Country Save Powder due to sensitive skin issues. This detergent has been awesome. It’s cost-effective, additive-free, and great results with no optical brighteners, no enzymes, no dyes, no softeners, and no fragrance!
We have an HE wahing machine. We do a cold quick cycle with 3/4 measure of the Country Save, then a hot/cold cotton towels setting cycle and that’s it. If I get even a tiny bit too much detergent I have to rinse again, so I check the last rinse cycle.


Do You Have To Use Special Detergent For Cloth Diapers?

No, you do not need to purchase a detergent specially labled “cloth diaper detergent” as long as you pick one that has enough cleaning power to get the job done, safe on your babies skin, safe for the materials in your cloth diaper stash and has as few chemicals as possible.

Which Detergent Works Best For Washing Cloth Diapers?

Thats a difficult question to answer since different detergents will work or not work to your satisfaction depending on many different factors. What works for one person’s diaper laundry will not necessarily work for you and yours.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Detergent


Your Washing Machine

Is your washing machine an energy-efficient or non-energy efficient machine? If your washing machine is an HE machine then you will need to pick a detergent that is HE safe. We’ve made a column just for the HE consideration so you can easily find HE detergents from the list below. These detergents are formulated to clean your laundry in very little water.

Your Water Supply

Do you have hard water or soft water? Testing your water for hardness will allow you to pick a detergent that best suits your water conditions. We’ve written a complete hard-water how-to post that will guide you step by step including video tutorials!

Does Your Baby Have Sensitive Skin?

If your baby has sensitive skin or if sensitive skin is a possible concern then you’ll want to stay away from harsh chemicals and heavy fragrances. These things are known to cause skin irritations.

Is Being Green Important To You?

If yes, then you’ll want to stick with a plant-based detergent, which is environmentally-friendly. If being green is not an issue for you and your family then synthetic-based detergents would be an option.

What Should I Avoid?


Optical Brighteners

  • Laundry detergent manufacturers add this chemical for the sole purpose of making clothing appear whiter and brighter, and thereby looking cleaner, without actually being cleaner! This chemical also fades your dark-colored clothes.
  • The British Journal Of Dermatology. says that when you perspire, the moisture in the fabric releases optical brighteners and deposits them onto the skin. Ewwww!
  • We have a rather extensive Detergents Without Optical Brighteners post with one of the largest detailed list of Optical Brightener Free Detergents on the web!


  • Enzymes are used to break down the dirt in your laundry. Proteolytic enzymes also cause irritation to skin, eyes and the respiratory tract.
  • Inclusion of enzymes in products leads to adverse skin reactions, including erythema, pruritus and exacerbation of eczema according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Artificial Dyes

  • Alkylphenol Ethoxylates are used in detergents and as scouring, coating or waterproofing agents in the final stages of the dyeing process.
  • It has been linked to reproductive health issues, reduced sperm count in men, and can result in early termination of pregnancy or fetal growth defects.


  • Fabric Softener is a big no no, as it is actually just a product that builds up on fabric over time.
  • It will cause diapers to repel wetness and leak everywhere.
  • Fabric softeners can also leave harsh chemicals on your cloth diapers which will irritate your childs tiny tush!


  • To minimize irritation, look for a fragrance free detergent.

Soap-Based Detergents

  • You’ll want to make sure you use a detergent, not a soap. Soap will build up and cause them to repel.


  • Bleach will slowly wear down the fibers and cause irritation and rashes.
  • Be careful when using a bleach alternative such as OxiClean, it will break down any waterproof layer and make covers and AIOs leak! It can be useful for soakers and prefolds, though. The main ingredient in OxiClean is very similar to a powdered form of hydrogen peroxide, so don’t use Clorox 2 on anything waterproof also.


The Best Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Includes Surfactants



  • Surfactants are crucial to getting your clothes clean.
  • The main benefit of surfactants is their ability to draw grime out of clothing while making sure it doesn’t redeposit back onto the fabrics.
  • There were some controversial discussions among scientist that surfactants in high concentrations harm aquatic life. Don’t let this keep you awake at night because according to the Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University , the most common soaps, shampoos and detergents actually pose a minimal risk to the environment. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive survey that covers more than 250 scientific studies over several decades.


HE Machines

After using my HE machine for over 6 months, I realized these machines are much different when washing diapers. Some of these machines wash better than others. (see Consumer Reports for this.. mine was rated “good” the middle rating).

I found my previous routine was not getting the diapers as clean as I liked; they smelled funky after the wash and started to get buildup quickly.

I switched to Country Save Powdered. This detergent has been awesome. Finally an economical choice for washing cloth diapers! It’s cost-effective, additive-free, and great results with no optical brighteners, no enzymes, no dyes, no softeners, and no fragrance!


How Much Detergent Should I Use?


To cover my behind here, I need to tell you to follow the instructions on your laundry detergents label. With that said, I do a cold quick cycle with 3/4 measure of the Country Save, then a hot/cold cotton towels setting cycle and that’s it. If I get even a tiny bit too much detergent I have to rinse again, so I check the last rinse cycle.

HE detergents are made to have less suds because of a very low water level in the machine. Too many suds can damage your HE machine!

What About Using Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Making your own homemade laundry detergent may sound like a fantastic idea. I mean afterall making it yourself is usually cheaper right?

I wouldn’t use homemade laundry soap on my cloth diapers, so I can’t recommend it for my readers. Why? First of all, you need to know the differences between soap and detergents. Soaps are made with fats or oils. They’re great for cleaning hard surfaces, but not clothes. Detergents are better at cleaning laundry in a machine because they’re more soluble. They also rinse away quickly, leaving no residue behind on your laundry.

Homemade detergents are not detergents at all, but rather soaps! They are usually made with soap products. Soap will build up and cause your cloth diapers to repel.


The Best Cloth Diaper Detergents of 2019


Image Product Details He


Allens Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 150x150

Allens Naturally Powder

Best for babies with sensitive skin, however, doesn’t clean very well!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance
  • Rinses well in cold water


Allens Powder Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 150x150

Allens Naturally Ultra Powder

Although there are no brighteners, the label reads “Not recommended for military uniforms”.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Allens Liquid Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 150x150

Allens Naturally Liquid

Allen’s Naturally liquid laundry detergent requires only 1/4 oz for HE Machines.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Attitude Ylang Ylang And Tangerine Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Liquid 1800ml 4

Attitude Baby Fragrance-Free

Good plant-based option. Use half a cap in prewash and a whole cap and a half in the main wash. Wash on hot and add a water softener if your water is at all hard.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Awesome for sensitive skin and eczema!


Attitude Ylang Ylang And Tangerine Laundry Liquid 1800ml Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Ylang-Ylang & Tangerine

Good plant-based option. Use half a cap in prewash and a whole cap and a half in the main wash. Wash on hot and add a water softener if your water is at all hard.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Good Value For Money


Lavendar Grapefruit Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Lavender & Grapefruit

Good plant-based option. Use half a cap in prewash and a whole cap and a half in the main wash. Wash on hot and add a water softener if your water is at all hard.

