How to Wash Cloth Diapers: A guide for bumGenius moms

On 2nd May 2017

There are lots of benefits for moms who make the switch to cloth diapering their little ones. We at Two Birdees have shared our reasons in several posts. The short version is that cloth diapers are eco friendly, economical, and just plain cute (especially if you’re getting your cloth diapers from our adorable bumGenius collection).

Despite all the pros of cloth diapers, there is one con that stops many moms from making the switch. One big, stinky con. Parents who are used to the convenience of disposable diapers often worry cloth diapers will force them to get more up close and personal with their baby’s mess than they would like, or that cloth diapers will be hard to clean or become unsanitary.

Today, we’re putting those fears to rest, and offering some helpful laundry tips to boot!

In reality, cleaning cloth diapers isn’t gross. At least, no more gross than changing a disposable diaper. It’s mainly a matter of where you put the used diaper after you remove it: Instead of tossing a cloth diaper in the trash, drop it into a lidded pail reserved for just that purpose. Pro tip: Make sure this pail is far away from your regular laundry hamper, so you don’t accidentally mix them up during a sleepy 3 a.m. change. Trust us, you don’t want to find out too late that there was a rogue used diaper hiding in your regular laundry.

There is one potential extra step: if the diaper has any, um, solids in it, drop them in the toilet before putting the diaper into the pail. Once the pail is full, dump the dirty diapers into the washing machine. Voila, done.

Once you get your load of diapers into the washing machine, send them through a rinse cycle with COLD water. Hot water will lock in poop stains, so hitting the diapers with cold first is important. If there are some serious messes to deal with, you can set the machine to a cold water soak and leave the diapers in there overnight.

Once the cold water rinse is done, do the main wash with hot water. For bumGenius and many other brands of cloth diapers, laundry detergent is not recommended. Detergent residue can build up in the fabric, causing it to lose absorbency and shortening the life of the diaper. In place of detergent, a sprinkle of baking soda will help get your diapers squeaky clean. If you can’t bear the thought of not using any detergent, use a small amount -- about ¼ of what you’d use for a non-diaper load.

Lastly, run the diapers through an extra rinse cycle at the end of washing. If you’re using diapers with fully removable pads, like bumGenius’ Original 5.0, you can wash the pads separately from the covers and add a splash of white vinegar into the pad load for extra stain-fighting and freshening power. Vinegar can wear away the waterproofing of diaper covers, so for all-in-one diapers, like the bumGenius Freetime line, skip this step.

Once your diapers are all clean, simply hang them on the line to dry. It will keep them durable for many changes to come, and it saves on electricity, too!


We hope this article will help you navigate the murky waters of cleaning cloth diapers (ha, ha). If you’re ready to give cloth diapering a try, visit our shop for a wide selection of bumGenius diapers in all kinds of colors and patterns. While you’re there, have a look at Two Birdees’ selection of eco friendly and organic baby clothes. We carry everything from organic cotton baby clothes by Finn and Emma to bamboo baby clothes from fabric innovators like Kickee Pants. Sale items abound right now, thanks to our Spring Sale, so you’ll never know what deals you’ll find. Thanks for reading!

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