How to Wash Cloth Diapers

Washing Cloth Diapers is easy!

Natural fibers have naturally occurring oils that need to be stripped before maximum performance is achieved. Diapers will become more absorbent with each washing.

We recommend using a detergent that is free of fragrances, enzymes, and other additives. Avoiding fabric softeners and bleach, as they can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin and make cloth diapers less absorbent. Cloth diapers should be washed at least five times before use in very hot water. It is only necessary to use detergent in one of the five cycles.

Both hemp and organic cotton diapers can be washed in hot water using a biodegradable detergent like our Washing Greens All Natural Detergent. Our all natural, bio-degradable detergent has been specifically created for diaper laundering. Essential oils of tea tree and lavender act as anti-bacterial component to this gentle wash. By adding a scoop to the bottom of a diaper pail Washing Greens also acts as a deodorizer by neutralizing odors. Washing Greens comes with a pre-measured stainless steel scoop.

Once prepped, cloth diapers like our Growing Greens Organic Cotton or Hemp/Organic Cotton Diapers are ready to go in the dryer or be line dried. The heat from the dryer or the sun help to sanitize the diapers. Generally, you should dry your diapers on hot for 60-90 minutes. Diapers will shrink to size, mostly in length, with the first three washes.

Special Care Instructions

Our Natural Wool Covers and Upcycled Wool & Cashmere Covers are examples of a diapering products that requires special care because they do not need to be washed as regularly as other diaper covers and should always be air or line dried. Use Babee Greens Wool Wash for washing all your wool and cashmere products. It is a delicate wash made from a blend of pure Castile soap with organic oils, enriched with lanolin and organic lavender. Lavender is also commonly used as a natural moth repellent.

Cloth Diaper Maintenance

After each wash, your diaper should smell fresh and clean with no hint of urine, feces, ammonia or other unpleasant odors. The odor you’re smelling most likely means there is bacteria present in your diapers which could cause irritation to your baby and potential problems like diaper rash. If your diapers do not smell clean you should wash them again in HOT water without detergent.  Occasionally adding 1/2-1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle for softness, absorption and to restore PH.  Rinsing is one of the most important steps in cleaning cloth diapers! Be sure to rinse your diapers in HOT water completely. . Tumble dry or hang in sunlight. 


  • Boiling Babee Greens diapers will harm the snaps and elastic.
  • Bleach will ruin diapers and possibly harm your child’s skin

See “How to Strip your Cloth Diapers” for extra care instructions

Products to Avoid on Cotton and Hemp/Cotton:  we suggest avoiding most specialty “for cloth diapers” laundry products (such as Rock n’ Green) often marketed for getting the stink out of microfiber and other synthetics. Avoid homemade detergent. Avoid Soap Nuts.

Products that are mostly oxygen cleaners containing excessive sodium percarbonate or sodium peroxyhydrate or too much washing soda void our warranty when used in excess. In moderation, those ingredients can be good and are common detergent ingredients, but overuse or up-dosing as detergent is not okay. Very high heat plus such too high of a dose of such high pH ingredients can result in roughness, pilling and fabric degradation. Avoid fabric softeners. Avoid dryer sheets and similar products designed to coat fabrics. You

don’t want coatings on your diapers. Avoid perfumes or optical brighteners.

Never use dish cleaning products in your laundry machine. Avoid superheated sanitary and steam cycles. 

Diaper Services

Another option is paying a diaper service to do the dirty work. The service is worth looking into at least for the first few weeks that your baby’s home, while you’re adjusting to life with a newborn.