Thursday, April 11, 2013

How Often Should You Wash Cloth?

Did you know Smartipants Diapers recommends washing your diapers every 3 days? 3 days should be 
the maximum you go without laundering your cloth. After 3 days your diapers can become a breeding 
ground for bacteria.

Warmer days are approaching, which means higher temps inside those diaper pails. Bacteria thrive in 
warm, moist areas.  This is especially important in humid climates. Humid climates are more at risk of 
their diapers growing mold if not laundered correctly.  Along with the bacteria and mold risk, going 
longer than 3 days between washes can increase the chances of your diapers developing a stink [a 
stink that remains after being washed, no one wants that!]. This is because of the bacteria inside your 

If you do happen to go longer than 3 days between a wash, or find your diapers develop a stink, I 
recommend disinfecting them. 

How to Disinfect Your Diapers

To disinfect cloth diapers, I suggest doing a few hot washes [as hot as your washer will allow- check your water heater to see if you can turn it up] with as much water as possible in the washer. Only the first 
wash will need detergent included. The rest can be plain water, or any additives recommended by the 
link below.  In my opinion the best bacteria killer is the sun. Sun dry those diapers to sanitize them.  If 
you decide to use the dryer, be sure that after the cycle is done that those diapers are completely dry. 

Do not let them sit damp as this increases your chance of mold/mildew growing.

If sunning isn’t an option or if you’re dealing with mildew/mold stains, please refer to this site for help. 
They provide many options for killing mildew and bacteria safely on cloth and removing the nasty stains 
they leave behind.

Also, please be aware that more humid climates may need to do more frequent washes. Watch your 
pail and be the judge of if 3 days is ok or if more frequent washes are needed.  Wet pails are also not 
recommended since in warm temperatures it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

Contributed by: Alex

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