Adventure to #ClothDiapers: My Washing Trends

August 24, 2011

It’s been almost 3 weeks now that we’ve been full time cloth diapering.  I’d like to get some feedback on what my washing trends are to see if I am doing anything wrong.  Please feel free to enlighten me with something I should be doing differently.


We’ve found (with having two boys in diapers) that we’ve pretty much had to do laundry on a daily basis.  We certainly have our favorite brands and our least favorite brands picked out <which I’ll soon reveal…> but, we only have 5 of those diapers… and both of us are constantly reaching for THAT diaper.

Plus we have only 3 night time diapers and covers– and two good inserts for the three diapers.  So, I have to wash those at least, otherwise I know I’ll wake up with a soggy baby.

Either way, doing laundry daily still leaves me with about 15 diapers per wash depending on how many diapers Andrew ends up wearing.  At home he is usually bare-bottomed now because he’s potty trained that way.  But if we have to go out, and for nap time and bed time – he is wearing a diaper.  I’d estimate Ethan wears at least 7-9 diapers per day… we’re getting better at changing him more frequently, but we’re not there yet.DSC09212

We have a nice top-loading HE washer.

We’ve been trying to dump as much poop as we can into the toilet, and then we bring them downstairs to the laundry tub and rinse them off.  It seems to be working for now.DSC09759

I have programmed a setting on my washer for the diapers where it gives a soak first, and then washes on hot with the heavy soiled and high spin cycle, and then an extra rinse at the end.  For a grand total of nearly 2 hours for a washing.

I use about 1/2 the amount of plain liquid tide that is normal. I also have some Rockin’ Green powder – but I’ve noticed that the tray that you put the powder in gets clumpy – so I’m not sure I’m thrilled yet.

I’ve been brave and sniffing several diapers from each load of laundry after it’s gone through.  Only once have I had to put a load through the washer more than once (and that was a very full load plus lots of poopy diapers).

DSC09444Most of the diapers I throw in the dryer – I put it on ‘towels’ which is  a sensor setting and ends as things are starting to get dry.  Then I hang the not fully dried ones on a rack, which I have been moving in and out of the house depending on the weather.  It sits in my dining room currently.  I’ll put them outside if its sunny to sun them a bit.

If I’m in a hurry – I just put them on a Medium Setting in the dryer for 60 minutes.  Most diapers come out dry after this.  a few of the hemp inserts are not totally dry after this – but hanging them works.

There was a few days where I was actually just hanging them to dry fully – but then I started running out of diapers all together – which wasn’t good.  I feel like I have SO many diapers – but they’re just being changed so often that I am needing to do laundry daily.  However, I also would like the diapers to last – so we can pass them on to someone else or sell them.

What’s your laundry routine?  How many diapers a day are you going through? How many night time diapers do you have?


  1. Amanda N. says:

    I don’t have an HE machine, so I can’t be sure if you need to change anything there or not…but have you watched it fill up? I know over time a lot of people will start having problems with stinkies in their diapers because their HE machine doesn’t use enough water.

    I would not suggest sticking with Tide for your diapers. It’s going to eventually cause build-up and you’ll have repelling and stink issues. You may be able to just sprinkle the powder into the machine instead of putting it into the tray. Many machines have a little warning on the tray saying not to put powder in it. So putting it right into the barrel might work better for you. When choosing a detergent, I always use this chart:

    Hope this helps! Good luck with cloth diapering. 🙂

  2. I have a comment re. Tide. When I first started cloth diapering, I too thought that Tide would cause build up and stink issues like the blogger above wrote, but I have been reading more lately that it depends on what type you use. I have read that the original Tide is okay (though I’ve just found the Ultra), but I’ve read on 5+ blogs lately that it has been working for these mothers/fathers. Here’s the one I read first:

    Hope this helps, but you’ll find that what works for you, won’t work for somebody else. I think there are numerous factors involved such as, what type of washing machine you have, how hard or soft your water is, etc.

  3. Hi Amy,
    I use both a top loader and a Front loading HE Machine. I can tell you that you WILL run into leaking issues and stink issues if you use any of the detergent you buy at the supermarket when washing cloth diapers. I usually strip my diapers once a month with dawn dish soap. Sometimes I even use bleach on all the liners. If you find the rockin green is clumping just add a cup of water in with it and see if that helps.( In the detergent tray.

    I have a new soap that we love here at the shop …Ruby Moon. Smells awesome and gets them super clean

    Let me know if you need any help
    Mom -Owner Sweet Cheeks Diaper Company

  4. So, I have only been cloth diapering for 10 months, but I use Tide without any apparent buildup or stinkies. I do use powder, though, not liquid. I have a HE Front Loader. About once a month I “rock a soak”. There has never been any real evidence I need to do this, but I do anyway!

  5. Trisha W. says:

    I change my baby about every 3 hours during the day time. We have not had any issues. I don’t know why people would need to change diapers every hour.

  6. I’ve used rock in green or charles soap. No advice about the tide. And I agree with the other posters. I do a strip once a month or every other month using Rockin green or RAR since I have hard water. Love the stash picture

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