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Cloth Baby Wipes 101

This post is part of the Focus on Fluff cloth diaper series.

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Although, you can use disposable wet wipes with cloth diapers, why not go all the way and use cloth wipes as well? It’s much more cost effective and better for the environment. Not only that, but it’s better on your baby’s little bum. My daughter has very sensitive skin and cloth wipes are the only thing that don’t bother her.

Buy or Make?

You can buy cloth wipes, but making your own is almost just as easy.  I don’t consider myself much of a sewer and I made several for my daughter. I cut old receiving blankets (found at garage sales and thrift stores) into squares and surged the edges.  My mom made some with flannel on one side and terry cloth on the other.

If you don’t like to sew without instructions, check out this handy tutorial at Joyful Abode.

Storing & Using

I store my wipes in a drawer and keep a spray bottle of water on the changing table to moisten the wipes (or just wet them down under a running faucet). Many parents like to use a baby wipe solution, but I found that it dried out my daughter’s skin too much. Plain water seems to work fine for us.

You can also store your cloths in a wet wipe container or warmer with water or solution. If you do this, be sure to change the water often and clean out the container to avoid bacteria or mold from growing.

How many?

As with diapers, this depends on how often you will be doing laundry. I have found about two dozen to be a good number to have available.


Share your questions, tips, or advice about cloth wipes in a comment below!


Detergent Build-Up & Stripping Cloth Diapers

This post is part of the Focus on Fluff cloth diaper series.

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If you have hard water or use a detergent that has brighteners, you may end up with detergent build-up every once in awhile. When this happens you will need to strip the diapers. I usually strip my diapers every 4-6 weeks.

Signs of Detergent Build-Up

If you have any of the following cloth diaper issues, there is a strong possibility that you have detergent build-up.

  • Diapers smell funny, especially when wet. Sometimes they will smell of ammonia or have a “dead fish” smell. Yuck!
  • Diapers are repelling water. You diapers may not soak up as quickly or as much and you may have a leaking problem.
  • Diaper rash. This is the first sign of build-up I usually notice. As soon as my daughter’s bum starts turning red, I know it’s probably time to strip the diapers again.

How to Strip Cloth Diapers

Stripping your diapers is a fairly easy task, just a little time consuming. There are a few different ways that you can strip your diapers. Try each one to find what works best for you!

  • Hot Water. Wash and rinse your clean diapers several times without detergent on the hottest water cycle you have until your rinse water runs clear. This may take several times. You can turn your hot water heater up during this time if you wish. The best temperature for washing cloth diapers (at any time) is 130-150 F.
  • Dawn Dish Detergent. Squirt a small amount (about a Tbsp) of original Dawn into a load of clean diapers and wash on hot. Rinse several times until there are no bubbles.
  • RLR Laundry Treatment. This laundry treatment draws out detergent from fabric and hold it in suspension in the water. You can use it along with your detergent in a regular washing routine once a month. I love this stuff! You will be amazed at all the bubbles in the water the first time you use it. As always, rinse the diapers several times until there are no longer any soap bubbles.


How do you strip your cloth diapers?

Dirty Diapers: Storing & Washing Cloth Diapers

This post is part of the Focus on Fluff cloth diaper series.

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This is the part of cloth diapering that most people dread.  I hope the information here will help you have a more pleasant experience with storing and washing cloth diapers.  You may find out that it’s not quite as bad as you expected it to be!

How to Store Dirty Cloth Diapers

There are two popular methods of storing soiled cloth diapers at home before washing them. Both methods use a basic diaper pail, or even a trash can.

  • Dry Pail Method - This is the most widely used method. You simply place the wet and dirty diapers in a dry container without soaking them. To combat odor, I often sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the pail and sometimes on the diapers themselves. When you are ready to wash the diapers, dump the diapers into the washer and scrub out the pail with baking soda and vinegar. Many people use a pail liner because you can pull it out and wash it with the diapers. This is convenient and it is helpful when you have two liners so you can line your pail with one while the other is being cleaned. This is the best method if you use AIOs or a lot of diaper covers since the PUL fabric really shouldn’t be soaked.
  • Wet Pail Method - With this method, you fill the diaper pail (about half full) with water and baking soda and place the soiled diapers in it to soak until laundry day. When you are ready to wash the diapers, you pour out most of the water into the tub or toilet before dumping the diapers in the washing machine. If you use this method, be sure that the container is tightly sealed and keep it away from children as it can be a safety concern.

Traveling with Cloth Diapers

Most cloth diapering moms carry wetbags in their diaper bags for easy and safe storage of dirty diapers when out and about. You can easily re-use a grocery sack or plastic ziploc bag instead if you prefer.

How to Prep New Cloth Diapers

Before you use your newly purchased cloth diapers, you will need to wash them several times in order for them to have maximum absorbency. It usually takes about five-six complete wash cycles. I use a Hot Wash/Cold Rinse with soap the first time and then a Warm/Cold or Cold/Cold cycle for the remainder. Be sure to check with the manufacturer or store for their suggested prep method.

