For someone who was using disposables, dipping my toes into the world of cloth diapers was completely overwhelming and almost too intimidating, especially the cleaning part. I blindly took the plunge and can honestly tell you it’s not as bad as it seems. Here is my step-by-step guide on how to easily clean your cloth diapers using a top-load washing machine:
Before I begin, you will need the following items:
- Medium to large Rubbermaid or Sterilite tote with a sealable lid
- Two large wet bags (make sure they are not travel sized bags!)
- Baking Soda
- Rubber gloves
- Scrub brush
- OxyClean Veratile (powder)
- Washing Soda
- Tupperware Container
Step 1 – Take your wet bag and fill it with about 1/4 up of baking soda and then lay it inside your Rubbermaid or Sterilite tote. The baking soda will help absorb the smell and the sealable lid will contain odors.
Step 2 – For urine-soaked diapers, simply open the tote lid and stuff it in the wet bag. For poopy diapers, put on your rubber gloves and scrub the diaper in the toilet. Wring out the excess water and then place the diaper in the wet bag inside of the tote.
Step 3 – When your wet bag is full (usually after 2 or 3 days), it’s time to wash! Fill up the bathtub with cold water and toss all the diapers, wet bag included. Your going to need to let them soak overnight. Consider this the pre-washing phase. It’ll leave your bathroom stinking heavily of ammonia at first, but the smell should dissipate after a few hours. Now it’s time to take that second wet bag, fill it with more baking soda, and pop it back in the tote. One wet bag is usually being washed or dried while the other one is being filled with dirty diapers, so it’s always great to have two!
Step 3 – In the morning, pull out the wet bag from the tub. Wring out each diaper of tub water and stuff them back into the bag. Haul it to the laundry room and load up the washer. You can wash the diapers and bag together.
Step 4 – You don’t have to buy special detergent; you can make some at home! Mix one cup of washing soda, one cup of borax and one cup of OxyClean Versatile powder into a Tupperware container. Shake it up to mix the ingredients around. The OxyClean Versatile should come with a scooper. Use the scooper to add one and a half scoops directly on top of your load (probably equivalent to about 2 tablespoons). Do not add fabric softener! Wash on hot.
Step 5 – When your diapers are done in the top-load washing machine, move them to the dryer and set the dial to knits or delicate. Know that it may take a cycle and a half or even two cycles to completely dry the diapers.
And that’s it! All of my diapers have come out smelling absolutely clean, fresh and with no detergent build-up.