  • No Optical Brighteners


Baby Ganics Laundry Detergent Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

BabyGanics Loads of Love 3X, Fragrance-Free

Loads of Love is an unscented detergent that has none of all the “bad stuff” in regular laundry detergent. This means that it is free from petrolatum, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrance, and parabens.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Chlorine, phthalates, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, or dyes
  • No Dyes
  • No Phthalates
  • No Fragrance
  • No Phosphates


Babyganics Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

BabyGanics 3X Lavender liquid


  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Chlorine, phthalates, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, or dyes
  • No Dyes
  • No Phthalates
  • No Synthetic Fragrance
  • No Phosphates


Closeup Detergents Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Bio-O-Kleen Liquid Laundry Detergent

The liquid brand is a good choice

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Perfumes


Biokleen Laundry Powder Free And Clear 10 Lb Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Bio-O-Kleen Powder Free & Clear

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Contains Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Bumgenius Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

BumGenius Powder

Moms report cloth diapers are clean, and no funky smell. Commonly used on both pocket diapers and prefolds.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Laundry Detergent Caldrea Sweet Pea Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Sweet Pea Laundry Detergent

Contains plant-derived surfactants, Borax and essential oils of Geranium, Orange, Jasmine, Coriander, Rose and Bergamot.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners


Charlie Banana Detergent Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Charlie Banana Powder Fragrance-Free

No lingering chemical-based fragrance. It’s completely free from perfume or parabens. It dissolves quickly in cold water, and you won’t have to worry about residues on your clothes after rinsing the soap off. This works great for babies and individuals who suffer from allergic reactions to certain components in regular laundry soaps. Safe and effective for all fabrics including silk, wool, linen, cotton and high-tech microfiber athletic and waterproof gear.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Charliessoap Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Charlie’s Soap Powder

Similar to Allen’s Naturally, however ingredients are proprietary. Extensive studies by Clemson University have shown it leaves no residue. Biodegradable. Technically a “detergent” (not soap, despite its name). Complaints of chemical burns and rash have been reported!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • Essential oil fragrances


Cheer Powder He Detergent Box Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Cheer Stay colorful Powdered Detergent Fresh Clean Scent

There are several other military enthusiast and cloth diaper websites that are listing multiple forms of Cheer (as well as other detergents) as “Optical Brightener Free”, however, these statements are FALSE! I have done extensive research and this variety of Cheer is the ONLY one that is optical-brightener free!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners


Countrysave Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Country Save Liquid

Cost effective, additive free, and great results.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Country Save Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Country Save Powdered

Cost effective, additive free, and great results.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Dropps Liquid Laundry Pacs – Fresh Scent

Plant-based and rather weak. It would take a lot of product to accomplish a good clean.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • NPE Free
  • No Phosphate
  • No Chlorine


Ecosfree Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Earth Friendly Products Baby Ecos Disney Laundry Detergent, Lavender and Chamomile

Phosphate-free, chlorine-free, enzyme-free, borine-free, cocamide DEA-free, dye-free, and free of petroleum ingredients.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes


Earthview Laundry Detergent Fragrance Free Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Earthview Laundry Detergent


  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Biodegradable
  • Healthy Child Compliant
  • No Animal Testing
  • HE Safe
  • Methylisothiazolinone-free
  • Fragrance-Free


Envirorite Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

EnviroRite Clearly Clean


  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Hex Performance Advance Laundry Detergent Free And Clear 1 350x200

H-E-X Performance Anti-Stink Free + Clear Liquid

Eliminates tough odors – including smell caused by sweat, bacteria, mold, and mildew!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Hex Anti Stink No Optical Brighteners

H-E-X Performance Anti-Stink Fresh Clean Scent Liquid

A light, fresh scent that doesn’t linger.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners


Honest Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 529x1024

Honest Company liquid

Plant-based. Contains sodium cocoate, which can build up in diapers, trapping bacteria and causing repellency issues. This baby laundry soap has a neutral pH level, which means it does not irritate the skin.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Kirkland Signature Environmentally Responsible Ultra Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent

Kirkland Signature Environmentally Responsible Ultra Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent

Contains vegetable-based surfactants including those derived from coconuts

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • Biodegradable
  • Safe for Septic Systems
  • Not tested on Animals
  • No Phosphates


Lifekind Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 1024x1023

Lifekind Naturally Safer Triple Concentrated

Contains Seed & Pulp Extracts, Orange Peel Extracts, Surfactants from Coconuts.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Laundrydeterfc.1 1 476x1024

Mountain Green 3X Free and Clear


  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • Fragrance-Free
  • PETA acceptable product


Mollys Suds All Sport Wash

Molly’s Suds All Sport Wash Liquid

NOTES: Ingredients
Purified water, decyl glucoside, vegetable glycerin, plant based minerals and enzymes, sodium bicarbonate, cocomide MEA, vanilla extract, organic sweet orange oil, plant based alcohol* *Alcohol is used in processing, however, it is not in the finished product. Note: Seasonal variations in raw materials may affect product color but does not affect efficacy

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners


Mollys Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 2 813x1024

Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener Powder

Does not contain surfactants.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • Essential oil fragrances


Mollys Suds Sensitive Skin No Optical Brighteners

Molly’s Suds Sensitive Skin Powder

Does not contain surfactants.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Natureclean 2 1 498x1024

Nature Clean liquid


  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Nature Clean 3l Laundry Liquid

Nature Clean Refill liquid


  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Nature Clean Powder Detergent

Nature Clean Powder

Although this is an excellent product, it ships from Canada so if you are in the USA shipping is outrageous!

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent Nellies

Nellie’s Laundry Soda

Contains coconut oil based ingredients. Not considered strong enough to properly clean a dirty diaper. Too expensive to be able to use enough to get a proper clean.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Oxy Prime Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent 1 1 639x1024


Rinses completely and decomposes almost immediately in the environment leaving no toxic by-products or phosphates to the water table.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Planet Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent

Planet Ultra Powder

Not an effective detergent.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent

From Austin, Texas; No phosphates, sulfates, petrochemicals, animal by-products, chlorine, perfumes, dyes, allergens.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Rockin Green Watermelon Classic Rock

Rockin Green Classic Rock Formula, Smashing Watermelons

Fantastic for hard water

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • Essential oil fragrances


Natural He Powder Laundry Detergent By Rockin Green Perfect For Cloth Diapers Classic Rock Formula For Normal Water Up To 90 Loads Per Bag 45 Oz Unscented 0

Rockin Green Unscented

Fantastic for hard water

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Enzymes
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrances


Seventh Generation Natural 4X Concentrated Free and Clear Unscented

Use 1/2 cap in your cloth diaper prewash and 1 1/2 caps in the main wash. Wash on hot; add a water softener, such as Calgon if your water is at all hard. Does contain essential oils.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Fragrance


Seventh Genration Detergent Baby No Optical Brighteners

Seventh Generation Baby

Plant-derived enzyme stain removers. Certified Cruelty Free. From Vermont; 0% fragrances, dyes, or artificial brighteners.

