Mailbox Mondays Washing

Cloth Diaper Advice Mailbox Monday 3/17/14 – Water Heater Temperature

#clothdiapers and water heater temperature via @chgdiapers

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Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject, or fill out my contact form for readers, which you will always be able to find on my Contact Page.

Ashley asks:

We have our water heater turned down pretty low. Do you think that affects diaper washing? Should I turn it up when doing the hot wash?

It’s generally recommended that your water heater be set around 120 for safety when you have children, and many cloth diaper manufacturers recommend washing diapers at temperatures under 140 degrees. Newer washers heat their own water, some getting very hot with sanitize cycles. I’ve tried to search to find a list of washers that heat their own water, and what temperature they use, but I haven’t had any luck.

Check your washing machine’s manual, or even stop the washer after it has filled & take the water temperature with a digital thermometer to be sure what temperature the water is. Overall, I wouldn’t worry about changing your water heater temperature for diapers as long as you aren’t having any problems getting them clean.

The 5 parts of a successful wash routine are W.A.T.C.H. – or water, action/agitation, time, chemicals & heat. When one is reduced, you will need to increase another to make up for it. However unless you are washing on cold water, your water is likely hot enough.

Have you wondered about this?

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
1 Comment
  • March 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I’d also say that if you aren’t having any issues than don’t worry about it. If you do have troubles getting your diapers clean, though, you might want to consider turning up the water heater (we started having terrible ammonia problems when I’d tried to turn our down last year – when I turned the temperature back up, the ammonia went away!) So it is just a factor to keep in mind if you end up troubleshooting 🙂

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