LAUNDRY BASICS

Before it Goes to the Pail:

Remove soiled diaper from baby. If diaper is soiled with pee or breastfed baby poop, drop it into the diaper pail. Any solid waste should be discarded into the toilet before placing soiled diaper into the diaper pail. For pocket diapers, remove insert and drop insert and pocket diaper separately into the diaper pail.

Check your manufacturer's particular washing instructions. Some diaper covers can be washed with the diapers. Other covers are better rinsed and washed with clothing. Nylon and wool diaper covers are generally hand washed. If diaper cover is poopy and may be washed with diapers put it in the diaper pail too. If diaper cover is just wet hang it to air dry.

General Washing Instructions - Top Loading Washing Machine
  1. When diaper pail has 24-30 diapering items (about 2-3 days worth for one baby), it is time for washing.
  2. Add any diaper covers that have been used in rotation and head to the washing machine.
  3. Set washer to the highest water level. (Some older washing machines may not agitate at full speed if completely full. So for older machines allow for the maximum water level without compromising agitation.) If you have less than a load of laundry, it is beneficial to add a couple of towels to the load.
  4. Start your washing with a Cold Rinse.
  5. Wash on hot. On average you should use ½ manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent for the size load you are washing. Use less for soft water and maybe more for hard water.
  6. Rinse on Warm or Cold. (Sometimes an additional rinse may be necessary to remove excessive detergent—you do not want detergent left on diapers or diaper covers.)

General Washing Instructions - HE Washing Machine
  1. When diaper pail has 24-30 diapering items (about 2-3 days worth for one baby), it is time for washing. Some people with HE machines report being unable to get diapers clean enough unless they wash only 12-15 diapers at a time.
  2. Add any diaper covers that have been used in rotation and head to the washing machine. Using a diaper pail liner can really help here. A tote bag will allow you to shove the diapers into the machine without touching them.
  3. Start your washing with a Cold Rinse. If your machine doesn't have a cold rinse option, consider using a short cold wash.
  4. Wash on hot. On average you should use ½ manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent for the size load you are washing. Use less for soft water and maybe more for hard water. Please consider using an HE or HE compatible detergent. If using a standard detergent, you will need to drastically reduce your detergent usage to around 1/4 the manufacturer's recommended amount. Please measure and don't guess. For concentrated detergents like Allen's some people are using as little as 1 1/2 tsp of detergent per load.
  5. Rinse on Warm or Cold. (Sometimes an additional rinse may be necessary to remove excessive detergent—you do not want detergent left on diapers or diaper covers.) Bubbles will not be a good indicator to determine whether or not you will need an extra rinse. Instead feel the rinse water. If it feels slimy you may want an extra rinse.

Additional instructions for washing pocket diapers...

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General Drying Instructions
Dry diapers on medium to high heat in the dryer. For products that have elastic it is better to dry on medium heat.

In the summer, consider line drying. Line drying will allow the sun to remove stains and will sanitize your diapers. Clipping two prefold diapers on the line together so they flap together will allow them to dry softer. Most diaper covers dry quickly if hung to air dry. After air-drying, a quick fluff in the dryer may soften the diapers sufficiently.