Washing Your Diapers

You will need to wash your diapers every 2-3 days. If you prefer, or have a fewer number of diapers, you can wash them every day. I recommend washing them every other day.

There are many variations to washing your diapers, but remember to always use 1/3 or 1/2 of the normal amount of detergent, depending on the brand, your load size and water type, unless it is specifically formulated for cloth diapers. In that case follow the package directions.

I typically run a cold rinse cycle (no detergent) followed by a warm or hot wash cycle on “heavy soiled” with detergent and an extra rinse (my washer has a button to add this to the end to the cycle). In the rare case that I let my diapers sit for three days or during the toddler years I switch over to a rinse with a full Cold or Warm wash cycle (no detergent) followed by a warm or hot wash cycle and the extra rinse setting at the end.

Cloth diapers can be easily dried in an electric or gas dryer or line dried and you can read more about line drying options if you choose to take this route seasonally or year round. The benefits to line drying are savings on your electricity bill and when drying your laundry outdoors, the sun’s natural stain zapping rays keep diapers looking brighter.

Visit my Care & Washing page to see detergent reviews and laundry articles pertaining to keeping your diapers in tip top shape!

Disclaimer: These are guidelines based on my own personal experience and yours may differ. ALWAYS check the manufacture’s recommendations for washing or else you may risk voiding the warranty. Plus every company uses different textiles and they know their materials best. 

{If you enjoyed reading Washing Your Diapers I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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  1. I use charlie's soap exclusively on all my laundry and it works great.

  2. mojoraven says:

    Do you have any tips on how to make air-dried diapers softer? Mine are so stiff and rough that I worry about putting them on such delicate skin. But the dryer costs so much to run.

  3. Just dry them on the line then put in the dryer for 15-20 minutes on low, this softens them up nicely.

  4. thanks for the info… I plan to cd when baby comes, but don’t really have a clue how to go about washing them in a front loading washer. At least this gives me a bit of an idea!

  5. I wash my cloth diapers with all other clothes in the household (mine, DH and DS). Must I use 1/2 or 1/4 of the detergent? If so, will other clothes be clean?

    • I do NOT recommend washing your diapers with your other laundry. It will mess with the load size and make it more complicated to ensure that the diapers (or are thoroughly cleaned. Wash them separately every 2-3 days and use a little less “cloth diaper safe” detergent unless it is made for cloth diapers. In that case, follow the package directions. What detergent are you using?

  6. Natalie rivera says:

    I sent you a email because I need help so badly!

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