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My Wash Routine

Being somewhat a newbie to cloth diapering, I was completely baffled by the “complicated” washing routine for cloth diapers. I think I was more worried about finding the right detergent than diaper! After a lot of research, I decided to use Country Save detergent. I purchased it on Amazon and although one needs to buy it in bulk, I figured I would use the detergent for all of our washing needs and the four boxes will last at least a year, probably longer.

We have a Whirlpool Duet HE washing machine. Here is our cloth diaper washing routine:

– Diapers are stored in a wetbag
– Wash usually every three days
– Everything is washed together- wipes, inserts, covers, pockets, wetbags
– 1 regular wash cycle on COLD with no detergent…56 min
– 1 regular wash on HOT with 1/4 scoop of Country Save and an extra rinse…70 min
– As long as it is not raining, the diapers are hung outside to dry. If it is raining or especially windy, the diapers dry on the rack in the laundry room.
Wipes, prefolds and liners are usually put in the dryer for 20 minutes

Personally, I have bleached my diapers, inserts, wipes, and liners twice so far. BumGenius (the main brand I use) recommends using bleach monthly (on their diapers).

All of my diapers smell fresh when I take them out of the washer and they remain stain free with the sun’s help!

– by Elizabeth S.


  1. Tiffany said...

    Thanks for sharing your routine. I'm new to cloth diapering too, so I appreciate reading about other people's experiences.

  2. Upstatemomof3 said...

    Isn't the sun great? I happened into Charli's Soap ad I love it.

  3. CherryBlossomMJ said...

    Thanks for sharing this, I'm showing it to my DH so he can see it's not "that" difficult… (baby girl due August 15th)

  4. GwennS said...

    I think this is my favorite washing routine so far…I think I will try it out!

  5. Anna said...

    So glad the routine is working for you. I think once you get the hang of it, it's not bad at all. 🙂

  6. Kristin said...

    Very helpful! Thanks for sharing. I, too, have rediscovered line drying.

  7. A Psych Mommy said...

    Thanks for sharing! I have an HE washer too, so it's nice to know how the routine differs

  8. Nice! Our HE routine is to soak with some biokleen (20 min), then a hot wash cycle with an extra rinse using Charlie's Soap. (70 min) Not too bad!

  9. Julia said...

    love line drying too! we have an HE front loader as well. works great!

  10. Thanks for sharing your routine!!

  11. Kai's Momma said...

    I'll have to give your washing routine a try-right now I do one cold with about a 1/2 tablespoon of Country Save, extra rinse, then a hot cycle with another 1/2 tablespoon of Country Save, extra rinse in my He machine. I love Country Save, never had stink issues in the 12+ months I've used it and one box lasts my family of 4 about 7 months in my front loader.

  12. ThriftyMamaB said...

    I need a new wash routine, will try this one soon to see if it works for me to. Thanks!

  13. Amanda said...

    I wish I could sun my diapers. 🙁

    Amanda G.

  14. Kristen said...

    Thanks for this post! I am also new to cloth diapering and still getting the hang of everything!

  15. Cheryl B. said...

    adding 1/2 cup of regular vinegar to your first cycle will make a huge improvement in removing orders!!
    Later, if you have bed wetters, rinse sheets in a cold rinse with the vinegar before washing them ;-}
    Cheryl B.

  16. Liz said...

    WOW! I followed diapershops link on twitter and its my post! Too funny! Actually I have changed things up a little. I still do a normal cold wash but followed by a heavy duty wash (hot) with the same 1/4 scoop of Country Save and an extra rinse. Maybe Serena mentioned the heavy duty wash, Im not sure, I read it somewhere and decided to give it a try.

    Also, after I wrote the post I had just did my second bleach batch but lately I have read how bleach can be really bad and have used GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)for the last two months instead (I LOVE that stuff- so many uses!) I do love the sun, especially in this hot GA weather. 30-45 mintues after taking the laundry out of the wash, I am stuffing/putting away my dipes!

    Another funny thing is that DD wore the same shirt today and she's much bigger 🙁

  17. Shaking said...

    Thanks for sharing. I have been doing a shorter cycle during the hot wash and not that it has been an issue, but I tried the longer cycle and they felt that much softer when dried.

  18. Sara in Seattle said...

    we love Country Save. I have a pretty simple routine, too (one cold wash, one long hot wash)

  19. Mrs Lemon said...

    This is basically my routine too, only I use Dawn dishsoap instead of detergent. Bumgenius are so easy to care for.

  20. Katrina P. said...

    When I hang my prefold diapers outside, they turn into cardboard. Any suggestions?

  21. Serena said...

    Katrina P: Try putting them in the dryer first for 20-30 minutes to help them dry and quilt up a little – then you can put them, while still damp out in the sun and this should alleviate the crunchy (cardboard) feeling. I had the same problem and this is what I've found to work.

    Alternatively you can toss them in the dryer after they've been in the sun with a damp towel- this also helps soften them up a little.

    I hope this helps!

  22. Heather M said...

    Thanks for sharing! It's great to see how other people wash their diapers! We love our BumGenius!!

  23. momof3dolls said...

    We have similar washing routine except on the cold wash I use the detergent (also Country Save!). Maybe an extra cold wash if there's still a stain. Am I doing something wrong? I have stink issue so I strip mine with Dawn's blue dish detergent!

  24. Hannah said...

    Thanks for sharing this simple-sounding routine.

    My baby is due soon- I have the diapers, covers, washer, dryer, and clothesline. I'm going to have to start looking at the settings on my washer, like can I set it right away to have that extra rinse, or would I have to come back later and mess with it again. I'm going to go look right now.

    I've heard about adding vinegar to the last rinse. Does anyone do that and what is the purpose (softening, disinfecting, pH????).

  25. Serena said...

    Hannah: If your machine has a programmable extra rinse option then, yes, you may set it when you start the wash rather than having to come back and run the additional rinse.

    As for vinegar… it works to do a LOT of things.

    1) Helps rinse away residue
    2) Reduces lint
    3) Reduces static cling
    4) Restores the pH balance in fabric (especially when using alkaline deteregents)

    Most manufacturers advise not to use vinegar on products containing PUL (polyurethane laminate – the waterproofing material on nearly all diaper covers and pocket diapers). I personally use it without consequence but I only use 1/4 a cup – so it's possible to use it sparingly. Just be advised that some manufacturers don't recommend it and it *may* void the warranty (especially if used with reckless abandon).

    I hope this helps!

  26. MaryAnne said...

    We have the same washing machine, but I soak for 35 minutes in cold water with baking soda instead of a regular wash cycle. And I wash on the hot white cycle for 95 minutes (includes an extra rinse) with oxyclean. I've never bleached my diapers, but I do use vinegar every once in a while in the rinse cycle.

  27. Hannah said...

    Thanks Serena! I did check my washing machine and it appears to have a knob with two choices- one rinse, second rinse. So I think if I set that knob right away for that second wash, the washing would be just a two-visit-to-the-laundry-room process: the 1st cold wash, and then 2nd hot wash (with extra rinse). Sounds easy enough to me! Yay!

  28. Anonymous said...

    I know this post is rather old, but I'm new to cloth diapering and am looking for how to use the powdered Country Save laundry detergent I just bought in my regular washing machine (non-HE). Any suggestions?? I'm really wanting to try it and not have to send it back. Please help!

  29. Unknown said...

    I'm wondering if you have hard water? Also how did this wash routine work for you in the long run?

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