Cloth diapers can be a bugger to wash. I hear this often from cloth diaper using folks and because I’m out of the diaper phase it is hard for me to give solid advice on washing and drying cloth diapers effectively.

Over the years I’ve heard of some tricks and tips that I’m happy to share but recently Whirlpool offered the Whirlpool Moms a chance to ask tough laundry questions and of course how to best wash cloth diapers arose.  I thought I’d share these tips with you and get your feedback because they align with what I’ve come to learn over the years.

The Whirlpool staff on our call recommended using HE powder detergent because it has the best PH balance to remove protein-based stains often found on cloth diapers. In addition to using a HE powder detergent it was also advised to do the following:

  • Presoak cloth diapers in a mixture of warm water and HE powder detergent that has an enzyme. You can check your detergent’s label on the box to see if it has an enzyme in it.
  • Presoak in this mixture for about 20 to 30 minutes
  • Take the cloth diapers out and put them in your washing machine and wash the diapers per the detergent’s dosing guidelines (also found on the package)
  • Wash using Whirlpool Duet’s heavy duty cycle and if there is anything remaining on the diaper wash one more time.
  • My tip, line dry on a sunny day and the sun will bleach out the stains.

I’ve enjoyed my Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer can safely tell you that the heavy duty cycle cleans my husband’s work clothes and the children’s tough grass stained clothing like a charm.

What cloth diaper cleaning tips do you have?

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a test-drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Whirlpool and received a complimentary Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer to facilitate my review.

Why not? Great tips for free!

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  1. I’ve found that my diapers truly do get the cleanest using a mainstream detergent with enzymes (like Tide). Lots of people swear that you shouldn’t use Tide on cloth diapers, but I’ve tried a LOT of cloth diaper detergents, and none of them get things as clean as a regular detergent. (I’m blaming our absurdly hard water on this one. If you’ve got softer water maybe you can get away with a specialty soap, but even our workout clothes started getting the stinkies when we didn’t use Tide! So, we’re fine with the enzymes over here!)

  2. I have a better solution – I have twin girls, both wearing cloth diapers.  What you do is get a medium sized plastic kitchen garbage can.  Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the can – then, place dirty diaper into can – sprinkle more baking soda on top.  Next diaper, lay on top, sprinkle more baking soda.  Doing this will prevent the ammonia odor and will also help absorb the wetness BEFORE you wash the diapers. Works like a charm! We use Kirkland brand unscented liquid detergent- nothing special about it.  It’s all in the prep work.


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