Prefold Diaper Cleaning Tips

Everyone’s biggest fear with cloth prefold diapers is getting them clean. It’s actually not as hard (or messy) as you might think once you know some of the tricks.

Use Liners

This is probably the biggest and more helpful tip here. A diaper liner is a fine, soft, paper liner that you put inside the diaper between your baby and the fabric. They are like fabric softener sheets in texture. When changing a poopy diaper, you can just lift the liner and its contents out in one step. It saves a lot of mess on the fabric.

Yes, they are disposable but they are a far cry from actually using disposable diapers. Most liners are even washable themselves, so you can reuse them several times if they were just wet. Just toss them into the laundry with the diapers.

Keep Them Wet

Stains will set in much worse if you let the diapers dry right out once they are dirty. Keep a diaper pail in the baby’s room, or wherever you change the most diapers, with a little water in the bottom. Doesn’t have to be a lot. It will absorb up through the diapers as you add them to the pail, keeping everything damp until laundry day. Just have a pail with a tight-fitting lid because it can be smelly.

How to Wash Them

You don’t really need any special instructions for washing cloth prefold diapers, other than you should use the hot water setting to get them really clean and sanitized. Your detergent should be as natural as possible, with no added fragrances or softeners. If your diapers are particularly thick, you may need a second rinse cycle to make sure all the detergent is removed.

After that just hang them out on the line to dry or toss them in the dryer. Line drying adds another cleaning benefit, as you can see in the next point.

Hang Them in the Sun

The sunlight will naturally bleach your cloth diapers and help lighten up any stains or discolorations. Chemical stain removers or even bleach would work but they can be a little harsh on the fabric. The sun is gentle and free. Just remember, these are diapers, not your dining room table cloth. They don’t need to be sparkling white and spotless at all times.

These are all tips for washing your cloth prefold diapers, not necessarily any extra covers you are using with them. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for those. Generally a standard wash will do just fine, and they don’t require too much extra work because they don’t usually get that dirty.