  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Perfumes


Vaska 150x150

Vaska Baby


  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance


Vaska 150x150

Vaska Perfect


  • No Optical Brighteners
  • No Dyes
  • No Softeners
  • No Fragrance




The British Journal Of Dermatology –
National Center for Biotechnology Information –
Dyes and their effects on your health – Trusted Clothes.
The Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University –

My Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer and Shield

Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer

Let me say, I am a firm believer that the diaper sprayer is the best thing since sliced bread! Okay, well maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration. However, today as I was spraying a particularly dirty diaper, I was struck, luckily not literally, by how much I appreciate this small little invention called the diaper sprayer! It is quite a convenience to have a terribly soiled diaper which can be easily cleaned with a handful of squirts with my diaper sprayer.

Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer 3

In a hurry? No time to read all about the different diaper sprayers and shields? It’s ok! You can just skip right to the combination I personally use the Aquaus SprayMate & Aquaus 360 Premium Diaper Sprayer for Toilet Bundle Combonation found on Amazon.

A diaper sprayer is used in initially cleaning out and rinsing soiled and dirty clothes or reusable cloth diapers. There are several disposable diapers available in the market, however, a large number of parents still prefer conventional reusable cloth or cotton. I think most prefer cloth diapers not only to save on costs but also to help reduce wastes that are being thrown in the environment.


What Do You Do With The Poop?

One of the first questions I am asked whenever someone finds out that we’ve cloth diapered our children, is “What do you do with the poop?”

Pee diapers are the easy ones, you just take those off and throw them in your pail. Done. The poop diapers have a couple of different approaches. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you do not need to do anything special with these diapers–just throw them right into your pail along with the rest of them!

As you start solids, you’ll want to make sure that the diaper is free of solid poops. You can usually just shake it over your toilet and be done with it–sometimes stubborn poops require a bit of a dunking. You can either spray these off with a diaper sprayer, which easily attaches to your toilet, or by “dunking and swishing” them in clean toilet water. I’ve tried both methods and I can tell you I prefer my sprayer!

Another option is to use diaper liners on top of the cloth inside of the diaper. A diaper liner is flushable and keeps the poops separated from your cloth and makes clean up even easier!

Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer 5 Poop

The 411 On The Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer

There’s no clear record on how these specific sprayers came into existence. But just like any other equipment or household items, they were created by necessity. The sprayer makes cleaning diapers way faster, easier, and more hygienic. Diaper sprayers are just like the sprayers used in the kitchen, in laundry areas, or the pressurized washers for cars. The cloth diapers toilet sprayer creates pressurized water sprinkle to remove all solid surface dirt from the diaper before it is taken to the washing machine.

The sprayer is usually installed in the toilet to provide easy access in flushing the waste or dirt directly to the toilet. The sprayer resembles some kinds of toilet bidet. It has nozzles for control, and the tube is flexible similar to a rubber hose. The tube can either be made out of metal, rubber or perhaps, flexible plastic.

Among the benefits or uses of the diaper sprayer include:

  • A better and hygienic way of disposing of your babies’ regular diaper waste.
  • Cleaning out diapers even without touching or messing up the “poop.”
  • The pressurized nozzles help conserve water instead of using running or flowing water from the faucet.
  • It minimizes risks of spreading that stinky odor in another batch of clothes for washing.
  • And that the sprayer can also be used for other personal washing purposes in the bathroom.


How Does A Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer Work?

Before I purchased my cloth diapers toilet sprayer I would swish my diapers in the toilet to remove soiling from the diapers. I do not know about you but it felt like an incredibly ineffective and messy method for removing soiling. I just kept thing “There has to be an easier way than this!!” Besides the fact that not much soiling would actually come off the diaper that I was furiously swishing, the idea of sticking my hand into the toilet with a soiled diaper just didn’t appeal to me…call me crazy.

For those of you who have never used a diaper sprayer, or maybe never even seen one, I will give you a quick description. A diaper sprayer is very similar to the sprayer that is present in kitchen sinks. Like the kitchen sprayer, diaper sprayers hook into the house’s water line. In the case of the diaper sprayer, it is the line which goes to the toilet. The diaper sprayer draws water directly from the house’s water line, not from the toilet bowl. The diaper sprayer basically consists of a hose to carry the water and a hand-held sprayer. On my diaper sprayer, there is a small lever, where the diaper sprayer connects to the waterline, which controls the amount of water that comes through the sprayer. There is also a small button on the hand-held sprayer which is held down to actually spray the water. In addition, there is a small hook that can be placed above the toilet to store the sprayer when it is not in use.

How To Clean A Poopy Diaper Without A Diaper Sprayer

To clean a poopy diaper without a diaper sprayer you would “Dunk & Swish.” Simply put, you would place the poopy diaper in the toilet, dunk it a few times, swish it around, flush and dunk again. You repeat this method until all fecal matter is washed from the diaper.

Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer Dunk Swish

Popular Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer Brands

There are only a few companies that specialize in this aspect of babywear and diaper care. Among the well-known brands available in the market today include the following.

BumGenius Diaper Sprayer.  BumGenius is one of the global brands specializing in the development and production of sanitary products for babies. Its line of baby care products include the numerous styles and designs of the best cloth diapers, flannel wipes, bottom cleaners, odor remover, insert sock, stay dry doublers, paid liner, traveler wet-bag, diaper detergent, and the diaper type of sprayer. All of which are carefully designed to fit the sensitive sanitary requirements of all babies.

The Aquaus Mini Shower Diaper Sprayer. Another popular brand available in the market is the Mini Aquaus sprayer. It has that classic stainless steel metal look, flexible stainless steel hoses, and unique nozzles that produces shower like water sprinkles.

Aquaus 360 Premium Diaper Sprayer. Aquaus SprayMate is another brand that specializes in baby care. Aside from cloth diapers, the brand is also producing other baby care essentials and accessories like the diaper pail, wipes, tote bags, changing pads, nursing pads, and diaper cleaning aids like detergents and sprayers. The company also offers these products in kits or perhaps, in bundles.

Tips in Choosing the Best Diaper Sprayer

When confused about choosing or shopping for the right sprayer you need, the following simple tips should be of help.

  • Go for the popular brand. Because the top brands already have succeeded in providing and satisfying the needs of most consumers. These are usually the brands that have been tried and tested.
  • Choose a water-saving sprayer; high on the pressure but low in actual water output.
  • Choose stainless steel or durable rubber for the hose. This prevents rusting for the steel and early damage or cracks for the rubber hose.
  • Choose a sprayer that is fit for your home’s kind of plumbing.
  • And always try to look for a good deal in terms of the price and freebies.

With a diaper sprayer, you will never have to manually face the burden of manually handling your precious little child’s waste again.