How to Wash Cloth Diapers

It is advised that you don’t wash more than two dozen diapers at a time. I try to avoid many more than eighteen. Also, you will want to use 1/4-1/2 than the suggested amount of your detergent. You can use this chart to determine the best laundry detergents to use and which ones to avoid. (If you have a HE washer, check out this chart!) I use All Free & Clear right now, but am hoping to try one of these homemade laundry detergent recipes in the near future.

The most popular and basic cloth diaper washing method is:

  • Cold Rinse
  • Hot Wash / Cold Rinse
  • Cold Rinse

If you have hard water, you may need to rinse more or use even less detergent.  Basically you need to rinse until there are no more soap bubbles left.  It may take awhile to figure out a routine that works best for your situation.

I use about a tablespoon of detergent and add a Warm rinse to my washing routine. I usually strip my diapers every four-six weeks to keep them from having too much detergent build-up. (Don’t know what “strip” means? Don’t worry! The next post in this series is all about stripping diapers. :) )

Washing Wool

Wool diaper covers require special treatment. In order to make them water-resistant, you will need to lanolize them. To do this, simply pour a small amount of pure lanolin in a sink full of warm water. Soak the cover for about fifteen minutes and then hang to dry after squeezing out excess water. You will probably need to do this about once a month.

To wash, most people hand wash them in warm water, gently squeeze out the water, roll them in a towel, and then allow them to air dry.

Helpful Hints

Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets with cloth diapers. You can use a small amount of vinegar in a rinse cycle if you feel like your diapers need to be softer. Also, if you are having static issues, many people have successfully used wool dryer balls.

What about poo? If your baby is solely breastfed, you do not need to rinse the dirty diapers. However, once babies start solids, you will need to rinse them off before placing them in the diaper pail. You can use a diaper sprayer or dunk them in the toilet. I use the dunking method and have lived through it. Honestly, once your baby is one solids for awhile, you will simply have to hold the diaper over the toilet and let the poo drop in. It’s really not a big deal!


What did I miss? Add your comments or questions below!


My Favorite Cloth Diapers

This post is part of the Focus on Fluff cloth diaper series.

cloth diapering

As promised, I am finally sharing my favorite cloth diapers and covers with you today. If you haven’t already figured it out, I use a variety of styles.

At Home. During the day, you can usually find Claire crawling around in a Mother-ease Sandy’s Fitted Diaper without a diaper cover on. I usually use two doublers/inserts for extra absorbency. Not using a cover helps us avoid a diaper rash because there is nothing to hold in moisture. Also, I change her quicker because I know when she is wet. I will admit, there have been a few instances that she has soaked through the layers very quickly and I’ve had to change my clothes as well. But most of the time, she barely feels wet from the outside and I am able to change her before she leaks.

Overnight. I have found the Mother-ease One-Size Fitted Cloth Diaper (with the snap in liner and a few extra doublers/inserts) to work best for us. My favorite cloth diaper cover to use with these is the Thirsties DUO Wrap with snaps.  I don’t like to change diapers at night, so this system helps us avoid any possible leaking.

Out and About.  When traveling, we will use random pocket diapers I found on Craigslist or the Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0. My husband and I both agree that this is our favorite cloth diaper. He likes it because it is easy to use. I appreciate it because it is made with a cotton interior, has a pocket for additional inserts and has prints that are so darn cute! :)


What are your favorite cloth diapers?  Share in a comment below!


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The giveaway ends Saturday, March 31st!


This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Things I Love Thursday, Your Green Resource, and Whatever Weekend.

Cloth Diaper Covers: What To Look For

This post is part of the Focus on Fluff cloth diaper series.

cloth diapering

As I mentioned earlier in this series, there are a few cloth diapers that need covers to be completely leak-proof. Namely, the fitted diapers and prefolds. Thankfully, there are many effective (and cute!) diaper covers to choose from.

Wool Covers

If you like using natural fibers, these covers may be for you. They are made out of 100% wool, which is water-resistant and breathable. This makes them perfect for babies that tend to have diaper rashes.

Most wool covers, also known as soakers, look like the one above. You can make your own wool diaper cover from a sweater. They are a very simple and much cheaper than buying new ones. (I’m not a sewer and I’ve made a couple using sweaters I found at the thrift store!) There are two types of sweater soakers: shorties and longies. Shorties are like little wool shorts and Longies are similar to leggings. You can find several Etsy shops that make these.

PUL Covers

Almost all over cloth diaper covers are made with polyurethane laminated (PUL) material, which is basically thin, water-proof fabric similar to plastic. The outer layer of diaper covers are usually polyester or some other synthetic material.

You can purchase covers is hoop and lock (velcro/aplix) or snaps. As I mentioned in this post, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Diaper covers with leg gussets (as seen above) are a feature that most moms really appreciate. I know I do! They add extra leakage protections and allow for a snugger fit.


If you use diaper covers, what have been your favorites? Please share in a comment below!

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