There is TONs of information available online about cloth diapers…that it can get overwhelming!
How to choose, what to choose, how to make, what to make…the list is end-less.
I’ve put together a narrowed-down, cut-and-dry page for all our cloth-diapering needs!
Here’s what’s covered in this ‘Cloth Diaper and Cloth Wipes How-To Guide’:
- How to shop for the best cloth diapers
- How to make homemade cloth diaper detergent
- How to look for the best store-bought cloth diaper detergent
- How to wash cloth diapers in a HE front loading washing machine
- How to wash cloth diapers ‘tips’
- How to make diaper pail deodorizers
- How to shop for the best disposable diapers and wipes…just in case you need a back-up!
Just click on the sections below to expand the summary/section.
+How to Shop for the Best Cloth Diapers
This post by Kitchestewardship.com is a great summary of the following diapers:
The author reviewed 9 brands of pocket style cloth diapers for a total of 10 diaper styles.
opens on one side (top photo)
- Tiny Tush
- Oh Katy!
- Kawaii Green Baby
- Bum Genius
- Babykicks Premium and Basic [not in video or photo]
opens on two sides
And she found that the Ultimate Best Cloth Diaper was: Softbums.
She summarizes Softbums as follows:
“This diaper has it all together, truly:
- Effectiveness – It rarely leaks, even at the newborn stage. Either kind of insert, bamboo or “soft-touch” microfiber, absorb wonderfully.
- Ease of use – Choose aplix or snaps, both are super. The diaper has a little stretch to it, so it’s easier to put on and off IMO and to make it fit just right. Because you can snap in the inserts, you can have diapers prepped and ready for babysitters who might not be used to cloth, but you don’t have to take time to stuff pockets because you can also just grab and go without snapping, no biggie. All the inserts can touch baby’s skin because the microfiber ones have a side that is soft for bums.
- Reusable – We’ve had great luck hanging them to dry and reusing over and over.
- Longevity – The fabric is still gorgeous on our old ones, practically luxurious. The aplix fastener has held up probably the best of any that I received three years ago, and the elastic is fantastic.
- Flexible Sizing – They come with short and long inserts, so it sizes down to newborn great on the inside. But it’s the slide-2-size that really makes it special. You just use a little pinchable resizing thing (see below) to quickly tighten and loosen as baby grows. These diapers definitely went right down to newborn size and were the only ones we loved using in the first few weeks (other than the few newborn covers that we borrowed, which were almost too small to contain the inserts they came with).”
Here’s where to get Softbums:
- Softbums main site ($2.95-8.95 pods)
- Sweet Bottoms Baby ($2.95-15.95 for the various pods)
- Squishy Tushy ($4.25 Bamboo Mini Pod, $8.95 Large Bamboo Pod)
- The Green Nursery ($3.95-11.95 pods)
- Amazon (Not seeing single inserts on Amazon)
Read more about this best diaper here.
+How to Make Homemade Cloth Diaper Detergent
- 1/2 to 1 c. epsom salt (the harder the water, the more salt)
- 1/2 c. washing soda
- 1/2 c. baking soda
- 1/2 c. baby OxiClean
- Mix all ingredients together in a container.
- To use, add 1 tablespoon (more for heavily soiled items) to the wash.
About Clumping:Depending on the humidity of where you live, sometimes this recipe will clump. This can be alleviated by pulsing the powder in a blender or food processor.
- The above recipe is from Measuringflower.com.
Another great recipe is found at Homereadyhome.com.
+How to look for the best store-bought cloth diaper detergent
This is determined by price, what your thoughts are about chemicals, and convenience.
Here’s a list from Bummis of the safest and most popular detergents on the market. The link is in a PDF format. Here’s a summary of the best choices.
|PRODUCTS||WHY NOT/ USEFUL INFO|
|Allen’s Naturally liquid/powder|
|bumGenius Diaper Detergent||Partnered with Country Save. Specifically formulated for cloth diapers.|
|Claudia’s Choice||Zero residue|
|Country Save Powder||Very affordable. Certified non residue by manufacturer|
|The Honest Company||Naturally clean stubborn stains & life’s unexpected messes without toxic chemicals or synthetic scents.|
|Mighty Bubbles||Specifically formulated for cloth diapers|
|Mountain Green Baby Free & Clear|
|Rockin’ Green Hard Core Concentrate Unscented||This hard water formula is perfect for those that struggle with the toughest of water types!|
|Sensi-Clean (Sportwash)||Confirmed zero residue by the manufacturer|
|7th Generation Delicate Care|
|Thirsties Super Wash||Specifically formulated for cloth diapers|
+How to Wash Cloth Diapers in a HE Front Loading Washing Machine
1. After use, rinse diapers and store in a wet bag or diaper pail.
2. Place diapers, inserts, cloth wipes, and wet bag in washer. Soak 2 large bath towels in water, add them to the load. The wet towels add water and weight to the load, maximizing the water use and helping to thoroughly rinse everything.