Let’s Talk About Brown Mist


Why You Need A Sprayer Shield!


Cloth diapering doesn’t have to be hard – spend those extra minutes reading or relaxing rather than scrubbing brown-mist (aka poop) off your walls!


Diaper sprayers can spray poo water containing intestinal bacteria like staphylococcus, salmonella, Shigellosis, klebsiella, and e.coli.


It’s known to as the “aerosol” effect and has been verified by multiple microbiology studies. Television shows like “Mythbusters” and “Curiosity” even had their ten minutes of poo fame.


The Sprayer shield wraps around your high-powered sprayer, not your cloth diaper. It becomes a protective funnel that allows you to clean your dirty cloth diapers without spraying the poo all over the bathroom.

Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer Messy Splatter

Popular Cloth Diapers Toilet Sprayer Shield Brands

There are very few name brand companies that carry cloth diaper toilet sprayer shields and even fewer that I would say work exceptionally well. Here are my top picks for the ones you can trust to stand behind their products.

Spray Pal. The Spray Pal was invented by a cloth diapering mom and dad who were tired of cleaning up the mess caused by the diaper sprayer.

Diaper Dawgs Spray Collar. The Diaper Dawg Spray Collar fits in the palm of your hand and requires no reassembly.Warning poo pics!

Aquaus SprayMate.


Tips in Choosing the Best Diaper Sprayer Shield

When choosing a sprayer shield, we suggest the following.

  • Go for the popular brand; Again popular brands have been in business longer, have a reputation and stand behind their products.
  • Choose one that you’ll be comfortable using; watch the three videos I’ve provided. Seeing is believing and once you’ve watched all three of the diaper shield videos hopefully you can pick the one you think will fit your lifestyle and comfort zone.

With a diaper sprayer shield, you will never have to worry about spraying poo all over your bathroom!

Washing Cloth Diapers in Hard Water – Yarna Saved My CD Stash

Washing Cloth Diapers In Hard Water

Washing Cloth Diapers in Hard Water – Yarna Saved My CD Stash

You may be wondering how to clean cloth diapers when you have hard water at your house? Hard water has a high mineral content, which can make it challenging to get your diapers clean. Washing cloth diapers in hard water is a real challenge to a lot of cloth diapering parents. If this is you, you have found the best resource for understanding exactly what hard water is, how it affects you, and what to do about it. So let’s get started.

In a hurry?
If you’d like to skip all of the hard water techie stuff, you can jump right into viewing the YARNA Whole House Electronic Water Softener & Descaler – Available Here on Amazon. It’s not an exageration to say it saved my cloth diaper stash and my famlies clothes! This thing is so easy to install and much cheaper than what I was spending on Calgon or adding salts to my old whole house softener!

What Is Hard Water?

Given that over 60% of this earth’s water supply is groundwater that moves through stone and soil, picking up minerals, among them magnesium and calcium, as they go along. Calcium is also a naturally occurring situation of the underground water supply. Hard water is caused by a build-up of magnesium and calcium that water picks up through sediment and stone before entering the home.

Hard water is simply a measure of the calcium and magnesium in your water. Commonly, hardness can be measured in milligrams per liter, grains per gallon or parts per million. As a result of the dissolved calcium, it generally, although not always, has a pH greater than 7 (neutral).

Is Hard Water Harmful?

Hard water is fine for many applications about a residence, including sprinkling a backyard, cleaning automobiles and general outdoors garden care. Hard water isn’t a difficulty for overall health.

Calcium in the water can be helpful for human beings, vegetation, and animals. It does, however, create issues with the build-up of magnesium and calcium inside water system pipes and appliances such as hot water heaters. Damage to these pipes and appliances cost people all-around the earth hundreds of millions of dollars year after year! Quite a few of your difficulties created by hard water are hidden until some malfunction happens in your home’s plumbing system or water-using appliances.

Water Heater Scale

Where Does Hard Water Come From?

Hard water is a problem for many people, especially cloth diapering parents! Hard water is any water that is made up of a considerable amount of dissolved calcium.

Magnesium and calcium are collected within a natural water system as it passes through earth and rock. Calcium is an everyday and naturally occurring reality of underground water sources.

Hard water doesn’t pose a health threat, nor is it regulated by any government or state agencies. The hardness of water can often be confused with alkalinity because both of them are reported in the same units (mg/l CaCO3).

Running Ground Water

What Are The Issues With Hard Water

Hard water creates lots of problems around the home, and some affect you personally, such as your precious cloth diapers! The most harm is to your home appliances, water heating, and water lines. In all cases, the damage is expensive to manage and repair. You know as well as I do that a good cloth diaper stash, even a modest one, is an investment you don’t want to take a chance with!

Common problems will arrise with hard water and can range from nuisances such as “hard water hair” to costly appliance repairs. Hard water causes scaling; where minerals forms a hard deposit known as lime.

The main problems linked to hard water are the mineral deposits which they leave behind on your cloth diapers, other laundry, and within your appliances. Particularly when your appliance handles a lot of water, the limescale can build up. Apart from being unsightly anywhere, it accumulates, this particular scale can block pipes or cut short the life of flushing toilets and water heating systems. The plumbing and water heating systems often clog up so badly, they have to be replaced. Expensive system repairs from a plumber will likely then become inevitable

One other issue is related to how hard water responds to soap and the residue that it leaves. That is why cloth diapers that are laundered in hard water don’t get clean and feel rigid and scratchy immediately after laundering. Hard water deposits are also why your cloth diapers stop absorbing and begin smelling nasty!

Another unwanted effect of hard water is that in some cases, it worsens existing skin complaints. What’s more, where the water is especially challenging, or the people using it (such as your baby) are especially prone to this, hard water can cause things including skin rashes, psoriasis, and eczema.

The scale deposited by hard water is also known to increase energy expenses by as much as 25%.

Increased Energy Bills

Hard Water Decreases the Life Span of Appliances, Laundry, and Cloth Diapers
Hard water decreases the lifespan and performance of appliances, increases electricity intake, results in dull cloth diaper laundry and crockery and utensils and damages skin and hair. Once heated up, dissolved hard-water minerals re-crystallize and make scale which eventually clogs up the pipes, bringing down water movement through pipes. These metals interact with the substances making your water pipes and appliances and eats into them. The minerals tend to form deposits on the surfaces of water heating elements, baths, and inside hot water plumbing.

Hard Water Increases Your Energy Costs
This leads to greater power costs for heaters and pricey repairs for coffee machines, cooling systems, heat components, solar collectors, water heating elements, etc. and it also encourages bacterial growth. Hard water even considerably decreases the functional life of your water pipes, household appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, A/C unit, etc.), along with any plumbing-related fittings throughout your home.

The scale is highly insoluble and is hard to clear away after built up, usually contributing to expensive removal efforts. Water heaters, humidifiers, boilers, and domestic water lines come to be lined with an increasingly thick covering of calcium and magnesium scale. Utilizing hard water could also raise the expense of home-based water heating by approximately fifteen to twenty percent.

