Now that you’ve made the decision to use cloth diapers, let’s talk about how you’re going to wash and sanitize them and which is the best cloth diaper washing machine for the job.
In a hurry? If your looking for the lowest price machine it can be found on Amazon here. If your looking for something that will get the job done and last for years, my number one choice is this “old-school” type top loader here.
There are many options on the market. Top loader, front loader, washing machines with agitators, and washing machines without agitators. What is best for you and your baby? Let’s talk about each type of washer and you can decide which one is right for you.
Let’s talk about what we need to do with diapers before we put them into any washing machine. One of the first things we need to do is wash off poop as soon as we know it’s there. The best way to do this is with a toilet sprayer. Next, you want to soak any diapers that may have been stained with poop. Having said that, you may want a washer that gives you the option to pre-soak before the actual wash cycle.
Let’s look at a high-end front load washing machine first.
Front Load Steam Washer
Not only does this washing machine have a pre-wash cycle to soften up stains before the actual wash cycle begins, but it also has a sanitizing cycle. This washing machine is very versatile. It allows you to select the temperature of water you’d like from Tap Cold to Extra Hot.
Soiled diapers should be washed in hot water to help remove all stains and bacteria. Then you can also select the soil level. Selecting the various soil levels will either increase the water (Extra Heavy) or decrease the amount of water (Extra Light).
How about the sanitize cycle? How does it work? Sanitizing washers use steam that is heated way beyond what germs can stand up to. 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not only important to get stains out of the diapers, but it’s also important to get bacteria out as well.
The pros with this washing machine are that it will clean virtually anything and has many options on water levels, soil levels and water heat levels. The con is that it is quite pricey. If you are looking for a new washing machine, then this may be the right option. However, if you have a washing machine already, you may not want to spend this much money just to sanitize diapers.
Now let’s look at a top load washing machine and see how it compares.
Top Load Washer
Although this machine doesn’t have a steam cycle like the one mentioned above, it does have a soak option along with options to select hot water and heavy soil levels.
Top load washing machines tend to have less of an issue with odors coming out of them the way some of the front loaders do. In addition, this machine doesn’t have an agitator tube which gives the machine a lot more capacity that machines with the tube. If you have multiple children in diapers, this could be a great option.
This is a great machine that’s available at a much lower price than the first machine we looked at with about the same capacity. If you plan on soaking the diapers prior to washing and then washing with hot water, the sanitizing cycle may not be that important to you.
The most important thing to remember when washing soiled diapers, especially the ones with poop, is to rinse off the poop with a toilet sprayer first, then soak them, then wash them in the washing machine with hot water.
Now, let’s say that you don’t have a washing machine at home and don’t want to spend upwards of $500 for a new washing machine or don’t have a place to install a washing machine. Here are a few other options to look at that are practical and just as effective that you can use just for your cloth diapers.
Compact Portable Washing Machine
The Panda PAN56MGW2 Compact Portable Washing Machine , 1.6cu.ft/11lbs Capacity is a compact washing machine that can be filled with a hose that attaches to a faucet. The temperature of the water can be adjusted directly from the faucet. Therefore, you can set the water as hot or as cold as you need. In addition, the machine can also air-dry the clothing you washed. It is very versatile. If you don’t have a washing machine today, this may be a good option for your home. It is not necessarily feasible to keep going to the laundromat to wash dirty cloth diapers. In addition, this machine will cost you between $300 and $600 less than the higher end washers mentioned above.
In summary, all of these machines will do a good job at thoroughly cleaning soiled diapers. However, the GE Front Load Steam washing machine will do a more complete job at not only washing the diapers but also sanitizing them.
The ultimate decision is up to you, your budget and the amount of space in your home. If you and your family are looking for a new high-end washing machine, go for the GE or something similar that you can use to sanitize as well as wash. These modern machines are very versatile and can be used for washing and steaming clothes which make them very practical not only for washing soiled diapers but also for everyday washing.
If you have limited space and don’t have a washer at home today, choose the Panda washing machine that can be easily moved and only needs to be connected to a hose that connects to the kitchen sink faucet. This is an ideal solution for small apartments and rentals where installation of washing machines may not be allowed.
The important thing to remember is that soiled diapers should be rinsed off immediately using a sprayer or handheld bidet and should be soaked to remove stains thoroughly before washing in a washing machine. You are sure to get the results you want if you always follow that protocol.
What’s My #1 Cloth Diaper Washing Machine Choice?
If your looking for the lowest price machine it can be found on Amazon here. If your looking for something that will get the job done and last for years, my number one choice is this “old-school” type top loader here.
If you’d like to learn about cloth diaper cleaning, start with our Cleaning Cloth Diapers Properly – Super Easy, Super Helpful Guide article.