Updated on November 12, 2015
How The Monarch Mommy Washes Cloth Diapers
I love cloth diaper laundry. I really really do. Maybe that’s because my diapers come out fresh and clean every time. By fresh and clean I mean no stink, no smells, no problems. Want to know how I do it? Read on!
I’ve talked about the fundamentals of cloth diaper laundry before, but this time I’m going to tell you exactly how I wash diapers. Of course every machine is different, every detergent is different, and every city/town has different water hardness levels to contend with, but maybe there will be something in the way I wash diapers that might be helpful for you too! I’m working with a Maytag Bravos XL HE top loader, model/series number 850. I bought it back in 2013 and Maytag updated that machine in 2014. The newer version of my machine is the 880 series, but it’s pretty well the same machine.
Here we go! On cloth diaper laundry day (which is every third day in case you’re wondering), I empty my hanging wet bag full of dirty diapers into the drum of my washing machine then I toss my hanging wet bag right in. There’s usually around 24 diapers in there each with at least one insert, but the overnight diapers always have two inserts. There’s also at least 24 cloth wipes in with the diapers. For the first cycle, I set the machine to the Rapid Wash cycle, soil level is set to extra heavy, water temperature is set to cold, and spin speed is set to medium. I also press the Fabric Softener button, but do not put fabric softener in the dispenser. The Fabric Softener button just switches the rinse portion of the cycle from being a water save spray rinse to a regular rinse. Then I add my detergent. I use Tide Original HE turbo powder which I buy at Costco (it goes on sale a few times a year for $21.49 for a 150 load box). I fill the Tide scoop to line 1 and add that to the detergent dispenser. This cycle takes 49 minutes.
Once the Rapid Wash cycle is complete, I go back to the machine and fluff up the diapers in the drum. That means I pull them away from the bottom and sides of the drum so they aren’t stuck around the edges. The next step is to bulk up the load with other laundry. My machine works best for diapers when the drum is half full (though most HE machines work best when 2/3-3/4 full). I bulk with sleepers, receiving blankets, toddler underwear, socks, white onesies, and anything else that can handle a hot wash cycle.
For the second cycle I set the machine to the Power Wash cycle. The soil level is extra heavy, the water temperature is hot, the spin speed is medium, and the Fabric Softener button is on. I also turn off the extra rinse button. I fill the Tide scoop to line 4, add the detergent to the dispenser, and start the machine. This cycle takes 1 hour and 25 minutes. I don’t do any additional rinses. Once this cycle is complete it’s time to dry!
For drying I like to hang my PUL shells on a drying rack. I throw any inserts (and the other laundry I used to bulk up the drum) into the dryer on low for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Any heavier inserts that are still damp (usually just the bamboo soakers) get hung up with the shells after the round in the dryer. The shells are dry within 8 hours (or overnight as I tend to do my diaper laundry in the evening), and I can get to stuffing my pocket diapers the next morning.
That’s all there is to it! Easy as pie. How do you wash your cloth diapers?