Need cloth diaper advice? Every week, I answer a question asked by a reader, and give other readers the chance to weigh in.
Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at change-diapers.com 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.
My little girl is due in a week and a half, and I can’t wait to start cloth diapering her! I’m from Florida but live in Asia right now. I have no washing machine or dryer, but I do have a house helper who does our laundry by hand. Our CD stash is mostly prefolds & covers with a couple of pocket diapers plus some additional inserts (microfiber and hemp).
I am looking for any and all advice you might have on hand-washing diapers! What’s the best process? What detergent should I use? How often should I wash?
I need to make sure I understand this well enough to try it myself and then teach it to someone else in another language I’ve only been learning for 6 months! Thanks so much for your help.
Hand washing won’t be as easy as using a washing machine, but it can be done! The key to successful hand washing will be similar to machine washing: using enough water, hot enough water, enough detergent (but not too much), agitation and thorough rinsing.
Several moms I know have to pay to wash their diapers, so they partially hand wash them (pre-rinsing and such) to save money. Last year, Alyssa wrote a guest post on cloth diapering without a washing machine, and she details her wash routine there. Hannah used flats while traveling to Italy, and while she had access to a washing machine, flats do well with hand washing since they are a single layer (they will dry quickly too.)
The prefolds and covers will likely be much easier to keep clean that microfiber (the shape of the fibers tend to grab oily material more than natural fibers) but they’re not impossible to hand wash; they will just require more agitation and rinsing.
I don’t know what detergents you have available in Asia, but stay away from anything with bleach, fabric softeners or optical brighteners if at all possible. Often, less expensive store brands have fewer additives than premium brands.
Have you hand washed cloth diapers? What was your wash routine!