Hard water scale inside a water heater creates an insulating layer that stops the burners or heating components from heating up water economically. Only 1/8″ of scale in the water heating tank may demand as much as 30% extra fuel to heat up the water to the required heat level.

Hard Water Hot Water Heater Scale

How Do You Know If You Have Hard Water?


When you use cleaning soap or detergent products, it has poorer efficiency in comparison to soft water – it produces much less lather. Hard water definitely hikes soap utilization plus the quantity of “soap scum” formed on dishes.

You can find out if the water is too hard before it comes to clearing up major accumulation. Hard water is normally taken to suggest water containing minerals over 121 mg/L, micrograms per liter of H2O, or above 7 grains of hardness in each gallon.

The easiest way to tell is to agitate some soap in a sink full of water. If it does not lather up really easily, you probably have hard water. Soap will make lots of bubbles in soft water.

A few other tell-tell signs of hard water are dingy looking clothes, clothes that feel hard or scratchy, the film left on a glass shower door or walls, water spots left on clean dishes, and dull-looking hair. You can also test the water to see just how hard it is.

How To Wash Cloth Diapers In Hard Water 2

Water Testing

The majority of us that think about water testing and the water quality in our area are more concerned about the fact that we drink the water than any other reason.  The fact of the matter is, however, there are a variety of different reasons why people use water, and it may be necessary for them to test the water regularly in order to make sure that there are not any problems.

Who Needs to Test Water?

Of all of the different people who test their water regularly, it is individuals that live on a well-system that tend to be the most cautious.  Wellwater testing is extremely important, not just for the sake of your cloth diapers but particularly because you are sharing water with an underground table that is vulnerable to a number of different environmental issues.  It might not even be in your specific area where these problems occur, yet the only way for you to know whether you are affected directly is through well water testing.  That is why it is important for you to make sure that you schedule these tests to be done on a regular basis.

Testing Your Water With Test Strips

If home testing strips is the route you want to go, I recommend the ON4HOME Home Testing Kit, which you can find HERE on Amazon.


Testing Your Water With Castile Soap

If you’d prefer to use Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap method, you can also pick it up on Amazon HERE.


I’ve Been Washing Cloth Diapers in Hard Water! Now What?

The problem with washing diapers in hard water is that the minerals in the water make it difficult to get all the detergent rinsed out, which can lead to buildup issues, stinky diapers, and diapers that don’t work very well. And, hard water just does not get things as clean as soft water, so your diapers may not be getting as clean as they could, leaving them looking dingy.

Washing Cloth Diapers in Hard Water Here’s How


  • Add a small amount, 1/2 a cup or so, of vinegar to the rinse cycle. This has helped many people with hard water issues. Use caution, however. Sometimes adding vinegar to hard water actually makes the situation worse! It just really depends on the mineral makeup of your water. If you notice your diapers getting really stinky, stop using vinegar and see if the stink goes away.
  • Use a water softener in the rinse cycle of your wash. Calgon and other water softeners can be found in the laundry aisle at the supermarket.
  • You can purchase a water softening tank that you attach to your water supply. This is an expensive option but will be noticed throughout your household, from cleaner dishes to shinier hair.
  • Try using a little more detergent in your wash. Experiment. Sometimes you just need a little more soap to get things clean with hard water.
  • If you do have hard water, you will probably have to strip your diapers more often than those lucky moms with soft water.

The name of the game here, as always, is to experiment! How to clean cloth diapers with hard water depends on many factors, and it may take a little bit to figure out what works best in your household.

So let’s break these down.

When Washing Cloth Diapers in Hard Water Try:

1. Vinegar

White vinegar is not highly acidic, but it can be used to remove some stains and break up hard water when doing the laundry. White vinegar helps get out detergent residues, restore the pH balance, whiten whites, and soften the diapers when added to the wash/rinse in the fabric softener dispenser or Downy Ball.

2. Liquid Water Softener

Calgon is a liquid water softener that you add to your wash load. It comes in a rather small bottle. We tried this method and used 2 bottles every week. At $5+ per bottle, we decided to find a better solution.

3. Water Softening Tank

Water softeners are usually total home water treating systems, employed to reduce water hardness and are also regarded as the 1st step for improving the quality of water used in your household. Water softeners are traditionally used to improve hard water, which carries dissolved calcium and even magnesium, making your cloth diapers stiff, smelly and sometimes discolored.

Water Softening Tanks are a hassle to maintain! We were constantly adding salts! We eventually removed ours!

4. Install An Electrical Water Softening Device

YARNA Whole House Electronic Water Softener & Descaler – Available on Amazon

5. Detergent

Use more detergent than the manufacturer recommends. I mean really lay it on! This method only works if your water is slightly hard. Using the right laundry detergent for your cloth diapers helps also.

6. Stripping Your Cloth Diapers

We have an excellent article on stripping your cloth diapers.



Precipitating water softeners

Precipitating water filters work by putting a solution into a large amount of water, such as a washing machine or a dishwasher.  When you run the machine, the solution mixes with the water, and the minerals create non-soluble particles that have the Calcium and Magnesium ions in it. After things have been washed with these separated particles, they have to be washed to get the particles off. This keeps the particles from hurting the clothes and dishes. The bad side is that the particles make the water cloudy; they can cling to the fabric of clothes. If this happens, the deposit can make the fabric harsh, and it can also change certain dyes.

Non-precipitating water softeners

Non-precipitating water softeners are also solutions that you put into the water. These break up the minerals in the water and keep them from depositing on the clothes, dishes, or whatever is in the water. Because this type of water softener holds the minerals, there is no need to rinse things after they have been washed to get particles off of them. Non-precipitating water softeners have fewer disadvantages to them than precipitating water softeners, and they can even deal with the problems that precipitating water softeners create. They are able to restore colors and fabrics to their original state by taking the Ca and Mg from them, and the water stays clear.



Precipitating and Non-precipitating Water Softeners.

Ecowater Systems – News.




Cloth Diaper Washing Instructions ~ That Work!

Cloth Diaper Washing Instructions

I’m standing here in my laundry room and started thinking, “Why are there so many confusing cloth diaper wash instructions online? and what’s the simplest routine for washing cloth diapers in any washing machine?” I personally have tried all sorts of cloth diaper wash routines that other well-meaning folks have recommended. However, they all seemed more like “work” and “learning a whole new thing!” I wanted a wash routine that would fit my busy schedule! I wanted a wash routine that wouldn’t require me to have post-it notes pasted all over my laundry room wall!


Cloth Diaper Washing Instructions that work in (nearly ) any machine!


