We recommend a diaper pail
with a secure lid and a flip-top lid to make it easy to open and close
the pail with a dirty diaper in your hand.
Remove Solid Waste.
Shake excess waste into
the toilet and use a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet to
remove the rest. If you don't have a sprayer you can use a flat edged
scraper to remove the rest. We also recommend our OsoCozy Diaper
Liners. With Diaper Liners you simply shake waste into the toilet along
with flushable liner. Safe for household plumbing.
Wash Frequently. Wash at least every 3 or 4 days.
Avoid Heat. Keep the diaper pail out of the sun and away from heat
Deo Disks & Diaper
Pail Deodorizers Use diaper pail
deodorizers such as Citrus Circles deo-disks, which contains natural,
scented citrus oils, or Diaper Buddies, which deodorize diapers and add
a laundry booster to your wash.
Diaper Washing Routine
Once you work out your own
cloth diaper washing routine, you will be the expert on your diapers in
your washer and dryer. Start with this simple routine and adjust as
Wash Before Wearing
All cloth diapers should
be pre-washed before using so the diapers fluff up and achieve optimal
softness and absorbency. White or bleached diapers require only one
prewash. Natural or unbleached diapers require 3-5 pre-washes to make
the diapers fully absorbent.
Simple Wash Method
Stripping Diapers If you do choose to use
soap rather than detergent and it leaves a residue on your diapers, the
natural solution to break down the residue is vinegar rinse. This will
help maintain diaper absorbency.
- Use a dry pail. No soaking! Shake the solid waste into the toilet
before putting diaper into pail. Add scented deo disks to control odor
and add a nice citrus scent.
- Cover hook and loop before you put the diaper or diaper cover into the
pail to prevent it catching and wearing on other diapers.
- Never use fabric
softeners or chlorine-based bleach. These
degrade the fibers and leave a residue that prevents absorbency.
- No More than 24
diapers in a single load. You can wash
diapers, covers, wipes, and inserts together. NOTE: do not wash wool
diaper covers with the diapers. See manufacturer washing instructions.
- Start with a cold
rinse to help prevent stains.
- Next run a hot wash with soap or detergent. Liquid laundry detergents
rinse out more easily.
- Follow with a second
run a hot wash without detergent or an
additional cold rinse. You may want to periodically add 1/3 cup of
baking soda to the second rinse to make sure you're getting all of the
detergent out of your diapers to prevent residue build up that leads to
- Hand diaper covers to
dry to increase their lifespan.
- Drying Dry fleece covers with diapers, wipes, and inserts on
high heat. Save energy by line drying or air drying.
- High heat or direct
sunlight will sterilize cloth diapers if
you find that necessary
We recommend that you use no
more than 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Make
sure it is distilled vinegar to avoid stains from vinegars with color.
Vinegar may also be used in
the rinse cycle to help neutralize the urine odor, equalize the pH
balance, help prevent stains from setting in, and as a natural fabric
NOTE: If you have hard
water, vinegar may cause your diapers to smell bad once urinated on. In
that case, we recommend you discontinue using soap and switch to
Your Washing Machine
Clean diapers should smell
of nothing - fresh, beautiful nothing. How do you make sure that
happens? Sometimes you need to adjust your diaper washing routine to
your washing machine.
Hot or Cold? You can use cold water to wash cloth diapers. You
don't have to use hot water unless you are trying to sterilize your
diapers. Even then, you can sterilize diapers naturally using the UV
light from the sun.
Use Enough Detergent You do need to be sure that you use enough detergent.
For example, if you cut back according to instructions for a high
effciency washer (generally suggested to use 1/4 of the amount
recommended for that detergent), you still need to be sure that you use
enough detergent to clean your diapers. If you don't use enough
detergent, you may find that diapers smell a lot immediately after your
baby wets them.
Don't Use Too Much
Detergent Don't adjust too far the other
way. If you use too much detergent, detergent residue can build up on
the fabric, keeping the diapers from absorbing properly. If the diapers
repel urine, you have a leaky diaper. Just like Goldilocks, you need to
get it not to much, not too little, but just right.
Second Rinse If you find that you are getting detergent build up,
you may need to add a second rinse cycle to your regular wash routine
even if you don't have a high-efficiency washer.
High Efficiency Washing
Machine A lot of families are opting for a
high-efficiency washer to save on water. With a few minor adjustments,
you will still be able to keep your cloth diapers clean and smelling
Because the high-efficiency
washers uses less water, you may want set water levels to highest
settings. Or, rather than one long wash cycle you may find that two
short cycles give you a cleaner rinse.
