Washing Cloth Diapers

The good news is it’s not as hard to wash cloth diapers as you may assume from an outsider’s perspective. There is no need for dunking or sloshing in the toilet. No reason to get your hands dirty at all!

Washing New Diapers:

All diapers should be washed at least once before used on baby. Prefolds and hemp inserts it’s recommended 8-10 times to reach their full absorbency potential. My theory is to wash and dry them 2-3 times with my normal clothes, use them on baby, and eventually they will have been washed 8-10 times. Hemp inserts have natural oils and need to be washed separately from the rest of your diapers 2-3 times.

With a newborn washing is super easy! Throw your dirty diapers into the wash for a pre-rinse then a wash with a scoop of your favorite all natural, water soluble detergent. Follow with another rinse if you think it’s needed. Put diapers in the dryer on low/no heat and you’re done!

Washing diapers with a newborn or breastfeeding infant:

1) Pre-rinse on cold

2) Hot wash with 1-3 tablespoons of natural detergent

3) Final rinse on cold (optional)

4) Dry on low heat


Once your baby starts eating solids things change a bit. The stomach bacteria that helps babies digest their food comes out in their waste. Water soluble, non-residue building detergents do not have anything in their formulas to kill bacteria. So we need to add an extra step here. You have 6 options to fight bacteria: bleach, hydrogen peroxide, sunlight, Thirsties Prewash, Biokleen Bac-Out, and Funk Rock.

    a) Bleach is a carcinogen(causes cancer) and we do not recommend it. Bleach is not only unsafe for baby but it will also diminish the life and quality of your diapers. 

    b) Hydrogen peroxide is a safe alternative and I do a 50/50 ratio with water in my bathroom sink. I let a handful of diapers soak in the mix for 20-40 minutes, then wring out and do another handful of diapers to soak. Then I wash like normal. 1/2 cup in your wash for upkeep.

    c) Sunlight is a powerful combatant for naturally killing bacteria. Just lay your wet diapers in the sunlight to dry.

    d) Thirsties Pre-Wash is a newer option for killing bacteria and treating stains. Include in your prewash, then wash like normal.

    e) Biokleen Bac-out is a natural culture enzyme- basically it’s good bacteria that eats the bad bacteria and washes out of your diapers. You must spray this on your diapers and let it sit in the pail OR let it soak in your washer for a time(1/2-1 cup overnight). This works really well and we have a lot of parents use this method.

    d) Funk Rock is a new product recently released by Rockin Green in November 2010. Soak your diapers to get the funk out.

Washing diapers when baby is eating solid food:

1) Pre-rinse on cold (option a is to add bleach, option d is to add Thirsties Pre-Wash)

2) Soak overnight (option b is with hydrogen peroxide, option e is with Biokleen Bac-out)

3) Hot wash with 1-3 tablespoons of natural detergent

4) Final rinse on cold

5) Dry on low heat (or option c is to line dry to kill bacteria and whiten stains)

Now there are also several ways that you can prevent stink build up in the first place. Disposing of the waste before you put it in your pail is a big help. You can do this with a diaper sprayer(think of a kitchen sink sprayer that attaches to the back of your toilet), or you can use a rice paper liner(they look like a dryer sheet) and put the waste easily into the toilet. Spray your poopy diapers with Biokleen Bac-Out so it kills bacteria while it’s in the pail. Also don’t let your diapers sit in the pail between washes for more than 2 days, 3 days tops. The longer they sit the bigger your bacteria issues.


Charlie’s Soap is our personal detergent of choice. It’s got a bad rap in the cloth diaper world because it can react with hard water. You can add a water softener if that is an issue for you. Most people do not have hard water. Charlie’s gets my diapers and clothes super clean and I have not found any alternative that can hold up to it yet.

Rockin Green is another great detergent. Beloved in the cloth diaper world and formulated especially for cloth diapers. This detergent is water soluble and does not cause build up in the diapers. #1 seller in cloth diaper detergent!

Thirsties Super Wash is also formulated for cloth diapers and the reviews by parents have been great for this system. The bottle even has a built in measuring cup!

bumGenius Detergent is a trusted brand in cloth diapering (a close sibling with Country Save detergent ;)). We have many customers who are repeat users.

Soap Nuts is an all natural soap that gets raves from customers. It’s something that I plan to restock soon in it’s liquid tea form.

Fighting Stains:

The yellow breast milk poop stains will wash out after a couple of washes. If you don’t want to wait you can do a couple of things. Put lemon juice into your wash to whiten diapers, or lay out in the sunlight to naturally bleach them. I haven’t tested this but other online resources state that laying in the sunlight from your window works as well. Biokleen Bac-out is also suppose to help fight stains.

Helpful Hints:

Use as much water as your machine will allow.

12-18 diapers at a time. Don’t overload the machine or the diapers won’t get clean.

If you are using conventional detergent, only use a fourth of the recommended amount.

Every once in awhile it’s useful to dry diapers with PUL on high heat to reseal any tiny holes.

Tea Tree or Lavender oil can help defuse the smell from your diaper pail.

A dryer ball in the dryer will help with static and dry your diapers and clothes faster!

A water softener gets diapers cleaner.

Don’t Do List:

Do not use fabric softener.

Do not use dryer sheets.

Do not use bleach.

Do not use conventional diaper rash creams.

