Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 12/13/10 Cloth Wipes and Moldy Dipes!

moldy #clothdiapers via @chgdiapers

It’s Mailbox Monday again!  If you have a question you’d like answered in a Mailbox Mondays post, email it to maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject!

Ash says:

Hi Maria!

I’ve been cloth diapering my daughter for about 8 months but I haven’t made the switch over to cloth wipes yet. Shocker I know! ha! This week I am finally finishing up the last of the disposable wipes I have and am making the switch to cloth! I’m excited! But I was curious as to how many wipes I should have. I was thinking around the same amount as dipes which is a little over two dozen. I’ve already bought some and I’ve made some as well. What do you think is a good amount?



Hi Ash!  I like to wash every other day, and have enough “stuff” that I don’t have to rush with folding/stuffing diapers to use.  So, I’d say a rough estimate would be one wipe for each diaper you’d use during that time, plus a few extra for messy diapers.

I often used 5+ disposable wipes on messy diapers, but it is very rare for me to have to use more than one cloth wipe.  I keep 19 wipes downstairs (where I change most of my diapers) and I don’t think I’ve ever run out.  I just have 4 upstairs, and though I don’t change many diapers up there, I often have to dip in to my original “wipes,” which were cut and zigzagged burp cloths!

I think 2 dozen wipes would be perfect!  You will love using cloth wipes!

Ash also says:

Hey Maria!

I was wondering if any of your dipes have gotten moldy. I have a couple of pocket dipes, some of which are only a couple months old that look like they have patches of mold on them that have recently showed up. I’ve been using Soap Nuts for a couple months now and I am wondering if that has something to do with it. Do you have any suggestions on getting rid of it? I just stripped my dipes with blue dawn and have used white vinegar in the rinse a couple times and been using a little oxiclean, but it still seems to be sticking around. Any suggestions would be great!!


I haven’t had a moldy diaper…yet.  I’m just waiting for the day when I forget one somewhere!
Is the mold on the diaper or the insert?  If it’s on the insert, I’d suggest washing the inserts only with about 1/4 cup of bleach, then rinse until the water is clean and the bleach smell is gone.
If it’s on the diaper itself, I’d suggest a soak, then hot wash followed by some sun.  You’ve already tried vinegar and oxiclean, which would have been my other suggestions, along with perhaps some tea tree oil.  If you’ve killed the mold, you may just have a little staining, and some old fashioned UV rays would probably take care of that!
As far as the soap nuts, it’s hard to say.  I was using them with great success for about a month, then suddenly the diapers started coming out of the wash smelling like they hadn’t been washed at all.
How often to you wash?  I don’t recommend much longer than every other day, and you might even want to leave your pail or wet bag open a crack between wash days.

How about you gals? How many cloth wipes do you find is enough? Have you ever fought mold and won?

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • December 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    >We have about 15 baby washcloths in the bathroom just for faces, and they seem to be gone every other day. Not sure how many faces these kids have, LOL.Eek at the forgotten diaper, how bad was it?

  • December 14, 2010 at 4:42 am

    >I have 50+ wipes and I usually use them all between washing (2x a week or every 3 days). J loves to 'borrow' them to wash his face, so that helps with how fast we go through them.I've never had any diapers mold. But I did discover a diaper that J had taken off himself and left under a bed :|….

  • December 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    >Samuels Momma-Dipesicles? LOL I haven't ventured into family cloth yet. I'm pretty sure my daughter would throw them in the toilet, LOL.Maybelline, yep. I just throw 'em in with the diapers! I don't spray them off or anything. Of course, if I've used them to scrape a bunch off vs. just wiping, I flip that into the potty first.

  • December 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    >for some reason I'm scared to use cloth wipes.. what do you do with the messy poopy ones??.. do you wash them and then put them with the diapers?? I feel like a need a cloth wipes 101 class!

  • December 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    >I have two dozen wipes as well and that amount works great. I find that I mostly need only one wipe per change too just like you mentioned.I use soap nuts but so far I haven't had any problems with mold. Not that it probably couldn't happen though because I've heard homemade soap nut liquid itself can mold. Sometimes I use a little baking soda in with my soap nuts. That's something that might help. As far as cleaning the mold I'm not completely sure. But I do know that oxygen bleaches with the highest amount of sodium percarbonate and the least amount of fillers work better. 🙂

  • December 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    >We have about 4 dozen wipes, but we also do family cloth, so we need more. If I was only using it for cding, the 2 dozen would be fine.Most companies use peroxide to "bleach" prefolds, so it may work on diapers. I use lemon juice. It kills the bacteria and bleaches the stain naturally. I would sun my diapers, but it's currently -10 degrees where I am. I don't think that would help!

  • December 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    >I leave my pail open and it doesn't smell…it actually only smells when I close the lid. I don't know why, but it really doesn't stink; and I haven't had any problems with mold on my diapers.I did get mold on a pair of wet socks I forgot about one time, and I soaked them in a sink full of water with some hydrogen peroxide dumped into it. Then, I hung them out in the sun; and then washed as normal. The mold spots were gone. That might work on diapers too…I imagine if bleach is ok to use then peroxide would be ok too; although I've never tried it on diapers.

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