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Home > Cloth Diaper FAQs > Washing Instructions
Washing Instructions

How to Prep Your New Diapers Before Use

Microfiber/Suedecloth/Microfleece/Covers:  (bumGenius Pocket, FuzziBunz, KaWaii Heavy Duty/Snazzy Minky/Ultra Soft, Rump-a-rooz)

Wash once in hot* water with a small amount of detergent.  Tumble dry low.  You’re ready to go!

Diapers made with Cotton, Bamboo, or Hemp:  (bumGenius Elementals, Gro-Via inserts, Flip Organic Inserts, Bumboo Bamboo Fitteds, KaWaii Bamboo Pockets, Clover Fitteds, etc.)

These diapers still have their natural oils in them which need to be removed before the diaper will absorb.  Wash 3-5 times in hot* water with a small amount of detergent.  Tumble dry low.  Wash separately from synthetic diapers while being prepped!  After prepping, you may wash all your diapers together.  Keep in mind that these diapers will continue to gain absorbency until they’ve been washed at least 10 times!

Cotton Prefolds:

Wash 3-5 times in HOT* water with a small amount of detergent.  Dry on High Heat between each wash.  Prefolds will shrink considerably, become very soft, and “quilt up” during this process.  Wash separately from synthetic diapers while being prepped!  After prepping, you may wash all your diapers together.

Our Basic Wash Routine:

  1. Shake off the solids into the toilet or use your diaper sprayer to spray off as much ‘poo’ as possible.  You can also use a disposable diaper liner to make this job super easy!  (Newborn breastfed baby poo can go directly in your diaper pail – no extra steps necessary.)  Toss diaper into diaper pail or wet bag.  (If using pocket diapers, remove the insert first!)
  2. Wash your diapers every 2-3 days.  On wash day, take your pail liner or wet bag full of diapers to your washing machine and dump them in!  Toss the pail liner or wet bag in, too!
  3. Start with a pre-wash cycle or short wash cycle on WARM.  No detergent.  Use as much water as you can.  (For an HE washer, try using the delicate or comforter cycle.)
  4. Hot* wash with detergent.  (Do NOT use the sanitary cycle.)  If using a detergent not specifically formulated for use with cloth diapers, start by using approximately ˝ of the manufacturer’s recommended amount.  (Check below for our list of recommended detergents.)
  5. Extra Rinse on the end.
  6. Hang dry or tumble dry low.  (We recommend line drying covers and pocket diapers.  Dry All-In-Ones, inserts, fitteds, and prefolds in the dryer.)  Lay in direct sunlight to remove a stubborn stain!

*Please check the manufacturer guidelines for your specific diaper.  A few manufacturers recommend a warm wash rather than hot.

Recommended Detergents: 

We love detergents specially formulated for use with cloth diapers, such as Tiny Bubbles, Eco Sprout, and Rockin’ Green.

If you are looking for an economical detergent that you can use on both your diapers and your laundry, we recommend Country Save Detergent.

If you’re wondering how your current detergent rates or looking for more recommendations, take a look at this list from Bummis.  It is one of the most comprehensive lists we’ve found!  http://www.bummis.com/media/detergent-information.pdf

Note about Diaper Creams:

Always avoid diaper creams with cod liver oil or any other fish oils.  The following is a short list of cloth diaper friendly creams, a few of which are commercially available.


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