    Empty diaper pail into the washer and use the pre-wash (also called rinse & spin or quick wash) cycle to rinse out the urine and any remaining fecal matter.
    1. Add ½ of a cup baking soda, 1/3 detergent, and one tablespoon of Oxyclean (this can be purchased in bulk at Sam’s or at your local discount store).
    2. Add 1 cup vinegar to balance the pH level
    3. I let my diapers sit overnight to allow the pH to balance than the first thing I put the lid down on the washer and my diapers are done!
  • Dry: Dry diapers in the dryer. DO NOT USE ANY SOFTNER (it will coat the diapers and make them less absorbent). Or you can hang them in the sun to dry, put them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them up. The sun makes an excellent stain remover! Air-dry your covers. They will last much longer
  • Done!!!

In the rest of the article, I’ll give you some extra tips that have helped me through the years such as; how often to wash, what to do with poopy cloth diapers, my thoughts on cloth diaper sprayers and the dunk and swish, what to do about formula-fed poop stained cloth diapers and finally how to clean poopy cloth diapers without sprayer.

How To Clean Cloth Diapers With Poop

Remove your child’s diaper and dump any solid waste into the toilet. I prefer to rinse my diapers as the bacteria doesn’t smell as bad in the pail after 2 -3 days. I also use a dry pail, which means the diapers are placed in a pail that contains a diaper bag or liner in it. Some people prefer a wet pail, meaning the keep water with some baking soda in the pail. I have used both, and a dry pail works best for me.

How Often To Wash Cloth Diapers

How often to wash is different for every cloth diaper household! How often you wash your cloth diapers is going to depend on how many you have in your stash and how often your little one is urinating or soiling them. Newborns tend to soil diapers frequently while older babies tend to urine in larger quantity.

Getting Rid of The Poop Using The Dunk & Swish

The dunk and swish method of cleaning poop off of cloth diapers is exactly what it sounds like. You Dunk the diaper into the toilet, Swish it around, Dunk again, Swish..repeat until the solids are no longer stuck to the diaper. For those who can not afford a diaper sprayer, this method works to an extent, but the poop residue is never as clean as compared to spraying with a diaper sprayer. However, anything left on the diaper will come out in Step ONE of my wash instructions, from above (Pre-wash: COLDWATER, NO DETERGENT). That’s the sole purpose of this step, to rinse away any leftover urine or poop residue!

My Thoughts On Cloth Diaper Sprayers

I absolutely LOVE my cloth diaper sprayer. Anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time may remember the article I wrote comparing it to slice bread! (How Does A Diaper Sprayer Work)  A diaper sprayer is one of those things that you don’t realize how much they make your life easier until you finally get one! You simply hold the diaper at an angle (as to not get backspray in your face!) and the spray! It’s like a garden hose sprayer or dish sprayer attached to your toilet water supply!

What To Do About Formula-Fed Poop-Stained Diapers?

If you have introduced formula or solid foods, then you need to start spraying the poop off or dumping it into your toilet. All you need is a diaper sprayer, which you’re going to need eventually anyway once your baby begins solid foods to spray that poop off into the toilet. A diaper sprayer just looks like the sprayer attachment that’s on your kitchen sink. You don’t have to use one of those, you can just dump the poop, or you can take the diaper and drop it into the toilet and sort of swish it around to get the poop off.

What To Do With Breast-Fed Poop-Stained Diapers?

If you are exclusively breastfeeding, then you can take that diaper with the poop on it directly from your baby to your washing machine. That’s right; you can stick the diaper with the poop on it right in the wash. The reason why is because it is water soluble so that poop will completely dissolve in the wash with the water. It will come out clean it. However, if you have introduced formula or solid foods, then you need to start spraying the poop off or dumping it into your toilet.

What Is The Best Diaper Sprayer For Cloth Diapers?

The highest rated diaper sprayer for cloth diapers is the “SmarterFresh Cloth Diaper Sprayer.” This unit gets rave reviews on Amazon! The kit comes with everything you need to complete their famous “10-minute install) – Thier words, not mine. I’m technically challenged and have to admit; it took me about 18-20 minutes to install mine. Then again, I did it without any help from hubby. Two-Points for Mom!

What Is The Cheapest Diaper Sprayer For Cloth Diapers?

I actually found two diaper sprayers that are considerably cheap! The “2 in 1 Cloth Diaper Sprayer and Handheld Bidet Sprayer” which says that it “includes wall mount to keep sprayer up high from toddlers when not in use” and “styles vary and may not include T-valve.”  So if you’re looking for super cheap, this is proabably what you’re looking for. Keep in mind though that you may need to purchase as T-valve.

The next cheapest diaper sprayer I could find was the “AWESON Quality ABS Cloth Diaper Sprayer“. This sprayer is actually a kit, so no need to purchase anything extra. I personally am NOT impressed with this unit! The reviews are horrible!

Cloth Diaper Washing Instructions To Clean Poopy Diapers Without A Diaper Sprayer

Disposable Liners: You can also purchase diaper liners. Disposable diaper liners can be taken off the diaper after your baby has soiled it and be thrown directly into the trash. For those on public sewage and not a septic tank, the best place is to put all the poop into our toilet regardless of whether we’re using disposable diapers, cloth diapers or disposable liners. You really want that poop to be going down the toilet and not into our landfills! Disposable liners can range from $5 and up. You can see the $5 range here or the $15 range here.

Make Your Own: You can also just use strips of fabric in your diaper, and then you can remove those strips of fabric after they soil their diaper. Old T-Shirts, any old fabric really… cut them into strips and instant cloth diaper liners. I wouldn’t want to do this full time while cloth diapering, but the do-it-yourself method of cutting worn-out clothing will do in a pinch when you are in between paydays and out of purchased liners.

Do It Yourself Cloth Diaper Liners 225x300

Reusable Liners: There are also Reusable cloth diaper liners, which to me defeats the whole “just throw away the poop” thing, but then again reusable liners are more cost-effective, will put less waste in the landfills and is more cost-effective. So I guess if you’re looking at diaper liners the question is Do I want super easy throwaway, or do I want to make my dollar stretch as far as it can. See them here and here.

Caring for your cloth diapers and cloth diaper covers

Should you use soap or detergent to wash your diapers? Soap is made from natural ingredients, while detergent is a cleaning product without natural soap, which means that detergents contain at least some synthetics. If your goal is to be as gentle as possible on the environment, choose soap.

Some will recommend that you not use soap to wash cloth diapers because of the reaction with hard water that can leave a residue. The natural solution is simple: a vinegar rinse will break down the residue, so your diapers maintain absorbency.

If you do choose a detergent, be sure to look for detergent made from renewable resources rather than petrochemicals. You can also find many detergents made with natural fragrances and no dyes.

Washing Diaper Covers

Most diaper covers do not need to be washed after every use, but be sure to wash Haute Pockets or Pocket Cloth Diapers every time they are used since the cover is next to baby’s skin. Soiled polyester covers can be placed in a laundry pail until wash time then washed with the diapers. Do not place wool covers in the pail.

Wash wool covers separately in lukewarm water with a wool wash. Do not use regular soaps or detergents for wool, which is a protein fiber and needs different care. If you do not have wool wash on hand, use a small amount of gentle shampoo and 100% liquid lanolin.

