How The Monarch Mommy Washes Cloth Diapers

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!

How The Monarch Mommy Washes Cloth DIapers
Three days worth of cloth diapers ready to be washed.

I’ve talked about the fundamentals of cloth diaper laundry before, but this time I’m going to tell you exactly how 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.

How The Monarch Mommy Washes Cloth DIapers

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.

How The Monarch Mommy Washes Cloth DIapers
Rapid Wash cycle settings

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.

How The Monarch Mommy Washes Cloth DIapers
The drum of the machine bulked up to half full for the second 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!

How The Monarch Mommy Washes Cloth DIapers
Power Wash cycle settings.

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?

18 Comments on “How The Monarch Mommy Washes Cloth Diapers

  1. I tried to cloth diaper for a while, but living in an apartment with shared laundry that we paid for made it expensive and the inserts quickly lost the ability to absorb after having tons of different detergent and other things in the wash from others living in the same building. It is awesome to see how it does work for some people though. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Pingback: Glow Bug Cloth Diapers Review & Giveaway plus Coupon Code! - TheMonarchMommy

  3. Your post is very informative – thank you! I’m curious why the rapid wash is done in cold, as opposed to warm or hot? I am new to washing cloth diapering, and I’m trying to learn as much as I can 🙂

  4. It’s been almost 7 years since I started cloth, had a 3 year break, and wow a lot has changed! Thanks for this info, just curious why you do a medium spin cycle?

    • I prefer the medium spin on my machine. I find the max extract to be too fast, and laundry gets super twisted. I don’t use max extract for anything. That’s specific to my machine though. Other machine’s don’t seem to have this problem.

      I also have a post with more general diaper laundry tips (applicable to all types of machines). It should be linked in the related posts at the bottom of this post.

  5. i love diaper laundry too, missing it and cant wait til i can wash my diapers again. thank you for sharing your tips.

  6. Our wash routine is almost exactly like yours & we have had zero issues in 8 months of diapering! I’ve only needed to sun stains on a hand full of diapers in that amount of time too. If you have a good routine it is SO easy!

  7. We have this model too, and I can’t for the life of me get my diapers clean in it! They smell really strongly of poop once my baby pees in them. We ended up buying another washer because of this. I wish we could get our Bravos to work, we spent too much money on that thing. I do exactly your routine, except maybe a different prerinse cycle (I’ve used Normal and Cold Wash before). They also come out super rough and pilly because so much detergent is left in them. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong :/

    • What detergent are you using and how much? How hard is your water? Are you bulking the Bravos XL to half full for the power wash cycle? Is it a Bravos or Bravos XL machine?

  8. It is so important for us to get diapers as clean as possible. I have never tried a Maytag washer. I need a new one so I will be checking this out. Thank you so much for sharing this great article

  9. Do you find that the power wash cycle wears out any of the clothes you put in for bulking up? I was afraid of wearing out the baby clothes. Also, I assume the tide doesn’t bother your baby?

    • I haven’t noticed any premature wearing of the laundry that I use for bulking. Tide Original Powder has never bothered either of my boys. 🙂

  10. I have this machine but my options are slightly different. I don’t have a fabric softener Button as an option and I’m struggling getting my diapers clean. My water is hard I know at least 180 maybe a little harder (I use tide powder). I’m at a loss. I feel like I’ve tried everything and still can’t get it right.

    • What kind of problems are you experiencing? Do they stink when they’re peed in? If you want, you can contact me via my FB page or via email (use the “Contact Me” tab near the top of the blog). If you send me a photo of your washing machine’s controls I can try to assist you.

  11. Machines make the laundry differ greatly. I have a Samsung 7.5 kilo front loading machine. What I love about my machine is only having to start it once. I put my diapers in, unstuffig all pockets and semi unfolding my flats. I do every other day and there are usually 30 ish diapers with a baby in diapers and my 3 year olds night and nap diapers. If the machine isn’t 3/4 of the way full I add my kids towels in as well. We use the baby cycle at 40C. I put on the prewash, extra rince and heavy duty settings. It runs for about 2.5 hours. I use to line two tide original powder. I can’t decide if there is any difference if I add detergent to my prewash so I generally don’t because that is throwing away money. If I add any more than line 3 i get a warning of too many suds. When it is done I one dry everything – covers, fitteds and pocket shells get laid flat on sweater dryers, flats and prefolds on my drying rack and wipes/inserts on my clip rack. We do not own a dryer. This has worked for three years the only time I start seeing issues is when the machine needs a deep clean from mineral build up or something clogging the drain.

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