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How to Prep a New Cloth Diaper for First Time Use

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charliebanana (7 of 12)So you took the plunge and got some brand new fluff in your hands? Great!

Sometimes new diapers come with instructions on how to prep the cloth diaper before using it. Basically “prepping” is washing away any natural oils that may be on the fabric and getting the diaper nice and absorbent.

When I get new fluff I like to fill my washing machine with just a bit of water from the hot setting. My washer is no frills so I simply set it on “small” and “hot”. If I get a lot of fluff (6-8 diapers), I’ll just go ahead and fill the washing machine with more hot water. When you’re prepping it’s important to make sure that you don’t add laundry detergents or soaps to the load. The point of this is to just use the natural washing ability of the hot water washes and rinses to get the job done.

6904829172_4a51445222_cSo toss the diapers in the hot water and let the machine go. I do a wash/rinse cycle… wait for the water heater to catch up a bit, then send it around again- still with hot water for 3 or 4 more times. It’s kind of a day long process since my washer doesn’t buzz when it’s done like my dryer does. After the last rinse I either line dry them outside if there’s still some sunlight or I pop them in the dryer. I never put my dryer on the hottest setting mainly because in most diapers there is cotton and that will shrink and because the hot heat is bad for the PUL that most of my diapers are made with.

Let me know if you have any questions, leave me a comment and I will be happy to help!

Stay tuned for our next post with more tips on Cloth Diapering…

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About the author

Chantal

Chantal is a mom to a 4 year old boy, 2 year old girl and a new little one born in 2014. She lives in Maine, where she enjoys photography, writing, and traveling.

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4 Comments

    • When oil spills happen Dawn dish soap is used to wash off the animals covered in the nasty black oil. While you don't want to drown your diapers in Dawn, a couple drops are ok when you strip them because it can really help get the oils and gunk out. What I would do is do 3-4 hot water cycles and in the very first load put a couple (2-3) drops of Dawn in the water. As your stripping cycles go on, peek into the washer to make sure there are no bubbles before getting them out to dry. Still have bubbles? Send it around for another hot water wash.
  • hello. Been cloth diapering for 6 months now. I been using pocket diapers for the last 6 mos and the only thing I did to prep them was wash them before using them and yes, I did use cloth diaper detergent. Is this really bad? =(
    • Nah. Have you ever stripped your diapers? Take a day (if you can) where you do about 3-4 hot water cycles in the wash. It's good to strip your diapers every month or so just to keep them from getting too much buildup.
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