3. Set the washer to the delicate cycle (delicate uses the most water). Add an extra rinse, and set to cold water. DO NOT add detergent to this cycle. We are just going to give those stinky diapers a really good rinsing.
4.When the rinse cycle is complete, remove the towels. Resaturate them with water, and add them back to the load. Ok, to be honest, I’m lazy and sometimes just fill a gallon pitcher with water and dump it over everything. Either way works well.
The above directions are from Thehealthyhoneys.com.
An alternative method is below in the “How to Wash Your Diapers ‘Tips” section.
+How to Wash Your Diapers “TIPs”
The below tips were originally published from Thehealthyhoneys.com.
Here are my best 3 tips:
1. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse! Any irritation that your little one may feel and any build up of detergent on your diapers that may occur is usually caused by not rinsing well enough. I have a front loading washer, which in hindsight, is not the best choice for cloth diaper washing, but I love my washing machine so I had to make it work! You can use this chart from Rockin’ Green to help you find settings on your front loading washer that work.
My typical wash routine looks like this:
- Cold/Cold heavy duty wash with extra rinse and no spin, NO detergent. This gives the diapers a great pre-rinse.
- Hot/Cold heavy duty wash with extra rinse and no spin, 1 Tbsp detergent. This is your main wash cycle. You can also add a little bit of bleach every month or so (per cloth diaper manufacturer’s instructions) for disinfecting.
- Cold rinse with extra rinse and no spin.
Last cold rinse with extra rinse, high spin.
- Hang dry pockets (the actual diaper part) and tumble dry inserts on low.
- Basically, the extra rinses and no spinning trick the washer into thinking the load is heavier and therefore will need more water to rinse them with. So much for saving water with that front-loader, right? 🙂
- I know this looks like a lot, but really it’s just making sure you’re not forgetting about them and pressing a bunch of buttons.
2. Use LESS detergent. Notice how I said only one tablespoon of detergent? That wasn’t a mistake. Unlike store-bought clothing detergents, your homemade cloth diaper detergent doesn’t have any fillers. Only the basic necessities for getting those diapers squeaky clean. So you only need 1 Tbsp per washing. I promise. Any more than that and you’ll just need to rinse even more to make sure it all gets rinsed well.
3. Is it Working? The best way to know if your detergent is working is to smell your diapers when they come out of the washer. If they smell like….nothing, it’s working. They won’t smell like “Clean Rain” or “Subtle Lavender” or even “Cotton Laundry” because your detergent doesn’t have a fragrance. Obviously if they still smell like pee and poo something went amiss!
And finally, remember to line dry to protect and let the sun do it’s biz.
+How to Make Diaper Pail Deodorizers
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups baking soda
essential oils of your choice (I prefer lemon, sweet orange, or peppermint)
- silicone mold (or a muffin tin and paper liners if you don’t have a silicone mold)
- airtight container for storage
Here’s what you do:
- Boil your water—I start with about 4 Cups. You probably won’t need that much, but it’s better to have too much than too little!
- Put your baking soda in a mixing bowl and slowly stir in your water to form a paste. It needs to be really thick, like toothpaste.
- After your paste is the right consistency, add 15-20 drops of your essential oil and mix well.
- Press your paste mixture into your silicone mold. Make sure there aren’t any air bubbles or they will crumble when dried. My mold has little ½” dinosaurs 🙂
- Note: If you use muffin tins, like in this tutorial, fill about ½ full. It works great, but I wanted something smaller. I’ll explain in just a second….
- Put your mold/muffin tin in cool, dry place and let dry for 24-48 hours.
- When fully dry, take each disk (or dinosaur) out of it’s mold and place in an air tight container for storage. You can also place them in a ziplock bag and freeze until you’re ready to use them.
- When you’re ready to use them, place a disk/dinosaur in your diaper pail so it soaks up all of those nasty smells.
- The larger, muffin tin sized disks can be used for up to a month before they start to lose their effectiveness. When it’s all used up just throw it in the wash with your diapers! The essential oils help freshen and disinfect the diapers while the baking soda deodorizes and softens!
- Because I wash diapers every other day, I love my little dinosaurs because I can use one dinosaur per load. I don’t have to keep track of how long the deodorizer has been in the pail… (I’m terrible about remembering to change/replace things long term.) Also, I don’t have a disk holder on my diaper pail like some brands have; therefore, I just throw the dinosaur in the bottom of my pail and change it out every time I wash diapers. It works great for me!
+How to shop for the best disposable diapers and wipes…just in case you need a back-up!
Notes and tips for choosing the right disposable diapers and wipes:
- Choose chemical free
- Choose a reputable company
- Word-of-mouth and trust reviews
Here’s an awesome summary of the best natural, disposable diapers out there. This review is from Thebabygearlab.com. Awesome website!
I hope you’ve found this “Cloth Diaper and Cloth Wipes How-To Guide” helpful!! I’d love to hear any tips/trick/hacks you may have!