How do you clean a cloth diaper and store before washing?
There are two main options for storing used cloth diapers before you wash them: using a diaper bin or using waterproof bags. Many parents put soiled diapers into a bin half-filled with water, with either vinegar or specialist detergents for cloth diapers to target odor and to aid in removing dirt. If you choose this method, it is advisable to put all the diapers into a large net bag inside the bin, so that removing them is easy, and to empty the water straight into the toilet. Some reusable diapers are not suitable for soaking, so do check the manufacturers instructions.
Whether using a diaper bin or individual waterproof bags, you should remove as much baby poo as possible before storing. Some reusable diapers include a flushable disposable liner, while others need to be held over the toilet while you use toilet paper to remove the worst of it. This step is often unnecessary with newborn babies, as anything with a thin consistency will come out easily in the wash, but anyone who’s had the pleasure of changing a toddler’s diaper will understand the need!
How to wash reusable diapers
Washing machines have made cleaning cloth diapers a thousand times easier than it used to be. Be careful, however, not to overload your machine, as space and movement will be necessary to clean diapers effectively – and never put other clothing items in a diaper wash.
To wash reusable diapers, you will need to use a cold cycle to remove stains, followed immediately by a normal warm or hot wash cycle. This is because initially heat will make stains set in, but ultimately it’s necessary to eliminate any germs.
You don’t need to use a special baby detergent for cloth diapers – a good quality detergent like Breeze will be just fine, as it would with any of your baby’s clothes. It’s important not to use too much – you should always read the instructions on the label first.
Drying cloth diapers
After washing reusable diapers, you can dry them in much the same way you would any other laundry. Drying reusable diapers in the sun can help to keep them a brighter white, especially if you add a little lemon juice to your wash. This can make cloth diapers stiff if they dry too fast, however, so drying inside or in the tumble dryer may be preferable.
You can find out more information on how to wash baby clothes here.