Cleaning Cloth Diapers

Parents have different preferences for cleaning cloth diapers and dealing with soilds immediately after a diaper change.

You may choose to rinse your diapers, or not rinse them, and within those two options, there are several ways to handle the soiled diaper.

The first step for cleaning cloth diapers that pretty much every parent agrees on is to shake any solids you can into the toilet. After that step, there are a few different approaches you can use.

Rinsing or Not Rinsing

Some parents choose to rinse wet or soiled diapers in the toilet or in a bucket dedicated to rinsing diapers after changing their baby. Rinsing soiled diapers can help to remove solids, and rinsing wet (not soiled) diapers may minimize odor while diapers are stored between washings.

To rinse a diaper, start out with an empty toilet bowl (so flush if you've shaken some solids into the toilet). Place the diaper in the toilet, and then you may either leave it to soak if necessary, or, alternatively, swish the diaper around in the water, which may be all you need to do to remove solids.

You may also decide to purchase a diaper sprayer, which is a simple hose with a sprayer nozzel that attaches easily to your toilet. This tool can be a big help if you choose to rinse your cloth diapers on a regular basis.

Once you have rinsed out your diaper, wring it out and place it in your cloth diaper pail.

Some parents simply wear rubber gloves while wringing out diapers, or you may want to try out the Diaper Duck, which is a simple tool that allows you to soak and wring out your diapers without getting your hands wet. I don't rinse my diapers, so I haven't used a Diaper Duck and can't personally comment on its effectiveness, but some parents do find it to be a handy tool.

You may store your rinsed diapers in a wet pail or a dry pail. Some parents who rinse their diapers like to keep the diaper pail in the bathroom so it is easy to drop the freshly rinsed diaper into the diaper pail.

Do keep in mind, if you store damp, rinsed diapers in a dry pail, you'll need to ensure you are washing your cloth diapers every 2-3 days (which is the standard recommended timeframe for washing cloth diapers anyway) to ensure you don't have any issues with mold.

Not Rinsing
It is also perfectly fine if you choose not to rinse your diapers. Simply shake any solids into the toilet, and then place your diaper into your diaper pail.

I don't rinse my baby's diapers, but I do use flushable diaper liners which minimize the solids that stick to the diaper and make cleaning cloth diapers immediately after a diaper change unnecessary. After I change a soiled diaper, I simply toss the diaper in a dry diaper pail and put the flushable diaper liner, along with any solids, in the toilet.

Some parents prefer not to use cloth diaper liners. When you use diaper liners, it is the liner, and not the soft diaper that touches your baby's skin. I'm willing to make that trade off for the added convenience that comes with using flushable diaper liners.

If you'd prefer not to use diaper liners, and you don't want to rinse your diapers, you may try a couple of approaches to cleaning cloth diapers that have solids on them.

Some parents simply use toilet paper to remove any solids that don't drop into the toilet, or some parents use a spatula to scrape off any solids. They then rinse the spatula in the toilet, wipe it dry on the diaper and store the spatula in a designated container near the toilet.

Although I don't rinse my diapers, I haven't had any real problems with odor. However, odor can be a larger issue for you if you live in a hot climate or during summer months. It is often easy to keep odor under control with a good diaper pail and frequently laundering your diapers.

For full instructions on how to wash cloth diapers please see the article and links here: Washing Cloth Diapers


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