A question we often get asked is how to clean secondhand diapers or treat diapers after an infection. This is often referred to as stripping. Repeated stripping can damage diapers so please use sparingly. Often a deep cleaning with Mighty Bubbles will take care of stink and mineral buildup issues without the need to do a bleach wash. There are a lot of thoughts on how to do this, but unfortunately many of those go against manufacturer recommendations. So here is a rundown of what I personally do to prepare used diapers before adding them into our rotation.
To begin, I follow my normal wash routine. Yours may look a little different, but I do a short cold wash with a medium load size of detergent, followed immediately by a full hot wash with a large load size of detergent. I'm a huge fan of Tide powder if you're looking for an inexpensive, but quality detergent. We have a well and water softener so we don't need to add any softeners to our wash cycle.
I have a deep love for deep cleaning, so next I run a hot cycle using GroVia Mighty Bubbles. This deep cleaner is great for removing hard to shake smells and build up from your diapers. It is recommended to use as a supplement to your wash routine every 6-8 weeks. Once I started using this, I saw a huge difference in my diapers, especially if I stretch my wash routine to every 3-4 days instead of 2-3 days.
Once your diapers are REALLY clean, you can do one last wash cycle with hot water and the appropriate amount of bleach for your washer in the bleach dispenser. This is great for killing off viruses, yeast, or prepping diapers that were used and you aren't sure if they were ever exposed to those things. Please do NOT soak your diapers in bleach, a wash alone will kill 99.99% of germs. Almost every cloth diaper manufacturer recommends against this practice, especially for diapering items with a waterproof layer. When looking for bleach to disinfect diapers after yeast or similar infection, be sure that you are using a chlorine bleach that is rated to kill viruses and is less than one year old.
Have more questions about cleaning your diapers? Visit us in our closed Facebook group: Grassroots Baby - The Mud Room and ask away! We're always happy to help you find the best wash routines to keep your diapers fresh and clean.