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How To Wash Cloth Diapers

This is for typical washing.

If you need to strip your diapers, try this.
If you need to prep your diapers, try this.
If you have ammonia issues with your diapers, try this.

Storing Dirty Diapers

Most people use a plain old trash can with lid. It’s cheap and very effective. Some people use a pail liner or pillow case as a ‘bag’.

This is a dry pail. Don’t fill with water, there is no need.

What to do with Solids

Read all about it here, but these are the basics:

Exclusively breastfed poop needs nothing. Just toss it in the wash. It will simply wash away.

Everything else should be sprayed, plopped or scraped into the toilet and flushed away. The diaper can then be put into the pail or wash.
You may choose to use a flushable liner for easier removal.

Methods of Washing

Here are the top methods. They are not the only way, but simply the most tried and used (as I have found).

Method #1
Cold Wash/Cold Rinse Cycle with Detergent
Hot Wash/Cold Rinse Cycle with Detergent
Dry (machine medium heat or clothes line/rack)

Method #2
Cold Soak/Rinse
Hot Wash/Cold Rinse Cycle with Detergent
Dry (machine medium heat or clothes line/rack)

With any of these methods an extra wash cycle or rinse can be thrown in for an extra dirty load of diapers.
Vinegar can also be added to any cycle, or (most commonly) the last wash/rinse in a downy ball or the softener reservoir.


You can use the dryer if you like. Use a medium heat at the most. You don’t want to damage the PUL (covers, pockets, all-in-ones)

You may also line dry your diapers. This has the added benefit of the sun’s stain removal powers 🙂 Seriously. It’s amazing what stains the sun can get out.

What type of detergent can you use?

You can make your own. (We have a recipe on this blog.) or purchase a detergent.

There are several brands. I’m sure I will miss some. Just because a detergent is listed here does not mean that I personally support it! I have not had the chance to try these, as I have always made my own. Detergent can be different from one household to the next. Baby’s skin sensitivity, water hardness, wash routine and other things can play a factor in effectiveness.

Okay, onto brands you can buy (just to name a few) 🙂

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