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Washing Cloth Diapers Part-Time

by Regan

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Whether you use disposables for daycare, are potty training, or only use cloth at home you may wonder how to go about washing cloth diapers on a part-time basis. Most laundry instructions tell you to wash 15-20 diapers at a time for proper agitation so what do you do when you only use one or a couple of diapers per day?

Washing cloth diapers part-time

Right now, Dub is potty trained during the day but he still needs a diaper at night. This means we’re only using one diaper per day and letting them sit for two weeks until I have a full diaper load isn’t an option.

When we were using cloth diapers full time I washed every two days. This meant anywhere from 15-17 diapers were being washed in a typical load. Now I wash every three or four days which means I only have three or four diapers to wash. No problem.

Here is my routine for washing my diapers part-time.

I don’t like to let a soiled diaper sit for more than three days or so because I don’t want to worry about ammonia or mold in my son’s nighttime diapers.

After three days, I take the diapers and the few wipes that I have in the wet bag and put them in the machine for a rinse as I would do with any full-size diaper load.

Washing cloth diapers part-time
  • I put them through the rinse cycle as normal. 
  • Once diapers are rinsed I add towels, sheets, even regular laundry in a pinch. I prefer to wash them with sheets and towels since my laundry cycle for those is most similar to diaper laundry.
  • I add my detergent (one scoop of Tide) and oxygen bleach (I prefer Biokleen). *use the detergent that you would use in your regular laundry. Just be sure that it doesn’t contain fabric softener.
  • Wash on the power wash setting which for me is a hot wash, deep clean, heavy soil.
  • Hang covers to dry, dry the diapers and wipes in the dryer on medium with the rest of the laundry. 

That’s it. There’s nothing to it and you can still keep your child in cloth diapers even if you don’t use enough for a full load. 

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