What is Cloth Diaper Stew?

Cloth diapering is full of weird names, labels, and acronyms, but maybe one of the weirdest is “cloth diaper stew.” If you’re a beginner to cloth diapering and hear this term, you might panic thinking you have to boil your diapers with onions or something crazy. Rest assured that is not the case.

I’ve put this post together to clearly explain what the heck it is and how to make it. Cloth diaper stew the way the cloth diaper community describes the perfect ratio of cloth diapers to water in a washing machine (or bucket if you’re using a hand-washer).

It’s important to note that, cloth diaper stew is only for non-HE washing machines. HE machines, and HE detergent for those machines, are made to operate with less water than regular machines. To put it another way, HE machines are effective with little water, but regular machines are only effective when you can get the right ratio — and for diapers, that happens to be stew-like.

How Do I Know I’ve Made a Diaper Stew?

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