5 Ways to Make Cloth Diaper Laundry Easier!

By April Duffy •  Updated: 06/02/24 •  5 min read

Worried you will start to struggle with cloth diaper laundry? Feel like the Measure Method of diaper laundry is overcomplcated.

I get that, so here are three tips to make your diaper wash routine feel less like a chore:

1) Don’t Become the Diaper Expert! Enlist Help! 

Probably the best advice I can give any parent who has additional caregivers waiting in the wings is not to become the “cloth diaper expert” in your house. 

Yes, do your research, and download the Measure Method Diaper Laundry Worksheet or get the Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook (info on both here), but if you haven’t already filled it out, ask for help and do it together. This will make sure that both of you know how to balance your detergent, water, and soiled diapers to avoid nasty surprises like smells and rashes. 

Already have your worksheet filled out and know your stuff? Hang it on or near your washing machine and ask them if they understand it. Once they do, ask for help with the diaper laundry! 

The problem with being the only person in the home who knows anything about cloth diaper wash and care (or any baby-related chore) is that you’ll be stuck with it all the time. Even worse, if something happens and you can’t do it, the whole routine breaks down. 

Worried they may mess it up? Ya, they might, and that’s ok. 

Not everyone gets things perfectly the first time. Luckily, most wash issues can be fixed, and they will learn from the mistake, just like we all do.

They might even surprise you and find a new hack or trick you hadn’t thought of, or even fall in love with diaper laundry. Sounds crazy, I know, but it happens! 

2) Break it Up

Nobody wants to wash and fold a pile of diaper laundry bigger than their toddler. If you have daily access to a washer and dryer, try breaking it up into smaller loads. 

Sure, you’ll want to make sure you’re not underfilling your washing machine (learn how to find out how much your washing machine can hold, and the whole Measure Method of diaper laundry here), but otherwise, a small load of laundry is much easier to deal with mentally. 

If it helps, you can even wash a few diapers with your other laundry to break it all up. Just be aware of what you’re washing them with, and make sure to avoid fabric softeners, etc. More info on how to wash diapers with other laundry is here.  

3) Use Your Dryer

Sure, hanging them to dry—especially the ones with plastic components like PUL, snaps and Velcro—is a good way to prolong the lifespan of your cloth diapers, but it’s not a good way to make things easier.

Line drying takes time, space, and possibly planning if you don’t have a dedicated space. If it cuts down on your frustration, don’t be afraid to put your cloth diapers in the dryer on medium heat or lower.

Here’s some more information on drying diapers in the dryer if you think this may help you.

4) Log OUT of The Mom Groups

I’ve said it before and I’m happy to repeat it: Facebook groups and other mom forums are great places for encouragement and recommendations, but they are not the place to learn about or even troubleshoot cloth diaper laundry. Yes, even our Facebook community.

While the moms in these groups mean well (for the most part), often they give information that is just plain wrong, over-complicated, or even harmful.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read comments recommending Borax to clear up detergent buildup, bleach to remove ammonia smells from diapers, or hydrogen peroxide to “sanitize” diapers to name just a few pieces of the absolute worst advice. If the person commenting knew more about how these chemicals worked they would know this advice is wrong, and potentially dangerous to you and your baby’s health. These well meaning commenters just read something somewhere (usually another comment or mom blog), forgot half of what they read, and now post it freely as fact.

Unfortunately, many of the groups also have admins passing along bad, generic “wash routines” and other advice that also cause problems.

Those who gather and follow the advice in these groups often cause themselves a ton of frustration when things get worse and worse and they can’t seem to solve their cloth diaper laundry problems even if they follow all the advice they get perfectly.

Bad advice followed to the letter will still yeild bad results.

5) Ditch the Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers are extremely popular with cloth diapering newbies because on paper they sound like the perfect diaper — You can change up the inserts inside it, when put together they are like an all-in-one, but apart they wash and dry easily.

And sure pocket diapers are great, but not for everybody (and not for overnights, but that’s another topic I cover here).

While some folks, myself included, found stuffing inserts into pocket diapers oddly satisfying, others quickly find it annoying and/or overwhelming. If you search the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook group you’ll find regular posts from folks venting about how much they hate stuffing their pockets. 

If you’re not into repetitive tasks like this, and know that about yourself, ditch the pockets for another style of diapers that has either no assembly required (all-in-one diapers), or is only assembled at the changing table (prefoldsflats or fitteds with a diaper cover).

April Duffy

April is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.