For Prepping

To clean the oils from the natural fibers found in Cleverly Cloth diapers, and insure the diaper’s max absorbency, wash with the lesser amount of detergent and the corresponding settings for your wash machine at least 4 times, but up to 8 times.

For Washing 

Cloth diapers can be as simple as washing your regular laundry once you get the hang of things. We live in a modern world. What this means is our washing machines are typically high-efficiency machines meant to wash single layer items or big and bulky items like towels. They were not designed to wash and clean multi-layers soiled fabrics. But don’t worry…we’ve spent many hours learning how to wash modern cloth diapers in today’s modern world.

Since cloth diapers are made with multiple layers of fabric, they require two heavy-duty washes. These wash cycles need to be properly loaded, need to have an appropriate amount of a strong detergent, and be washed in your heaviest duty washing cycle.

For most machines, your first wash will be a wash with warm water and a larger amount of detergent – this larger amount of detergent is there to break up the majority of the gunk. For most machines, your second wash will be a hot water wash with a lesser amount of detergent – this smaller amount of detergent is there to make sure the fabric layers come out fully clean without lingering in the fibers after the rinse cycle completes.

We recommend using a detergent with powerful enzymes (specifically Protease) and multiple surfactants – we always recommend a powdered detergent over liquid detergent when possible. Tide Free and Gentle Powder or All Free and Clear powder detergents are our go-to for top recommendations. We recommend these two detergent because they have been proven time and time again to truly clean the diapers. Having leftover poop or urine in your fibers is a health risk. We’ve found Tide and All to be most helpful eliminating this risk.

Below are the most common machines we see used today. They each have starter routines written with the detergent referencing Tide Free and Gentle Powder.

You will always want to use the heaviest duty settings available. The following list cycles in order from least heavy-duty to most heavy-duty: normal, heavy-duty, whites (or whitest whites), sanitize, allergiene. Out of this list, use the less heavy duty setting available for your machine for your first wash and the more aggressive setting for your second wash.

If your machine has the following options use them:

Extra rinses

Fabric softener, or rinse with fabric softener, (however don’t add fabric softener. This allows fresh water to be used for a rinse.)

Aquajet

Deep clean with steam or clean with Oxi

For nonHE machines with a spiral agitator, start by loading the machine at least halfway (some machines need to be filled up to ¾ of the way full.), removing any poop from babies who are fed solids or formula. NonHE machines use enough water to remove breastfed babies' poop properly. For the first wash use 2 tablespoons of the powdered tide in the first wash, and 4 tablespoons of the powdered tide in the second wash.

For nonHE machines with a paddle agitator, start by loading the machine at least halfway (some machines need to be filled up to ¾ of the way full.), removing any poop from babies who are fed solids or formula. NonHE machines use enough water to remove breastfed babies' poop properly. For the first wash use 2 tablespoons of the powdered tide in the first wash, and 2 tablespoons of the powdered tide in the second wash.

For HE top-loaders without agitators, start by loading the machine at least halfway (some machines need to be filled up to ¾ of the way full.), removing any poop. Drop the diapers straight down, not wrapping them around the drum, in a circle with a hole in the middle, as if there were an agitator. Start by using two tablespoons of powdered Tide in the first wash, and one tablespoon of powdered Tide in the second wash.

For He top-loaders with agitators, start by loading the machine at least halfway (some machines need to be filled up to ¾ of the way full.), removing any poop. For the first wash use 2 tablespoons of the powdered tide in the first wash, and 2 tablespoons of the powdered tide in the second wash.

For front loaders, start by loading the machine about ⅔ full, removing any poop. Load them vertically (front to back) rather than horizontally (side by side). Start by using one tablespoon of the powdered Tide in the first wash and ½ tablespoon the powdered Tide in the second wash. 

After each of your first few uses of the routine, you should check 2 things:

1. Do the diapers smell clean? If not, repeat the 2nd wash. If they smell clean, proceed to the second step.

2. Do they pass a swoosh test? If the water gets a little cloudy that's ok, but if there's visible soapy residue, repeat the 2nd wash but with NO detergent until the water stays clear. If they smell clean and you have a clean swoosh test, your routine is working well! 

These are extremely generalized and are meant to be seen as a starting point only. Some machines are fairly straight forward, while others require significant fine tuning. For a more personalized routine, we recommend joining Cloth Diaper Wash and Care on Facebook.