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Washing Cloth Diapers

The following are general instructions only. You should always check washing instructions on a manufacturer's website to ensure you do not do anything to void the warranty on your diapers.


All diapers should be washed once before first use.

Organic cotton, hemp and bamboo diapers all need to be washed and dried three times before first use. The purpose of this pre-wash is to remove natural water-repelling fibers from the diapers. Pre-washing should not be done with other diapers. However, you can pre-wash diapers with other household laundry.


Cloth diapers should be washed at least every 2-3 days. You should not leave your diapers for more than 3 days without washing them.

The following simple washing routine works for most diapers:

  • warm rinse (no detergent)
  • hot wash
  • cold rinse (no detergent)

Diapers should be washed with detergents only - no fabric softeners, bleach, etc. We sell a variety of cloth diaper safe detergents and Bummis has a list of others. Please note that cloth diapers should not smell (unless poopy). If your diapers start to get smelly, it is a sign that something in your washing routine needs to change. Please contact us for help troubleshooting your laundry routine.

To read more about washing cloth diapers, please go to Bummis Very Simple Method for Washing Cloth Diapers.


Ideally, diapers should be hung to dry - outside, if weather permits. Hanging diapers to dry will help prolong their life. If you must dry your diapers in a dryer, the heat should be no higher than medium. If you dry your diapers in the dryer, using dryer sheets in the dryer could cause residue buildup on your diapers. Try using dryer balls instead.


Wool diaper covers should be lanolized before first use. You should follow the instructions included with your lanolin, but lanolizing basically involves soaking the diaper cover in lanolin and water.

Once your diaper is lanolized, you can wash it with wool soap that contains lanolin. Washing should be done by hand. You can use the hand wash cycle on your washing machine but your wool covers will not last as long if you wash them this way. You will need to re-lanolize your diapers periodically.

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