Thursday, June 17, 2010

Down and Dirty- the Truth about Washing Cloth Diapers

Let’s get down and dirty and talk about what it’s really like to wash your own diapers. We’ve all heard the “ewwww gross” comments and some of us even started out thinking that, you know who you are. So what is it really like? Is it as easy as these cloth diapering moms claim? Do I have to touch poop?
I love cloth diapering my babies for so many reasons, but let’s get one thing straight, messing around with dirty diapers is not my idea of a good time. I have designed Smartipants to be the easiest diapers to care for that are 100% reusable for this reason!
So here’s the play by play of using and caring for Smartipants…
Once you receive your brand new diapers you want to wash them in hot water on the normal setting for your washer with about ¼ the recommended amount of detergent. Follow this with an extra rinse and tumble dry. You can also hang them to dry if you wish. This is all that is required to prepare your diapers for first use. Once they are dry you place the insert into the smart sleeve and they are ready to go.

So now we’re ready to put them on baby. There is a great video showing how to snap Smartipants to the smallest setting. Click here to watch the video on youtube.
So you need to figure out which setting is best for your baby’s size and shape. It’s ok if it seems like your younger baby is already on a larger setting. Babies tend to slim down as the grown and become mobile. Smartipants should still provide a good fit. You shouldn’t worry about outgrowing them yet.

So you’ve figured out the snap settings you want to use and you’ve got the diaper on baby. Now what? Well now we wait…a couple hours later it’s time for a diaper change! So you get your clean Smartipants diaper out and make sure it’s set to the size you want. Then you remove the dirty diaper, wipe baby’s bottom and replace with a clean Smartipants. Here’s the not so scary part - what to do with the dirty diaper…

Take the dirty diaper to the bathroom and shake any solids into the toilet. If your baby has poop that isn’t yet solidly formed, you might invest in a diaper sprayer such as a “mini shower” brand sprayer to assist in removing waste from the diaper. Otherwise you can use some tissue to get off any big parts. Now you take the diaper to your laundry room or wherever you keep your waterproof laundry diaper pail or laundry bag and you place the dirty diaper inside and close until laundry time. This process takes just a few minutes and you will become very efficient in no time. I can do this is less than 4 minutes from removing the diaper to getting it in the diaper pail. Now you get to wash your hands and go snuggle that baby!

Laundry time…so now you have about 12-15 diapers in your pail and you’re ready to do a load of diaper laundry. This is the easy part. Take your waterproof laundry bag or pail liner and turn it inside out pushing all the diapers into your washer then toss the bag in at the same time. Set your washer to a regular wash cycle with an extra rinse, add ¼ to ½ the recommended amount of detergent, this is all that is needed to get your Smartipants thoroughly clean and start the washer. DO NOT add fabric softener or any other additives. Fabric softener will cause your diapers to repel liquid and LEAK!
If your diapers seem to retain odor or have a strong ammonia odor you can add ¼ c liquid bleach to your wash cycle. This is recommended no more often than once every other month.

Now you can toss the load into the dryer to tumble dry or you can hang to dry. When your diapers come out of the wash the inserts will have separated themselves from the diaper which ensures they are getting thoroughly clean and will dry faster as well. Once they are dry you simply place the inserts back into the smart sleeve and your Smartipants are ready to reuse. You should never have to touch the inserts when they are wet or soiled as the diaper has been designed specifically to avoid that unpleasant task. You need only handle the inside of the diaper when it is clean and dry.
I hope this information is helpful and please feel free to direct any questions via email to or check out of fan page of facebook by clicking here!


  1. Can you add the bleach in with all inserts and covers or just inserts??

  2. It really is that easy! A bonus- if you are exclusively breastfeeding you can throw the poopy diapers in the wash as is, just wash them on a rinse cycle before you do the regular wash. I also found that instead of bleaching the whole lot (diapers plus inserts) when they get that odor, I just put a teensey amount of bleach in with JUST the inserts and it works great! Thanks for a great product!

  3. I have a question about the bleach. Everything I have read has said NOT to EVER use bleach on your cloth diapers, AIO's, and pocket diapers. Will the bleach cause them to not last as long? I don't want to do it and then find out I have caused them to wear out faster.... That said, I do want them to smell better. They don't stink, but they do have a slight odor. Thanks!

  4. Lets all face facts. If you have a have poop, period. You can't get away from poop with disposable diapers. You wrap the poop in a non-biodegradable package and leave it behind for your children and grandchildren to deal with later. Not Cool!!!
    I urge all parents to educate themselves, get a modern cloth diaper like Smartipants, and be responsible citizens of our planet. Keep getting the message out there Smartipants!! Bravo!!

  5. Totally agree with Michelle....I never rinse my breastfed baby diapers and they come clean in the wash, no problem. I LOVE this product!!!!

  6. I LOVE your diapers! But I have been experiencing the ammonia smell. I was wondering if it mattered what kind of bleach I used? Does it have to be a certain type or brand like with the detergent, or can I use regular Clorox-type bleach? Thanks!

  7. I love Smartipants. They are working very well for my baby. I have been using them for about 10 months now and they have developed an odor. I will try the bleach suggestion. It is not something I usually use. Thanks.

  8. I like bum genuis because they r just like paper diapers. i also use my smartipants alot for night time and when we go out.