Tell me about your washing routine! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 13 Old 06-20-2014, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
HopefullyMama's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tell me about your washing routine!

I'm due any second with our first baby, who we plan to cloth diaper (we were gifted lots and lots of CD of various kinds, but mostly natural fabric prefolds, flats, and fitteds).

My landlord just put in a washer/dryer, which for any of you that live in New York City know, is a small miracle. However, it is unfortunately a HE, front-loading, all-in-one washer / dryer machine -- notorious for terrible drying and mediocre washing. I'm not so worried about the drying. We have drying racks and airers, and I don't mind using those pretty much exclusively (with the dryer there to "fluff up" the diapers as needed).

But I've been experimenting with wash and rinse cycles on the baby clothes and our laundry as we get closer to the due date, and I'm getting more and more confused about how I should wash the diapers. So tell me about your wash routine in as much detail as you can!

For example, if you run a "cold wash cycle" to agitate the nasties out, how long is that cycle? Does it use a decent amount of water? Do you reduce the spin speed to keep in more water? In our machine, the "cotton" cycles barely add in any water….in fact I can't even SEE any extra water in the machine, and the clothes seem just barely wet!

And what about the main hot wash -- how long does the machine agitate for? We have the option from a 15 minute agitation, all the way to an hours worth of agitation….how much do you think is necessary? Does your wash cycle do a soak at all? What soap do you use and how much?

Thanks for your help ladies.

Mac + Nick Expecting someone new in late June 2014.  Remembering our 3    1 * * * 4 * * * 8 * * * 12 * * * 16 * * * 20 * * * 24 * * * 28 * * * 32 * * * 36 * *  40 * * 43
HopefullyMama is offline  
#2 of 13 Old 06-25-2014, 11:53 AM
RRachel's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great questions! I would be really interested in replies to this as well!
RRachel is offline  
#3 of 13 Old 06-27-2014, 05:49 AM
EVEP's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: MA
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We use a mix of bumgenius freetimes, 4.0's and elementals. I have a top loader stackable washer/dryer unit. nak now so excuse typos. i do a warm rinse, hot wash with tide orig, (1/4 cup bleach 1-2x/month to avoid stink, esp in mf inserts) and a warm rinse. (double rinse after hot wash if bleaching). i line dry/sun everything. in cold months, inserts and elementals go in dryer as they take a while to line dry.
EVEP is offline  
#4 of 13 Old 06-27-2014, 06:24 AM
JamieCatheryn's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SW Pa
Posts: 5,105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
I don't time things, it's in the basement and I'm rather busy with all the kids to stand by. My machine is a newer weird one with a long time spent testing the load balance and having fits, from the sound of things. But I run it on the "heavy" cycle on hot wash cold rinse, with a little F&C detergent, some washing soda, and some borax, then run again on "light", hot/cold again, with vinegar. Oh and since the poop is solid I shake those out over the toilet before it goes in the pail, just to get rid of what I can easily ahead of time.
JamieCatheryn is offline  
#5 of 13 Old 06-27-2014, 02:29 PM
*MamaJen*'s Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,357
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're still on EBF poop, so we don't have to worry about sprayers or liners. We use a mix of prefolds, flats, AIOs, and fitteds, with both natural fibers and microfiber, so a little of everything.
We store dirties in an open hanging wet bag (that seemed to be the most space efficient). We wash every two days, typically. My routine is prewash on cold with no detergent (12 minute rinse and spin cycle), then wash on hot with plenty of Tide. We have hard water so I don't do an additional rinse. We dry in the dryer.
We've never had to strip or bleach anything (other than diapers I've bought secondhand) and we haven't had any stink issues. I've gotten a few stains but they've sunned out easily.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
*MamaJen* is offline  
#6 of 13 Old 06-29-2014, 02:16 PM
Letitia's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
We're done with all this, don't know what prompted me to read about diapering problems again, but I do remember our routine.

We had a Whirlpool Duet front-loader back then. I was fanatical about scraping the poop off the diapers, but have no idea if that made any difference.

One full-cycle "HOT"/whites wash with Charlie's soap and non-chlorine bleach which I never measured, but guess was somewhere around a cup. Our machine allowed us to set cycle time for light, normal or heavy soil, and I always chose "heavy." Then one full-cycle "HOT"/whites wash with nothing added. The second cycle was because our kids, as do all their 1/2 sibs, have eczema and reacted to anything except the combination of Charlie's soap and the extra rinse.