Do not dry diapers with PUL and elastic on high heat every time. This dramatically shortens the life of your diapers.

Do not mess with vinegar and baking soda. It can throw off the PH in your diapers and is not worth dabbling in. Some people have success with it but I have heard too many unhappy stories that involve the use of these. It’s better to prevent and fix the problem than to try to treat the symptom.


Been using conventional detergent and have major build up? A sign of build up is when your diapers are not absorbing, you have a stink problem, or baby is getting rashes. To strip your diapers do the normal wash cycle with detergent, then follow with another wash cycle using Dawn dish soap(yes it needs to be Dawn). Depending on your machine it will determine the amount you use. In my top loader I use about a quarter size amount of Dawn. It may be 1/4 of that for a front loader. Once the cycle is done you are going to rinse, and rinse, and rinse until the suds are gone. Fresh diapers again!

Washing wool will be in a separate post in the near future.

Please post replies below. My story may help some but your story may help others. Please share your washing routine! Have great details? Share and you could win a free bottle of Bac-out or Thirsties Pre-Wash!


Vaccination Alternative
So in my past Happybottomus newsletters I talked about Nosodes. At first I introduced them and mentioned a book that we sell in the store, The Parent’s Concise Guide to Vaccinations. In the newsletter I stated that Nosodes were a safer and natural alternative to vaccinations. I explained that Nosodes were the homeopathic version of a vaccine. And that was about all I said. I received many emails after that with moms asking for more information and asking where they could get them locally. And of course I received an email with someone upset that I was informing my mailing list that there are alternatives to allopathic vaccinations. I actually found that very interesting. Because there are very few things that I do in my life that are not alternatives to mainstream society. Educating parents about natural alternatives is what I do. Of course I’m going to share information on something that can improve the quality of life for millions of children.

Nosodes are natural and healthy alternative to conventional vaccinations. Andy from Obrien Pharmacy and KC Holistic Centre was very kind and spent several minutes talking with us about Nosodes. Below are just a few that are available without a prescription:

Vaccinosis Nosode Drops $14/ 2oz. Measels, Mumps, DpT, DtT, Rubella, Serum Anguillae, Tetanus, Serum Equine
H1N1 Nosode Drops $18/ 2oz for prevention or cure.
Virus Nosode Drops $15 Common childhood viruses.
Flu Nosode Pellets based on this years strain $8 (80 pellets, 5 in the mouth 3x a day)

Local Kansas City Naturlopathic Doctors who know about Nosodes
Alicia Johnson, NMD website
Farhand Khosh, ND website
(Talk to your doctor about it. I asked Dr. Brooks about them and he said he’d research them. I’m thrilled. Ask your doctor, at your next visit, to research Nosodes.)
Don’t take our word for it. Do your own research. Here’s some information to help you get started. Remember, past 5pm, you are the one taking care of your child, not your doctor. Knowledge is power.

Doctors in Mexico City Cured 2009 Swine Flu with Homeopathy
Doctor’s in Mexico used similar homeopathic treatments that worked in the 1918 flu epidemic with great results.
Cuba uses Homeopathy- makes history, Nosodes 2008
(2 Million treated, 10 infected, 0 deaths!)

“Cuba goes through a yearly cycle of Leptospirosis epidemic, especially after the hurricanes flood the countryside…..The usual expectancy of infection even with allopathic vaccination would have been around a few thousand, with some deaths included.” www.healingcard.com
In 2008, 2 million Cubans were given the homeopathic nosode vaccination treatment for Leptospirosis, only 10 were infected, no one

A Mom Entrepreneur’s Chaotic Nest

The life of a mom entrepreneur is a nest of chaos where housework is neglected for a moment of playing legos or snuggling through a cartoon.  Where priorities have to be established and reestablished on a moment’s notice.  Focusing on your child’s development and keeping aware of their needs and making changes to better there lives.  Being a parent is a huge responsibility and a full time job.  Taking care of a home where children live is a full time job.  And owning your own business is the type of career where you work 36 hours a day and get paid less than minimum wage.  So how the heck do you get it all done?  You don’t.

Housework is the first thing to go in our family.  We’re just happy to get food cooked let alone clean up the kitchen and laundry piles up until we need clothes.  The children can’t be neglected and so motherhood and business merge.  Playing legos with my laptop next to me as I reply to emails.  Designing websites as I sit down for breakfast and chat about the plans for the day.  And most phone calls are made in the car on the way to drop the kids off or on the way to my store.  And the best time to work?  2am of course!  When the baby has finally gone to sleep and the house is quiet.

The beginning of a new business is always the most time consuming.  Trying to get the process ironed out.  Establishing contacts and routines that best suite the business needs.  Training yourself and employees on what you want for the business.  And what do you want?  Who knows you are making it up as you go.  Often thinking of things for the first time as you face them.  Of course you had grand plans before you started but many of the mundane everyday details where not your focus.

So when people stop and talk to me about how they couldn’t do what I do, my first thought is- “Well I’m not doing it either.”  My life is a chaotic nest.  And I know that once both business are strongly established we will be able to share the workload by hiring more employees.  But until that happens I don’t stress over a messy kitchen, or laundry piles, or less sleep.  My life is full enough of other stress.  And I’m thankful for helpful family and for moments of legos and snuggles.  I know that our lives will calm down and we will reminse on the beginning days.  Until then I will continue getting by and savor the special moments of being a mom entrepreneur.