Cloth Diaper Care

First thing’s first —

There are several types of cloth diapers:

  • All in ones (AIO)
  • All in twos (AI2)
  • Prefolds & Contours
  • Pockets
  • Fitted

Once you’ve selected the type that best fits your little one and your lifestyle, you may be wondering how to care for them.  Here are a few tips broken down by topic:


You will wash your diapers separately from other laundry obviously and how often you wash depends on how many diapers you have and how often you change them. You will want to change your little one more often when they are wearing cloth diapers to avoid rash and chafing.

You should ONLY use a free & clear detergent with cloth diapers – nothing harsh or scented. Personal favorites are soapnuts, Seventh Generation, and Babyganics.

Use warm – hot water

For a really stinky load, I add white distilled vinegar to my wash cycle with the laundry detergent and allow the washing machine to agitate for 20 minutes. I let them soak for about an hour and then continue washing.

During the rinse cycle I add another 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar (If you purchase vinegar in bulk amounts for cleaning, you will save money in the long run.)

You can wash with warm – hot water without any soaking and just add vinegar to the rinse cycle.

DO NOT dry cloth diapers in the dryer. You can line dry them or dry them on a drying rack. This extends the life of the diaper, saves you money and save energy.

For stains: Sunning works best. Place your diapers on a drying rack and let them sit in the sun to bleach them. DO NOT use bleach on cloth diapers.

Storage of Dirties:

You will want a lidded container such as a trashcan. I prefer a stainless steel trashcan with a foot pedal, but anything with a lid will work.

You will want a wetbag or nylon bag to line your container with. There are several expensive and inexpensive versions of this.

I use the thirsties diaper pail liner pictured right. It has a drawstring for easy removal and can be washed in the washing machine.

You will probably want a wetbag for out and about dirties and these also come in a variety of sizes, patterns, and prices. You can use something custom such as this cute alternative from CC Bums.

I even found a small nylon bag with drawstring at our local Dollar Tree that works perfectly for days when our travel wetbag is in the wash. You could repurpose the plastic storage bag from a pillowcase for a recycled wetbag. The lesser economical options are: plastic ziploc bags or plastic grocery bags. Keep in mind that the last two options contribute to landfill waste and if you’re using ziploc bags you could definitely be saving with a reusable option.


You will want waterproof covers for diapers that aren’t waterproof. There are several cute and affordable options for covers.


You may want extra inserts for heavy wetters or for overnight.

You can use woolies, shorties, or longies for soaking power with fitted, prefold and contours diapers – or any diaper that isn’t waterproof.


For video tutorials, check out DiaperVine:


About palaciosamantha
I'm a Social Media Manager for a large home decor company who enjoys staying current in trends in both the fashion and home industries. I have a passion for writing, art journaling, expressive painting, and photography. My greatest loves are my two children.

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