One wash seemed sufficient to get them clean-looking and smelling, but clearly it wasn't enough rinse to get out the residues.
Letitia is offline  
#7 of 13 Old 07-14-2014, 08:02 PM
Cicibaby's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I tried several methods but this one I've found worked the best (and it also worked for my mother too):

Step 1) fully rinse out any pee diapers in the sink. For poopy diapers, dunk them in the toilet to remove as much poop as you can. Then rinse thoroughly in sink. Fully squeeze and wring out the diapers after rinsing (for pee & poo ones both).

Step 2) throw the rinsed diapers in a bucket. Leave the bucket open so it will dry some. When the bucket fills up and you're ready for a wash load in the washing machine...

Step 3) Wash on regular cycle on Hot water. Use all natural detergent (we use Ecos or Arm & Hammer unscented) and use about a cup of baking soda (buy the big box).

Step 4) Dry on medium heat for regular length of time. Check after it's done for any diapers stuck to the side of the machine (and still damp). Then, if needed, dry for another 20 minutes on medium heat.

Step 5) You're done!
Cicibaby is offline  
#8 of 13 Old 07-16-2014, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Then one full-cycle "HOT"/whites wash with nothing added. The second cycle was because our kids, as do all their 1/2 sibs, have eczema and reacted to anything except the combination of Charlie's soap and the extra rinse.
shapuaisili is offline  
#9 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 03:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
hate washing but have to do it every day
Tella is offline  
#10 of 13 Old 08-05-2014, 01:34 PM
flipfish's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have a very small stash and could go a max of two days without washing. We wash everday. Our washer is a top loader. I do one cold rinse, a hot wash with 4 tbs of soap nut liquid, and two cold rinses. On most days I hang them out to dry and get them extra clean from the UV and natural bleaching the sun provides. When that isn't possible I hang the covers up in the bathroom to air dry and toss the diapers in the dryer for about an hour.

3 boys '06,'08,&'11
flipfish is offline  
#11 of 13 Old 08-14-2014, 11:41 AM
leahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So we use prefolds and flats with various brands of covers. I have a top loading washer. I wash diapers every day but could go 2 days if i absolutely had to. Still on ebf poop so no scraping poop out of the diaper. I keep the dirty diapers in a dry bucket. I wash on the small load setting. I do a cold water rinse with nothing added. Then I do a hot water soak(15 minutes) and agitate(12 minutes) with baking soda (maybe 1 cup) and lemon juice (1/2 a cup) then another cold water rinse with vinegar(1/2 a cup). I use more lemon juice if I have a bunch of stains I didn't get out the last wash. My small load setting does use a fair amount of water all the diapers are fully submerged. You may end up needing to soak yours before you wash just to make sure everything gets clean. You will have to full around a little and figure out what works best for you and your washing machine.
leahr is offline  
#12 of 13 Old 08-14-2014, 11:04 PM
AndreaOlson's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We do elimination communication, or infant pottying, so avoid about 95% of the poopy diapers. Easier washing that way! And then I always wash/dry my cloth diaper inserts in natural, fragrance-free detergent (Trader Joe’s brand or Seventh Generation) and dry high heat with a Seventh Gen dryer sheet inside. Works great for us! And my readers generally do the same. EC is awesome for taking full advantage of CDing!

Andrea Olson, DS 2.5 yrs, DD due 10/9/13

Author | EC Simplified: Infant Potty Training Made Easy

Owner |

[I teach parents of 0-20 month old babies how to stop diapering
full-time and how to avoid...

AndreaOlson is online now  
#13 of 13 Old 08-15-2014, 01:08 PM
contactmaya's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,076
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Nowadays, its any peed on items together with general washing in a warm bucket of soapy water in the shower, to be rinsed whilst having my shower the following morning. In the past, with poop items, i emptied poop, left item in a separate bucket soaked in warm soapy water, to be rinsed and scrubbed whilst in the shower the following morning. Pooped on items were more common in the past, but rare nowadays, since my youngest is 2 1/2. Actually, i rarely used diapers at all, we ec'd. To be honest, cleaning poop off pants amounts to the same thing as cleaning it off diapers, but diapers make it harder to put the baby on the potty.
Pee is very easy to clean.
contactmaya is online now  

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off