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How to Clean Cloth Diapers

How to Clean Cloth Diapers

New seasons are always a great time to organize your life, clean out closets, and make your lifestyle a little more Eco-friendly. I have 3 young kids and I sometimes feel like I’m always cleaning up after them. I’m working on organizing the playroom and streamlining my kids’ rooms. I’m also trying to get back into regular cloth diapering and I recently updated my stash! It’s pretty easy to use and care for cloth diapers, especially when you get into a regular washing routine.

This post was sponsored by Charlie Banana. All opinions are my own.

Deciding to use cloth diapers for your baby is good for the environment, healthy for baby, budget-friendly, and who doesn’t love a fluffy baby bum?! A cute cloth diaper paired with a T-shirt or baby leggings = instant outfit!

So why don’t all parents choose cloth? Washing those adorable little poo-catchers is scary! Or… at least it seems that way to those who haven’t done it before. Washing cloth diapers is actually quite simple. Just as many families’ wash routine for clothing is different, there are many different ways to wash cloth diapers. If you stick to the following simple routine for cleaning your cloth, you won’t go wrong.

Charlie Banana Cloth Diaper set - Mommy Scene review

Before Using New Diapers

“Prep” your new diapers by washing them once in hot water with a small amount of zero residue detergent and drying them. This will make the diapers absorbent and ready to use.

What to do with a soiled diaper

Remove solids before you wash your diapers by shaking the poop off the diaper and into the toilet. It typically comes off easily, but there is also the option of using a diaper-sprayer. The sprayer attaches to the plumbing on your toilet and is used to spray the mess into the toilet. (Also, newborn babies who are breast-fed only, have water-soluble poop, so you don’t need to remove it before washing the diapers.)

Storing your diapers

Soiled and wet diapers can be stored easily 3 different ways:

  • A wet pail – a pail full of water in which the diapers soak until wash day.
  • A dry pail – a laundry hamper with a cloth pail liner that you wash along with the diapers on wash day.
  • A large wet bag – a waterproof bag that zips closed and is washed along with the diapers on wash day.

My cloth diaper washing routine

Wipe – I usually wipe off any solids from the used cloth diapers before putting them in our Ubbi cloth diaper pail that keeps our nursery free of any diapering smells! Charlie Banana also sells a diaper sprayer that you can attach to your toilet, but in my 4 years of cloth diapering, I’ve stuck to using the wipe method.

Rinse – I usually pull out the inserts from each cloth diaper cover and load all of the soiled cloth diapers into the washer. I have tried washing pocket diapers without removing the inserts, but I find my cloth diapers get cleaner and smell fresher if I disassemble the cloth diaper inserts from the covers for the wash. I add a squirt of blue Dawn dish soap to my load of dirty cloth diapers and run it on a warm rinse cycle. Dawn effectively removes any solids and extreme smells from the cloth diapers before the wash cycle.

Wash – Once the cloth diapers are rinsed, I add a scoop of laundry detergent to the load of dirty cloth diapers and start a regular warm wash cycle.

Rinse – Optional, I sometimes run a second rinse cycle, especially if I forgot the wet cloth diapers in the washing machine overnight. A second rinse cycle just gives my cloth diapers one more swish with clean water before drying.

Dry – I load the clean cloth diapers into the dryer and run a regular dry cycle. In warm weather, you can hang your cloth diapers outside to dry and also get some good old fashioned bleaching and freshening from the sun. A electric clothes dryer is essential to get cloth diaper inserts dry in the winter, but drying them in the dryer also gives them a good fluff!

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How to Clean Cloth Diapers - Mommy Scene

Removing odors & residue build-up

  • Try an extra rinse cycle after the diapers are clean to remove any detergent from the diapers.
  • Wash once with liquid Dawn dish soap (blue formula): 1 teaspoon for front loading machines, or 1 tablespoon for top loading machines. Rinse well (2 to 4 rinse cycles).
  • If the previous solutions don’t work, try 2 tablespoons of bleach in the warm/hot wash cycle. Rinse very well (4 to 5 rinse cycles). Be sure to follow the washing instructions on your diapers. It’s best to not use bleach on PUL material, as it can cause it to not be waterproof.

Related Post: Deep Cleaning Cloth Diapers »

Taking care of your cloth diapers is as simple as can be! Once you get into a routine, you will discover why so many moms love cloth diapering. Plus you’ll be saving money and helping reduce your families trash output!

With two kids in diapers we go through a ton of diapers! I recently decluttered my cloth diaper stash, discarding well-worn inserts and adding some new cloth diapers from Charlie Banana. I love these pocket diapers because they are very adjustable to fit a wide range of baby sizes and have a soft microfleece as the only material that comes into contact with baby’s skin. I was pretty stoked when Charlie Banana offered to send me this lovely set for my baby!

Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers in beautiful and modern prints - Mommy Scene

Cloth Diaper Highlights

Charlie Banana cloth diapers are a 2-in-1 reusable diaper system made from a PUL (polyurethane laminate) outer waterproof layer and a soft microfleece stay-dry inner layer.

Each Charlie Banana cloth diaper comes with two thick microfiber inserts. I use one for the daytime and two for nighttime absorbency.