Our Washing Method


  • Use a dry pail. No soaking! Shake the excess feces into the toilet before putting diaper into a pail. Add a drop or two of lemon essential oil to a cotton ball and wipe the inside of the diaper pail to control odor and for its nice citrus scent. Better yet, use the recipe below to make your own spray!
  • Never use fabric softeners. These degrade the fibers and affect absorbency.
  • A single load should have no more than 24 diapers.
  • Hang Bummis, Wonderoos, and Fuzzi Bunz to dry to increase their lifespan.
  • Dry fleece covers with diapers, wipes, and inserts on high heat.
  • High heat or direct sunlight will sterilize cloth diapers.

If you care for cloth diapers by cleaning and rinsing well then drying with high heat, you will not only give them a long absorbent life, but you will avoid bacteria and irritants that can cause diaper rash. With a little experience, you will soon be the expert on how to wash cloth diapers.

DIY Deodorizing Diaper Pail Spray


  1. In a 4 oz. spray bottle, combine tea tree essential oil and lemon essential oil.
  2. Measure in 1 oz. of witch hazel.
  3. Add 2 oz. Distilled Water
  4. Cap and shake.
  5. Spray down Diaper Pail and Inside of Lid, Allow To dry completely before using.



  • DO NOT USE REGULAR BLEACH.** USE BORAX SPARINGLY – Harsh products will wear out the cotton fibers very quickly.
  • DO NOT ADD FABRIC SOFTENER – It will decrease the absorbency of the diapers by coating the cotton fibers.
  • SUN GETS STAINS OUT AND STERILIZES DIAPERS! You can also sprinkle some lemon juice on a stain to remove it.
  • A SECOND RINSE is recommended to get rid of any leftover detergent, especially for babies with sensitive skin or that are prone to diaper rash.
  • A HOT MAIN WASH WILL GET RID OF BACTERIA and will not contaminate your washing machine.

** Using bleach will wear out your cloth diaper fibers, however, I have used a capful or two on occasion when I have had a really nasty diaper rash and again when the flu was running rampant through the home. It can be used… but not as a rule of thumb!





Stripping Cloth Diapers – How To STRIP Deep Clean Your Cloth Diapers

Stripping Cloth Diapers Here Is How To Do It

First and foremost, if your cloth diaper is under warranty before you attempt this or any other cloth diaper cleaning routine, please consult the manufacturer as you could void your warranty if they have specific stripping instructions.

Buildup. It’s an ugly word in the cloth diapering community. And if you have any experience with cloth diapers you know why. Leakage, stink, stains, are all par for the course when you have detergent build-up on your diapers. Now here is the million-dollar question; how do I keep my diapers clean and build-up free? Well first off, always make sure that your washing routine is a good one!

A typical washing routine is as follows: A cold pre-rinse to get rid of all of the yuck. A hot wash with cloth diaper recommended detergent. An additional cold rinse. (a total of two final rinses). The type of cloth diapers you own will determine the kind of detergent you use.

It is always important to use the recommended detergent for your diapers. Not only because it will help them last longer, but it will also allow you to send the diaper back to the manufacturer in case of a faulty elastic, bad snap, or any other manufacturer defect due to normal wear. When you purchase new diapers from an authorized retailer, most cloth diaper companies will repair your diapers for free with proof of purchase.

With that said, the following instructions for stripping cloth diapers are intended for those diapers that are not under warranty.
Blue Dawn Cloth Diaper

Stop Over Complicating it!!

Here I go again, keeping it real! Blue Dawn is all the rave among Cloth Diaper Mommas’. While yes I’ll admit it has it’s own merits; you do not “have” to use Blue Dawn.

Honestly, I find it ridiculous when I read someone post… “You HAVE to strip your cloth diapers with Blue Dawn!”

Also, you know what I hate hearing? The term “stripping cloth diapers.” It puts thought of paint stripping in my head. It sounds like some harsh act. It also confuses a lot of new cloth diaper mommas! They think “Of great! Something else to learn”.

Stripping Is Just Another Way of Saying Deep Clean!

I’m here to tell you straight up (as a cloth diaper momma of many years!)  Blue Dawn hysteria is bullshit!

Blue Dawn is fantastic for cutting grease, so if you need to remove greasy diaper rash creams and such, then yes you can use blue dawn, but you don’t have to!

Stripping” is just a newfangled way of saying “deep cleaning.” If you want to deep clean your diapers, wash them with a good cloth diaper detergent (like Tide or Foca). I mean really lay it on and use a proper amount of detergent and add some oxygen bleach for the rinse cycle. Your diapers will get really clean, then just do another full wash with no detergent for a really good rinse. Bam, deep cleaned diapers! No confusing terms.. just deep clean them!

Although I don’t really like the term “stripping cloth diapers“, it is a well known and a widely used term so I will continue to use it in this post for reference and clarity sake. One less thing to be confused about!

Other Than Deep Cleaning What Else Can You Do?

These are general instructions only.

Stripping cloth diapers is something most cloth diapering mommas will have to do from time to time. There are many reasons why you would need to do this. Such as when….

  • cloth diapers that have developed bad smells
  • cloth diapers you have bought second hand
  • cloth diapers that are suddenly leaking

It’s not something you will need to do very often. And with the careful care of your cloth diapers, some people never need to strip wash ever!

Following our washing instructions and using a good detergent like Rock’n’Green can help you not need to strip your cloth diapers.

The most common culprit for stinky cloth diapers is detergent buildup. This buildup will cause stinkiness, water repelling and diaper rash. Using too much detergent can make it difficult to get your diapers fully rinsed out. What happens, wash after wash, is a nice little build up forms on the diapers. You really only need to use about 1/4 to 1/2 of what the manufacturers recommend.

Another culprit that may have you needing to strip your diapers is using the wrong kind of detergent. Many natural detergents have oils in them that will build up on your diapers. Also, detergents with fragrance, brighteners, etc. will leave stuff on your diapers, which you don’t want.

Diaper rash creams
, especially those with zinc oxide are very difficult to get out of cloth diapers and can cause water to repel. Also, diaper rash creams that have fish oil in them can make your diapers stink like fish… Ewww!! A definite good reason for stripping cloth diapers!


When To Strip (Deep Clean)


  1. Sometimes, your cloth diapers may need a strip wash as the build up in the soakers and shell fabrics can cause cloth diapers to become quite smelly immediately after being wee’d in. They will smell lovely and fresh post-wash, but after urine contact, they smell very strong and you can smell them from a distance.
  2. Secondhand cloth diapers may also do better with a strip wash if you have bought them from someone unknown. As not everyone looks after their cloth diapers as well as you will. Some use detergents that build up, some may simply not have stripped their cloth diapers ever.
  3. Also, a sign that cloth diapers may need stripping, is if a cloth diaper that was previously fine, suddenly starts to lose absorbency and leak. This can be a sign of build up and stripping them back will remove that build up and restore them back to how they were.


