Washing Instructions

These are not the diapers of the 70's! No diaper service required.

By washing at home, you get to decide what products and/or (not) chemicals with which you wash your diapers.

My diaper load is the easiest of all my laundry. It is already sorted and transportable from the baby's room directly to the washing machine with a
pail liner.

We use a "Bulky" setting for the wash cycle - it adds more water and a thorough soak at the beginning.

To summarize:
Do not store soiled diapers in a humid environment, like bathroom or basement; Wash diapers every 2-3 days; Wash 12-15 diapers at a time; select the highest water level; wash in hot water; use the recommended amount of a zero-residue detergent; Use the right amount of detergent based on your water type (More for Hard water, Less for Soft water)

Diaper Care:

Recommended Care for Inserts, Prefolds, Soakers and AIOs:
  • Dispose of solid waste in the toilet. Using a mini shower to rinse or flushable liners will help keep your hands clean!
  • Wash your diapers on warm with sufficient detergent. Recommended detergents can be found here
  • Tumble dry
Recommended Care for Shells or Covers:
  • Always tuck your tabs under the laundry tab loops on wash day
  • Wash on WARM (not hot or sanitize cycles)
  • Hang to dry. If drying outside, dry mesh side-up:
    Do not tumble dry
The simplest way to treat stains without chemicals is to expose them to UV rays by hanging the soakers in the sun right after they have come out of the wash, and before they are dried. Even if it is cold or overcast outside, placing soakers in indirect sunlight through a window will still significantly lighten stains. See more on sunning below.

Stinky diapers coming out of the wash!
Add more detergent to your wash load and see if that doesn't help! Everyone's washing machine and hardness of water is different, so it is impossible to guarantee that every detergent manufacturer knows exactly how much you need individually, so don't be afraid to increase incrementally until you know your diapers are getting clean enough! 

Stinky diapers as soon as they are wet!
Try adding an extra rinse at the end of your wash cycle, Sometimes if detergent residue builds up in your soakers because your rinse cycle doesn't have enough water in the cycle then it will cause the diaper to smell after it has been wet. This combination of urine & detergent residue can also cause redness on the baby, so it is important to be sure you are getting enough of a rinse.

Stinky Hybrid Shells!
Try separating your shells out from the soakers and storing them in a separate wetbag to keep them from absorbing the moisture and odors from within the wetbag. Also, try washing them with a traditional detergent in a regular load of laundry, but remember to hang them to dry! Also, hanging them in the sun, mesh side up should help too.

Can I PLEASE dry my Hybrid Shells in the dryer?
It isn't recommended! If you look at your shell carefully you will see that there is only the mesh layer covering the elastic. This isn't enough to protect the elastic and keep the dryer's heat from literally cooking and melting your elastic. Additionally, our unique nylon loop does not like heat. They line dry in just an hour anyway!

Are your diapers fully prepped? How frequently are you changing the diaper? Is it time to add more absorbency? Most often it's new diapers that are still getting the natural oils washed out that leak, it takes time but is worth it in the end! If your soaker is completely saturated and dripping wet when you get leaks then you need to either change more frequently or add a booster.
Using petroleum-based rash creams.There are many alternatives without zinc in them, and the petroleum bonds to your cotton and causes it to repel rather than absorb liquid.

Using detergents with plant oils in them, which can also bond to the fabrics and cause your diapers to repel. Recommended eco-friendly detergents: click here
Elaborate wash routines. Keep it simple. The more washes and rinses and spins done on your diapers the faster they will wear. Organic cotton is a wonderful material because very few babies have allergic reactions to our cottons and they are super soft. They are super soft, however, because they do not have finishes and additives that other synthetics help them hold together through lots of abuse. Love your cottons but don't wash them to pieces.

Skimping on diapers. If you want your diaper system to last from infancy to potty training, you will need enough inserts and shells to rotate them adequately. 6 shells and 12 inserts might be enough to get you through a day and a load of laundry, but if you wash those soakers every single day they will show significant wear before baby is ready to potty train. We suggest a minimum of 24 soakers and 12-14 Shells for full time diapering, 36-50 if that full time diapering is needed for 2 or more years. A healthy stash keeps things working longer.

Detergent Rules

No brighteners, enzymes, fragrances, dyes. Salt-based detergent (NO PLANT, like soy, coconut, etc).

i.e. Don't use anything that will coat the fabric and compromise absorbency!

No waxes or petroleum for the diaper balm. We use CJsBUTTer to create a nice, organic, moisture barrier on the skin.

If a yeast infection is suspected - see your doctor. If you need to use Nystatin cream, switch to a disposable.

What to do with the poop?
Regarding the Poopy Diapers:

Exclusively breastfed babies make a lovely water-soluble poop that simply washes away in the washer. Once you introduce solids, though, things change.You'll need to shake off the solids into the toilet before you put it into the dry pail. For the sticky ones, a toilet sprayer is helpful. Now that I've introduced solids to my baby, I SWEAR BY THE TOILET SPRAYER! (The toilet sprayers are also nice and gentle for post-partum cleansing, toilet bowl cleaning, and later - potty training bowl rinsing.)

If you choose a microfiber diaper, like FuzziBunz or Bum Genius, most solids simply fall into the toilet. If you go with cotton, like a prefold, you can lay a biodegradable liner between the baby and the diaper. When baby poops, simply grab the ends of the liner, and plop into toilet to flush. Word of caution: know what kind of plumbing you have in your house before you flush anything besides the norm! For instance, we have a poop-mulcher/pump because our plumbing terminates in our basement, below the grade of the sewer pipe. Having already had to replace the $1700 pump once because a tampon was thrown down the toilet, I don't think that the bioliners will have enough time to biodegrade before they are chewed up and wedged in the pump (and I am not going to test my theory). Same goes for Septic systems. Caveat Emptor.

Do I need to "Prep"?

Definition: A washing and drying process that readies a naturally oily fiber, like cotton and hemp, to become fully absorbent.

Prepping can be a pain, especially when you are excited to start using your diapers right away. But you only have to do it once and it makes all the difference in the world. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Cotton and Hemp are my favorite diapering materials - but they can be tricky in the beginning. The great thing about natural fibers is that you can beat them up in the washing process and they only get more absorbent and soft.

  1. Wash on Hot with normal amount of detergent. Rinse.
  2. Dry on Med-Hi.
  3. Repeat 5 times.
You may do this with other laundry, like towels, t-shirts, or sheets. Just don't prep with your other diapers or the oil from the new ones will coat the old ones and cause them all to repel.

Once prepped, all of your diapers can be laundered together from here on out.

Removing Cloth Diaper Stains:
SUN - click here for a longer explanation

Concerned about Bacteria?

Once or twice a month, whether we are cloth diapering or not, a good practice is to run a load of sheets, towels, shower curtains, etc with bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide (color-safe). This sanitizes the basin.

Stinky Diaper Pail?:

Simply toss a cloth wipe (or torn piece of t-shirt) with a few drops of tea tree oil on it into your diaper pail and don't close the lid all the way. Wash with your diapers. Air circulation is your friend in the diaper pail.