There are many myths about cloth diapering, and many different approaches to washing the diapers themselves. What works for one mom, may not work for another, or you may not want to void your warranty and another mom or dad may not worry about it. For example, one myth is that the dishwasher is excellent for stripping diapers.
There are essentially five cloth diaper laundry practices that should be avoided because they may damage the fabrics or result in less absorbency.
- Fabric softeners should be avoided. Fabric softeners are incredibly harmful for your health and baby’s. The main reason not to use fabric softener is because fabric softener causes fabrics to repel moisture instead of absorbing.
- Chlorine Bleach should be avoided. Chlorine bleach is harmful to elastics and may weaken the fibers in natural materials. Diaper covers, fitteds, and pocket diapers should not be chlorine bleached. Wool has the potential to completely dissolve in bleach. Instead of using bleach to remove stains, use these five stain removing tips. Please note that we do recommend using bleach to properly sanitize diapers you have purchased used.
- “Baby” Detergents. Many baby detergents contain fabric softeners which as you have already read can be harmful to your health and cause the diaper inserts not to be as absorbent.
- Laundry Detergents containing Fragrance and Brighteners. Fragrance and Brighteners can cause detergent residue which may cause your cloth diapers to be less absorbent. Keep in mind that many moms successfully use Tide and that some cloth diaper manufacturers recommend Tide.
- Leaving cloth diapers for extended periods of time can result in mold, bacteria, and very nasty smells. We recommend washing every two to three days.
Cloth diaper washing doesn’t need to be difficult if you keep it as simple as possible. And, always remember if you have wool covers they should not be washed in the washing machine.