- When hand-washing cloth diapers, sometimes keeping it simple is better. What I mean by this is go back to the basics – prefolds, flats, and covers. These types of diapers are the easiest to hand wash and tend to dry quicker than All in One’s or Pocket diapers.
- Try making your own washer with a 10 gallon bucket and plunger. This can be done indoors or outdoors. You could even fill up your tub with water and plunge the diapers in the tub. I have found that the plunger is the best way to agitate the diapers and get them clean.
- If you are however washing fewer diapers at a time while hand washing, which is what usually ends up happening, you may want to adjust the amount of detergent you are using for each wash accordingly. Use too much and you'll have trouble getting it rinsed off.
- My typical washing machine routine consists of 3 washes (cold rinse, hot wash with detergent, and hot rinse). When hand washing cloth diapers, you may not have access to hot water, or even have enough water to do 3 washes. You may need to adjust your wash routine to fit your needs. I found it best to use this routine while hand washing my diapers:
- Cold Rinse (plunge/agitate diapers in cold water for 50+ plunges). If you feel you need to do more, go right ahead. It may be a trial and error in the beginning to see what works best.
- Refill with cold water and wash with detergent (plunge/agitate diapers in cold water for 50+ plunges). I then like to let the diaper sit in the soapy water for 30 minutes or so. If you can was the diapers in your tub, you can use hot water for this one. I always hand wash outside and did not have access to hot water.
- Come back to soapy diapers and plunge 20-30 more times. Empty water and refill with cold water.
- Plunge diapers again until soapy water is gone.
- Hang dry diapers or better yet, sun them. The sun will act to kill bacteria and get out the stains. If you have access to a dryer, you can always throw your diapers in there as well.
- Depending on how many diapers you are using, while hand washing, you may need to wash more frequently.
I'm Julie, a former cloth diaper retailer who discovered a passion for the industry. Now, instead of selling cloth diapers, I advocate them and promote small businesses I love who sell and manufacture them.
I'm the wife of a fireman and mother of three. I have a daughter and identical twin sons.