Things to remember: NO BLEACH, NO FABRIC SOFTENERS!
We recommend Allen's Naturally for your diapers. Just 1/2 ounce is all you need to get your diaper clean and smelling fresh. Other then Allen's we would recommend Planet, Country Save, Mountain Green or Seventh Generation Delicate Care. DO NOT use "baby" detergents (Dreft, etc) and try to say away from detergents with additives, optical whiteners or optical brighteners. If you have sensitivities to detergents then Allen's is probably your best bet.
Prep instructions for NEW diapers
- Any diapers that are natural, unbleached, or hemp (prefolds, Joey Bunz, Kissaluvs, etc) have natural oils in the fibers and need to be "prepped" for use. Put all of these new items in the wash with a tablespoon of detergent and run a HOT wash. After the wash dry them on HIGH heat in the dryer. Repeat this process at least 3 times. You will notice that prefolds will fluff up and hemp items will soften up considerably. The more you wash these items the better they will get.
- All other items (with the exception of wool) can be washed once on warm and tumbled dry. This includes pocket diapers, microfiber inserts, covers, AIOs, etc.
Regular Wash Routine
- Keep all dirty diapers in a DRY PAIL. We use a flip top garbage can with a diaper pail liner. We do NOT recommend a wet pail for many reasons. A wet pail is a drowning hazard, a mess, and a breeding ground for bacteria; not to mention the fact that it does not make your diapers cleaner.
- Be sure to wash your diapers AT LEAST every three days. Every other day is optimal.
- Be sure to remove inserts from pocket diapers and secure all hook-and-loop tabs.
- Knock any solids off into the toilet. Breastfed poop can go straight into the pail. If your child is eating solids and still nursing you may want a Mini-Shower to help spray off "mushy" poop.
- When it is time to wash put all diapers and covers (EXCEPT WOOL) in the washer. Run a cold rinse on a high water level or large load setting with no detergent. This will help rinse out any poop and will help prevent staining. If there are no poopy diapers you may skip this step.
- Run a HOT wash with 1/2 ounce Allen's Naturally (1/4 oz for HE machines) -- or if you use a different detergent, use 1/4 - 1/2 of the recommended amount) -- followed by a cold rinse. If you have an HE machine you may need to "trick" the cycle into thinking you need extra water by adding a soaked bath towel to the load.
- Line dry anything that has velcro, everything else can be dried in the dryer, INCLUDING pockets and covers. AIOs, prefolds and hemp inserts may require extra drying time.
- If you have problems with staining you can put the diapers in the sun and allow the sun to bleach them. You don't have to have a sunny day; any sun will help. I recommend the dash of your car for a perfect place to sun your diapers.