If you don't use the two
short cycle method, you may need to add an extra rinse.
Both high efficiency washing
machines and particular types of cloth diapers can vary, so you may
need to experiment to find the best wash routine for your machine and
The biggest drawback in
using a high-efficiency machine to wash cloth diapers is the front
loading. It is tough to dump a wet pail into a front-load washer. You
may find it less messy to use a dry pail.
Because a high-efficiency
machine spins so much water out of your diapers, you will find that
they will dry more quickly, which will save you energy through the rest
of your wash routine.
Soap for Cloth Diapers Soap is a mild cleaning agent made from natural
materials. The drawbacks of using soap to clean cloth diapers are that,
because of its mild attributes, it may not throughly clean your
diapers, and soap reacts with minerals in hard water that can leave a
residue on the diapers causing them to be less absorbent.
Detergent for Cloth
Diapers Detergent is a synthetic cleaning
product. Detergent has more cleaning power than natural soap, and it
will clean cloth diapers thoroughly and should not leave a build-up on
the diapers that takes away from their absorbency as long as you don't
use too much. You may want to look for detergents made from renewable
resources rather than petro-chemicals. Many detergents are available
with no dyes and natural fragrances.
NO Fabric Softner for
Cloth Diapers Do not use fabric softener
on your cloth diapers because it coats the fabric fibers in the
diapers, which reduces absorbency of the diapers.
Don't Use Too Much Especially if you have a high efficiency washing
machine, don't use too much soap or detergent on your cloth diapers. If
you use too much, your washing machine will have a difficult time
rinsing the diapers adequately, leaving a detergent build up that can
result in leaking diapers.
Avoid Free and Clear For best results with cloth diapers, avoid detergents
that are marked Free & Clear, for baby, or detergents with oil
5 Tips to
Keep Your Diapers Bright and White
Sunlight Use the free energy all around you to bleach your
diapers naturally. UV (ultra violet) light can also be a powerful
disinfectant, but it is unknown how effective sunlight is in
disinfecting a porous material like cotton.
Lemon and Sunlight If you are looking for a low-impact cloth diaper
bleach, reach for a lemon. Saturate the stain with lemon juice then
hang the diaper in the sun. If the stain is still visible once the
diaper is dry, saturate with lemon juice and put out in the sunlight
It is easier to remove a
stain if you don't hot wash, which sets stains.
Don't Sit Too Long To avoid stains, don't let a dirty diaper sit too
long. Dump or spray solids into the toilet. Wash more frequently.
Enzyme Cleaners Spray natural enzymes on soiled diapers. Natural
enzymes do work similar to the enzymes in our gut. They break down
organic matter. In the case of soiled diapers, if you apply the enzymes
to a dirty diaper before dropping it in the diaper pail, this means the
enzymes eat away at stains and odor while a diaper sits in the pail.
Some caution that their
children are sensitive to laundry products with enzymes, but I used
spray-on enzyme cleaner on diapers for two children with no problems at
Oxygen Bleach Oxygen bleaches will not bleach colors. They are
generally mild enough not to break down the fibers of your cloth
diapers. Oxygen bleach is made by reacting molecules with hydrogen
peroxide. Most oxygen bleaches work best in hot water.
Cloth Diaper Drying
Squeeze Tight Before you move on to the drying phase, make sure
that you have squeezed out as much of the wash water as possible.
A high-efficiency washer
does a great job spinning water out of diapers in the spin cycle.
If your diapers still feel
wet when you take them out of the washer, shake them out well before
hanging or putting in the dryer.
Line Drying The most energy efficient way to dry cloth diapers is
to hang them outside in the sun and the breeze. Dependingly on your
climate, this can also be quicker than using a clothes dryer.
If you find that your
diapers are a bit stiff after being on the line, try rolling them
around in your hands a bit. You could also toss them in the clothes
dryer for a few minutes to let them agitate against one another and
Cool or Air Drying If you live in a humid climate, it can take a long
time to dry diapers on a line. With thick diapers like all in one
diapers you might give up before the diapers feel completely dry.
If you want to use a clothes
dryer but still save energy, try cool or air dry. Since you are not
heating the air, you will use less energy.
Save Energy with Your
Clothes Washer An Energy Star-rated
clothes washer can not only save on water but save on electricity.
These savings in resources mean costs savings for you.