This post contains affiliate links.
Like everything in parenting, it seems I have to take the long way around. We can’t just go from A-Z in one hop, skip and a jump. Oh no, I detour at every darn letter in hopes of finding something that makes our life just a little bit easier, simpler, more streamlined.
When I first started cloth diapering I used Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper Detergent. Somewhere along the way I decided it was too expensive and I could use something else or make my own. I could do extra rinses here and there. I could soak before. I could put special “fresheners” in my diaper bucket.
I think part of what’s so beautiful about this third baby, is that we’ve been to this ball game before.
Marius and I are more relaxed, we’re more willing to go with the flow. We know what has and hasn’t worked with the previous two babies and when to just stick with something that works for the sake of sanity. (And good clean cloth diapers)
So when it comes to washing that precious baby’s diapers, ain’t nobody in this house got time for something complicated. Instead? It goes something likes this…
Our Super-Simple Cloth Diaper Washing Routine
After a dirty diaper comes off, it gets chucked in the diaper bucket. Freja is exclusively breastfed, so there’s no shaking off of poops. If your baby has substantial poops, aka she’s eating real food, then we hold the diaper over the toilet and shake what we can off. If it’s really stuck, we’ll dip it in the toilet water a bit to help loosen it off. There is no way to sugar coat or glorify this part. It is what it is, and it’s not pretty.
If it’s an option for you, I’ve heard people really love diaper sprayers. I kinda feel like my 3 y/o would use it for a toy? This is the first time we’ve had an official diaper bucket (hand me down!), before that we had a garbage can with a lid. (I think that garbage can is dying a horrible death in our yard with some experiment of my husbands in it…)
It lives behind the door in our bathroom, there’s nothing in it detergent/water wise. It’s the good ol’ “Dry Bucket System”.
Once it gets full, which for us is actually 2/3 full (this will depend on your washing machine) I carry it over to the washing machine and dump it in.
I’m lucky to have a top loader, because this makes dumping them in a cinch. When we’ve had a front loader, I kinda use a rag/clean diaper to grab and chuck the diapers in. Do what ya gotta do, man.
I then add a scoop of Rockin’ Green, and set the washer on a Hot, delicate cycle. Why delicate, why Hot? Well, in my washing machine, this is a short cycle that agitates a bit, then lets it rest for a few minutes, then repeats that a few times. It’s the perfect rinsing cycle for cloth diapers! You could use the rinse/spin cycle, or check out what alternative short cycles you have on your machine. And you need Hot water to loosen all the yuckies.
After that cycle is done, I add another scoop or two of Rockin’ Green (I don’t have a HE machine, so I have to use more detergent than someone with an HE machine) and set it to a Hot/Cold Heavy Cycle. This cycle doesn’t use any more water than a regular cycle, but it spends more time agitating the load. It washes with hot, then rinses with cold. It’s important to wash your diapers with Hot to get them nice and clean! But let’s not waste all the hot water! So a cold rinse is just dandy.
Now pull your clean laundry out of the washing machine, hang the covers up to dry, (the dryer will wreck them!) I do so on the shower curtain rod. Chuck all your diapers in the dryer with a clean, dry towel and turn that baby on! The towel will help them dry much faster, it’s a pretty neat trick.
Once they’re done there, fold ’em up like I show you here, and you’re good to diaper that sweet baby’s bottom.
The Abbreviated Recipe?
- Dirty Diapers go in dry diaper bucket. (Shake/rinse off poop if applicable)
- Full diaper bucket gets dumped in washing machine.
- Wash on a Hot Delicate or Rinse/Spin cycle with 1 scoop Rockin’ Green.
- Wash on a Hot/Cold or Hot/Hot Heavy Wash cycle with 2 scoops Rockin’ Green.
- Hang up covers. (Shower curtain rod!)
- Diapers in the dryer with a dry towel
- When all dry, fold as directed here. (Or however your diapers need to be)
And there you go! You’ve got clean diapers in what I feel is the least amount of steps possible!
Hitting on this routine has taken all the mental energy out of it for me. I know when the diaper bucket is full I need to chuck them into the washing machine and the rest is auto-pilot! Streamlined processes like this mean I spend less time cleaning and have more time for snuggling that sweet baby girl.
How do you wash your Cloth Diapers? Have you found that sweet spot where it feels like no extra effort yet?
Kate is a crunchy mama kickin’ it old school. She’s a stay at home Mom of 3, living a homemade life on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. She enjoys cooking and baking food from scratch, as well as any other DIY food project she can get her hands on. Through hunting and homesteading, her family produces more than enough to fill their own meat needs, happily helping others start their own homesteading journey along the way.