Cloth Diapering Mailbox Mondays

Cloth Diaper Advice – Mailbox Mondays 8/6/12 – Prepping Diapers

prepping #clothdiapers via @chgdiapers

Wondering “how do I prep cloth diapers”? Once a week, I answer a reader’s question and ask my other peeps for their opinions.

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.

Lisa says:

I was wondering – we are always supposed to prep our diapers for maximum absorbency. BUT, is there any harm done if we say, cheat a little?

In other words, can I use a new diaper knowing that it won’t be super absorbent but feeling glad that at least I got a mini-pee out of it before washing, or does that actually affect how absorbent it will get? (obviously this would not work for prefolds, but more for fleece, hemp, bamboo, microfibre and AI1s. Just wondering!

Lisa is referring to the instruction to wash a natural fiber (bamboo, cotton, hemp) diaper or insert separately, at least 3 times before using it. The idea is that you need to remove natural oils and fluff up the fibers before using it. I do wash a spankin’ new natural fiber by itself the first time, but then I typically throw it in with whatever diapers and/or other laundry I’m washing, until I can’t stand it and have to use my new diaper now!

If you decide to cheat a bit, I don’t think you will hurt your new diapers, or your other diapers. I’ve never had diapers repel because I washed a single new diaper with them. However, keep in mind that it may take even 8-10 (or more) washes for a natural fiber diaper to reach its full absorbency potential. So if you get an awesome new hemp insert or prefold to use at night, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t meet your expectations at first, but then you suddenly turn the corner after more washes, and it then gets your child through the night dry!

Do you use natural fiber diapers? Do you sometimes “cheat” on prep?

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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
  • Delora
    August 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Since I use the same soap for our regular laundry as I do our diaper laundry (Charlie’s), I usually throw in new diapers with my regular loads to get them prepped faster. It would take a month to was a new natural fiber diaper 10 times! Instead I get it ready in a week throwing it in with towels, my clothes, my kids’ clothes, diaper laundry, etc etc.

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