Charlie Banana cloth diapers also have a smart front panel that gives you the option of tucking in a disposable pad for those special occasions or using extra reusable inserts.

Place one or both reusable inserts into the pocket diaper opening to provide soft absorbency.

Charlie Banana diapers are very adjustable to allow parents to customize the diaper’s size to their baby’s shape, with strategic sizing snaps for adjusting the waist and riser snaps for sizing around the legs.

Inside the diaper, an innovative adjustable elastic in the leg holes allows you to adjust the diaper to perfectly fit a baby from 8 to 35 pounds.

Baby Boy wearing Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers - Mommy Scene review

Eco-friendly Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers for babies - Mommy Scene

In additional to the flexible functionality of these diapers. I also love the darling patterns that come in a gender neutral set, usable for both girls and boys. Neutral patterns are helpful because I can use these cloth diapers for both my 2-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy. Before the first use, you should wash the diaper inserts several times for allow for maximum absorbency. Cleaning cloth diapers is also fairly simple; I just wash them in a separate load along with our regular laundry routine.

Baby wearing a Charlie Banana chevron print cloth diaper - Mommy Scene review

I also love how babies look in cloth diapers. Many baby clothing companies have begun offering clothes that fit especially over cloth diapers. Babies with a cloth diaper bum are so cute, especially when they begin walking and toddling along! How cute is this Charlie Banana white and gray chevron cloth diaper on my chubby baby boy??

Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers cute feather pattern - Mommy Scene

The Perks of Cloth Diapering

It’s easy to integrate cloth diapers into your lifestyle once you get into a routine.

Washing cloth diapers is no harder than washing regular laundry. Just schedule one day a week for washing your weekly stash of dirty cloth diapers. Washing cloth diapers is not time intensive; you just have to start the rinse, start the wash cycle, and move the cloth diapers to the dryer. Then you can toss all the clean cloth diapers into a bin, or spend a few minutes reassembling them and folding them into a stack.

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Reusing the same cloth diapers (rather than trashing disposables) allows your family to save money and reduce your household trash. Families with a few kids put out a ton of dirty diaper trash! Boxes of cloth diapers cost about $40 and last our family about 2 weeks. That means using disposable diapers adds up to $960 a year! Of course, you have to factor in cost of water and time for washing cloth diapers, but for about $300 you can easily get set up with a cloth diaper system with enough covers and reusable inserts to last a week before you have to wash. (and I’ve been using my cloth diaper stash for 4 years, and just now tossing some.)

Cute Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers - Mommy Scene

Fashion statements are always made with cloth diapers! No one ever said, “I love your baby’s diaper,” unless it was cloth!

Using cloth diapers is an easy way to go green in 2017! You can learn more about Charlie Banana on their website and get started with one of these reusable diapering system sets containing 3 one size diapers and 6 inserts, also or available on Amazon. Charlie Banana cloth diapers come in a variety of patterns and the same easy-to-adjust pocket diaper style!

Author Bio


Katie has been married for 9 years, has 3 young children, and loves creative projects, photography, decorating, and encouraging others to pursue their ideas. She loves the Lord and feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with opportunities to enjoy creative outlets from home.

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KatieSushmita TCourtneyNeha KTonya Recent comment authors

Thank you I am new to all this so I appreciate all the help I can get!!


Cloth diapering is the way to go, plan to CD all my babies!

Vicki H
Vicki H

I do a pre-wash first with no detergent then I wash on hot with Tide original powder then an extra rinse. I’ve not had any problems yet.

Beki L
Beki L

This was very helpful, easy to read and right to the point. Thanks for the cloth diapering tips!


Some good tips for cleaning cloth diapers properly. You can make them last a long time.


Thanks for this article. I am planning to use cloth diapers when my first baby comes along in March! Looking forward to the cute fluffy bum ?

Lisa C

These are really cute. Thanks for all the great tips. I will pass this on to my daughter who is having her first baby. Thanks!


Agree! Cotton nappies is way cheaper and environment friendly too.

Kara L

Thanks for reviewing these! I am expecting and this will be our first fluff butt. I have been gathering different brands but haven’t heard much feedback on this particular one, which I can find at my local Target.


He’s such a cutie! Love his eyes! ♥


I’ll have to try those out!


you are brave to do cloth diapers! I don’t have babies but it looks intimidating!

Mommy Scene

It’s pretty easy once you get into a routine! I actually love cloth diapering so much more than disposables. They are so plushy and soft.

Olga P
Olga P

These are amazing! I would love to try them for my kiddo!


These may be the cutest thing I have ever seen! Love cloth diapers.

Sushmita T
Sushmita T

Such an informative post!
Will be sharing with my friends, the newbies to parenting.
Thanks for sharing!

Mommy Scene

Thank you! cloth diapering can be so economical for young families just starting out, saving several thousand dollars if you decide to have multiple kids, because you can use the same cloth diapers for several years. Some of my cloth diapers have lasted 3 kids!


These cloth diapers are so cute! You have definitely given me some food for thought when I decide to have my own children!

Neha K
Neha K

Great info about cloth diapering! Thanks for sharing

Mommy Scene

You are welcome! I hope you decide to try them some day with your own kids!


I absolutely love these cloth diaper colors.