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Cloth Diaper Care and Use

Washing Cloth  Diapers

NOTE: Always use laundry detergent approved for your machine.


Wash instructions: Priming natural fabrics such as cotton and hemp

  • Cotton and hemp items need to be washed/primed prior to use.  To wash natural fibers, use the recommended amount of laundry detergent, wash and dry on hot settings, and use an extra rinse cycle.  This will remove the natural oils from the fabric and ensure diapers reach maximum absorbency prior to using them.  The amount of prep washing required will depend upon the type of detergent used and hardness of your water.
  • The fabric is ready (primed) when you pour small amounts of water in several spots and it absorbs instantly upon contact. If the water beads, it is not completely primed and will need to be washed a few more times. Repeat these steps until the fabric absorbs the water on contact.
  • Do not wash new diapers with diapers already primed, with pocket diapers, or with any other household items (such as towels) as the oils may transfer onto these items.
  • After priming, the diapers can be washed and dried on hot settings with an extra rinse.


Washing instruction for hi-tech fabrics such as Pocket diapers and microfiber inserts

  • Wash pocket diapers using the highest water levels in your washer. For a normal size washer you will probably be able to wash 20 to 24 diapers on the highest water level. It is important that the washer is not under or overloaded. The diapers will need to be able to circulate normally throughout the wash and rinse cycles. Bumping into each other is a natural part of washing but they will need to be able to bump and pass by.
  • You may wash pocket diapers in hot water temperature and warm rinse.
  • DO NOT use the sanitize wash cycle on as it will prematurely break down the elastic.
  • Use the recommended amount of detergent on the package.
  • Do not use fabric softener, dryer sheets or any laundry detergent that has optical brighteners, stain protectors or fabric conditioners in it. These products will leave a waxy build-up and lower the absorbency of the diapers or cause leaks.
  • The most effective detergent for washing pocket diapers is Tide Ultra powder formula.  Tide has been designed for all types of water conditions and can be found locally everywhere. Other products that some customers had good luck with but not limited to are Bi-o-Kleen, Charlie's Soap, Sensi-clean, Allen's Naturally, Planet 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent Standard and HE, Planet Ultra Powder Laundry Detergent Standard and HE compatible, Planet Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent, Mountain Green Free and Clear Baby Standard and HE, Nellie's All Natural Laundry Soda Standard and HE, Purex Free & Clear, and Country Save.
  • Dry pocket diapers on tumble dry medium/low heat or hang dry.
  • Allow the pocket diapers to completely cool prior to stuffing and using.


If your cloth diapers smell bad after washing or once the baby urinates in the diapers, then you need to use MORE detergent and rinse the cloth diapers more thoroughly in MORE water.