Limit Stripping Cloth Diapers

Strip washing should only ever be done a maximum of twice a year, really, as each time you do this it reduces the life of your cloth diapers slightly.

So, when is it time to strip your diapers?


  • If they are really stinky, even after washing.
  • If they are repelling instead of absorbing water (this happens a lot with pocket diapers when they get detergent buildup).
  • After using diaper cream with zinc oxide, oils, or waxes.
  • If your diapers start to leak and not absorb as well as they used to.

Just like all things cloth diaper related, stripping cloth diapers varies from family to family. Everyone’s washing machine and water quality vary. You may find you need to experiment to find what works best for you. How do you know it worked?? Your diapers will be clean, odor free and working great! Trust your nose. If your diapers smell stinky, they are not clean.

To Soak or Not Soak


There are two methods of stripping cloth diapers. One is a soak method and one isn’t.

I recommend the soak method particularly if you have a front loader.

Soak Stripping Cloth Diapers


  1. Put your cloth diapers through a normal wash cycle
  2. Add 4 tablespoons of Rock’n’Green to your machine
  3. Set the machine to a hot wash cycle, allow the machine to fill and then press pause
    If you are nervous of shells and hot water, you can wait for the water to cool slightly before putting them in or reduce the temperature to 60 degrees to protect the integrity of the pul and the elastics.
  4. You can leave the soaking cloth diapers for as long as needed: 2-3 hours for smelly, overnight for extra smelly and 24 hours for extra smelly
  5. Resume the cycle
  6. Double rinse the cloth diapers and if you wish, you can add Canesten to the final rinse cycle
  7. Dry the cloth diapers in the sun

** If your cloth diapers are still smelly after this method, you can repeat this with Rock’n’Green’s Funk Rock which is designed for stinkies.


No-Soak Strip (aka the Dish Washing Liquid Method)


Here are some basic instructions for stripping your diapers, which can be adjusted to better suit your personal laundry needs.

Step 1Start with clean diapers. Wash and rinse like you normally would. You don’t need to dry them since they are just going to get wet again.

Step 2: Wash your diapers in super hot water without detergent, just hot water. You may want to turn the water heater up to do this. Make sure to read the manufactures instructions for your diapers before doing this step. Some diapers shouldn’t be washed in very hot water.Stripping Your Cloth Diapers

Step 3: Rinse your diapers again, in a hot cycle if you can. Peak into the washer during the rinse to see if there are any bubbles in the water. Repeat this step as many times as you need to until there are no more bubbles in the water. No bubbles mean there is no more soap buildup on your dipes, which is what you’re after! This can take 4 or more rinse cycles, so don’t be surprised if you have to rinse over and over again.

Step 4: Dry your diapers. Even better, dry them out in the sun. Sunshine is great at getting rid of stains and killing germs.


Additional Tips for Stripping Cloth Diapers


Original Dawn Dish Detergent

Dawn Add a few drops of Original Dawn Dish Detergent to Step 2 above. This can help get rid of any oils that may be on the diapers. Note: if your washing machine is still under warranty, some washing machine manufacturers will tell you that using Dawn in the washing machine will void their warranty, so check this out before using this trick.

Baking Soda

Bakingsoda2 Add 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda to Step 2. This can help eliminate odors that have built up on your diapers.

White Vinegar

Vinegar Add about 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of Step 2 above. If you normally use vinegar in the rinse, try not using it. Sometimes vinegar is really helpful, but sometimes it can react negatively with hard water, leaving a stink behind.

Bac-Out by Bi-o-Kleen

Bacout2 Bac-Out is a product that can help with stripping cloth diapers. You can find Bac-Out at many natural food stores. Just make sure to rinse the diapers really well, probably several times. Some babies are very sensitive to the ingredients in Bac-Out.

Calgon Water Softener

Calgon Try using Calgon Water Softener if you have hard water. Be sure your diapers get rinsed out really well after using.


Oxiclean Use Oxy-Clean in Step 2 above and then rinse, rinse, rinse. Oxy-Clean can break down the fibers of your diapers, so I don’t recommend doing this method very often.


RlrstrippingYou may be able to find a product called RLR at your local grocery store. It is a laundry treatment that is not as harsh as bleach and can really do wonders for diapers with a lot of build-up. I have used this on my pocket diapers when they were really leaking and it fixed the problem on the first try. Follow the package instructions and make sure to rinse your diapers really well afterward.


Bleach Bleach. I know I’ve said not to use chlorine bleach on your cloth diapers. But, sometimes it is the only thing that will get the job done. I would definitely save this as a last resort and make sure to rinse like crazy! And, using bleach will void the warranty for some diapers – it’s a good idea to check with your diaper manufacturer before washing your diapers with bleach.

Yes, chlorine bleach it is great for killing germs, but it is bad for cloth diapers, covers and your family. It will eat away at the fibers in your diapers, leaving holes and frayed edges. It also decreases their durability and absorbency. It may adversely affect the waterproofing in certain cloth diapers. Baking soda and oxygen bleach are great whiteners to use in its place.

Additional Effective Options

How To Strip Cloth Diapers

Remember, Chlorine Bleach Options Should Only Be Used AS a Last Resort!

FOR ALL OPTION – Rinse 2 or 3 times. If you see suds at the end of the rinse cycle rinse again!

During soak, stirring occasionally to release the mineral build-up from your cloth diapers.

Follow up with a 30-minute bleach soak. Then Wash with your normal detergent plus borax 3-4 times.

PRECAUTION: Keep pets and children away from deep cleaning solutions. Wear gloves and protect your eyes from any slashing.

  • OPTION 1: (Not recommended for iron-rich water) Soak your diapers once in hot water with 1/2 cup of your regular detergent plus add up to a 1/2 cup of bleach for a minimum of 30 minutes but no more than 45 minutes. After the soak, Normal wash and Rinse.
  • OPTION 2: Pour 1 1/2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup of lemon juice into a gallon jug. Fill the remainder of your jug with distilled water.
    Directions For Use: Use 1 cup of this solution + 1/2 cup of your regular non-toxic laundry detergent in a hot water soak. Optional, add 10-15 drops of Lemon or Thieves essential oils to your liquid washing soap for an added cleaning strength. Soak 4-6 hours. After the soak, Normal Wash, and Rinse.
  • OPTION 3: Fill your bathtub or top loader half full with HOT water, Add 3 Grovia Mighty Bubbles pods plus 1/2 cup of your regular detergent for ONE deep cleaning. Soak 4-6 hours. After the soak, Normal Wash, and Rinse.
  • OPTION 4: DIY mix – Combine 3 Tablespoons of each Washing Soda, Borax, and Calgon for one deep cleaning. Add this DIY mix to your top-loader or bathtub that is half full of HOT water plus 1/2 cup of your regular detergent. Soak 4-6 hours. After the soak, Normal Wash, and Rinse.