While preparing to cloth diaper two babies, I thought a lot about the wash routine. My plan was washing every other day with about 26-30 diapers per load. That’s what I did the first week of clothing diapering two and it was way too many diapers (prefolds/inserts/covers/pockets) in my washing machine! I really didn’t want to have to wash diapers every single day so I decided to split the wash.
Here’s a glimpse into my dirty diaper storage system and my diaper washing routine.
Diaper Storage System:
Once a diaper is used, I bring it to the bathroom where my diaper pail and hanging wet bag are. I pull the prefold/insert out of the cover/pocket diaper.
The prefold/insert goes into the diaper pail. This has a lid that does a fabulous job keeping in odors! As long as it’s closed, you can’t smell anything.
The cover/pocket diaper goes into the hanging wet bag which is hanging on the door. I make sure that they’re folded up so no poo/dampness gets on the bag so I can use the bag multiple times without washing it. I keep the bag unzipped most of the time and there are no major odor issues. If we have company coming, I’ll zip it up, just in case!
Diaper Washing Routine:
I take the wet bag full of covers and pocket diapers and do a cold rinse without detergent. Weston is exclusively breast fed and I don’t rinse his dirty diapers before putting them in the bag so this is to rinse all of that off. I also think this step helps cut down on diaper stains!
After the rinse, I put in 1 scoop of detergent (we’re currently using Charlie’s Soap) and wash on hot.
Once they’ve been washed, I hang them on my drying rack in our guest room. (There were 23 covers/pockets in this particular load.) The drying rack is over our heat vent which is helping them dry faster! They usually take about 6 hours to dry.
After I’ve hung the covers/pockets, it’s time to wash the prefolds/inserts.
I empty the diaper pail into the wash and do a cold rinse. A rinse in this load helps cut down on odors and prevent staining on the prefolds.
When the rinse cycle is over, I put in 2 scoops of detergent and wash on hot.
I follow this hot wash with another hot wash to make sure there’s no detergent residue (which causes buildup resulting in stinky diapers!)
Once they’re washed, I dry them in the dryer. (I know, it’s not very eco-friendly but it’s too cold to hang them on the line and they take a good 12-18 hours to dry and we’re often down to the wire on diapers at this point in the wash routine!)
When the inserts and prefolds are dry, I bring them into the guest room to await folding and stuffing!
Folding and stuffing diapers is actually one of my favorite chores. I know it sounds crazy but I love filling up my clothes basket with a rainbow of colorful clean diapers.
That’s my current wash routine. It evolved over the past 21 months of cloth diapering due to factors such as water hardness at our past two homes and adding a new baby to the mix but it’s what is working for us right now. Once the weather warms up, we’ll be doing most of the drying on the clothesline. And, I’m sure in 6 months, it’ll be different (especially if Paxton is potty trained!)
It seems like it’s a lot of work but honestly, after nearly 2 years of washing diapers, it’s not a hard chore. I love that we’re saving so much money, don’t have stinky trash and that my boys’ bottoms are comfy in cloth!
If you cloth diaper, I’d love to hear about your wash routine!
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