If you’re new to cloth diapering, you’ll find an abundance of conflicting and varied advice about washing cloth diapers. You can demystify washing cloth diapers by keeping your routine simple.
Here’s what you need to know about storing and laundering your dirty diapers:
How Do You Store Dirty Cloth Diapers Before Washing?
Carolyn Russell, owner of the cloth diaper reference site Padded Tush Stats, says, “The two most common methods of storing dirty diapers are either a wet bag or a diaper pail.” Wet bags are waterproof, featuring a loop — so you can hang the bag while in use — and a zippered opening, which allows you to drop dirty diapers in with ease (and zip it closed to keep odors at bay!). The other method of storing cloth diapers before washing is to use a diaper pail or trash can with a pail liner. “When you’re ready to do your laundry,” says Russell, “you empty the wet bag or pail liner into the washing receptacle and then toss in the wet bag or pail liner to be washed along with the diapers.”
Suzi Satterfield, owner of the cloth diapering site Cloth Diaper Addicts, uses a hanging wet bag to store her dirty diapers, saying, “The added airflow around the bag means that my diapers are less likely to develop issues with smells or mold.”
Some parents use sprayers that attach to the toilet to spray any poop off the diapers before storing them. While this is usually less of an issue with newborns’ diapers, as your child moves beyond breastmilk or formula you’ll definitely want to knock off any solids into the toilet before storing and washing your diapers.
How Do You Wash Them?
How you go about washing cloth diapers — and what detergent you use — varies depending upon several factors, including water hardness, hot water temperature, “what kind of machine you use or if you’re washing by hand and how many diapers you are washing at a time,” says Russell.