There are many myths about cloth diapers. A particularly persistent myth, however, relates to washing cloth diapers. It is said to be complicated and time-consuming. But is that true? Do not worry! Anyone who has ever operated a washing machine can tame dirty cloth diapers.
So: put diapers in, wash, let dry, done. Not that difficult, is it? There are a lot of washing machine with built-in diaper programs. We listed the best washing machine for cloth diapers below that will assist in your selection process.
best washer for cloth diapers Reviews
This washing machine from Giantex can appear tiny, but it works like a regular model size. This diaper washer has a respectable capacity of 13.4 lbs and can clean up to 15-20 diapers at once.
In addition, you can use it to wash small loads, such as exercise cloths, cloth diapers, or school uniforms or linens, easily.
It's effortless to use this appliance. You select the software you want and allow it to run, and then you can spend time with your son. A transparent lid enables you to track and assess the water and washing conditions.
The child lock feature locks all buttons and cuts off the power when the top lid remains open. It helps you keep your toddler away from danger.
This washing machine comes with a drain pump attached to remove the water. You don't need to raise it to get the water to flow like a gravity drain.
With all the features it is known as the best portable washing machine for cloth diapers.
- Compact style with plenty of storage
- Clean laundry well
- Filling and draining are done automatically.
- There are separate settings for washing, rinsing, and spinning.
- There are a variety of cleaning settings as well as water level settings.
The Super Dear twin tub washing machine ensures quality and power without breaking your bank.
This unit is made up of durable plastic with an aluminum pump that guarantees a long lifespan.
The compact, lightweight, and quiet washing machine makes it possible to transport easily and conveniently fits into the smallest available room in your tiny home.
Especially, its large capacity in such a tiny silhouette is a plus for parents of newborns or toddlers, as their clothes will still be messy, and clean shirts or pants will quickly run out.
The 9.9 lb tubs are big enough to accommodate a queen or king sheet in case your child messes with it, saving you trips to the laundromat where you attempt to stop your infant from screaming while other customers stare.
It features two tubs, one for washing and one for spinning, which can run concurrently, saving you considerable time (well, to go to clean other messes done by the baby). Additionally, the swift cycles are ideal for busy parents, taking just 15 minutes to wash and 5 minutes to spin to 90% dry.
And with the short cycles, you won't see much difference in your electricity costs, as this device is insanely energy efficient.
- Low price
- Lightweight and compact
- Clean well
- Can fit a single king size sheet or throw blanket in the washer tub
- Short wash time
- Spin the clothes almost dry
- Spinner basket is small
- Hoses are short
- Gravity drain
Panda compact full-automatic laundry machine is a 1.45 cubic foot top loader built to have a luxury service on a limited budget. A top loader is a space-saving machine that is ideal for tiny loads of diapers and other garments.
When it comes to the best washer for cloth diapers, Panda will definitely the best option. Because of the many cleaning programs, This washer is capable of cleaning a variety of materials.
The whole laundry process is regulated by various water level sensors, ensuring that water is utilized effectively while also leaving your clothes clean.
Consider the Panda when considering longevity. It is one of the most durable prototypes available. The stainless steel tub resists corrosion, and its exclusive lining avoids chipping.
The quality of Panda is excellent. If you've used other washers, you'll find this one to be more user-friendly. Light and flexible so that it can be carried around and plugged in. It weighs 58 pounds and has the standard three-prong plug.
The washer's electronic LED control panel monitor allows it simple to use, plus it's conveniently positioned on top so you can read it without bending over. The settings are simple and straightforward.
- LED control panel
- Top loader
- Fully automated
- dimensions 20" x 19" x 34"
Other features include;
- Various water levels
- Up to ten washing programs included
- HE tops loading washing machine
- Stainless steel tub
If you want a washing machine that's going to work right out of the box, get the Speed Queen - tested, proven, and long-lasting. And don't worry, it will clean your cloth diapers. These washers are known for being dependable and free of errors; you don't have to deal with a service call for years before you finally replace them.
Speed Queens are used by cloth diapering designers and several diaper manufacturers. So we also recommend it as the best washing machine for cloth diapers.
Speed Queen itself recommends the TR5000WN model for washing cloth diapers.
It is the quintessential American style of top-loader, and it has an agitator, a pre-soak, and an optional rinse element that are all well-appreciated.
It comes with a no-lock lid which is very handy. It allows opening the lip when the washing cycle runs to ensure that the agitator is working correctly and has enough water.
It helps you load extra diapers into the machine at any time.
- Extra rinse
- Deep fill (fills entire tub)
- No-Lock lid
- Stainless steel tub
- Good reviews
We could not help but add another one from the Speed Queen brand. We found the Speed Queen TR3000WN very promising in cleaning cloth diapers. Like other Speed Queen models, this one is also made in America.
The high-load washer TR3000WN can handle 3.2 Cu. Ft, which is a considerable load. The wash and rinse feature ensures filling the whole tank with water. The 210-degree agitation provides maximum clean results for dirty cloth diapers.
It lasts for a long time due to the commercial-grade steel cabinet and stainless steel tank.
It has packed with all the features that a cloth diaper washing machine should have. They are listed below:
- A quick wash cycle for your diapers
- Different Fill water level options
- Extra rinse options
- See-through glass lid allows monitoring laundry while washing
- Stainless steel drum for longer lifetime
- Good customer satisfaction
Cloth Diapers washing rules - in a nutshell
There are five basic rules to consider for keeping cloth diapers clean and intact. The following washing rules are applicable to all cloth diapers that have come into contact with urine or stool:
- Keep used diapers in a dry place for at most three days. Please do not put them in water or substances soaked with water.
- Select prewash or fine rinse including draining.
- Select whites and coloreds program or cotton program at 60° C, if possible with water plus; Spin moderately (800-1000 revolutions). Please do not choose an eco or savings program.
- Use heavy-duty detergent powder as it already contains oxygen bleach. Adjust to the water hardness and add softener if necessary, and dose for soft water.
- Dry quickly (if suitable for tumble drying: gentle drying
Parts of the diaper that can be separated from the absorbent material can also be washed with regular clothing at 30-40 ° C. PUL fabrics are best put in a laundry net. Wool products must not be washed in the normal way. You wash these in the wool program or by hand with wool detergent or mild soap.
Background knowledge on washing nappies
If you get the best washing machine for cloth diapers at your disposal, you first need some background knowledge on washing nappies. We want to clarify the following three questions:
- What ends up in the diaper, what does it need to be cleaned again?
- How does the washing machine work?
- Which ingredients in the detergent are effective for washing?
If you understand the answers to these three questions, you will not only be able to wash your cloth diapers perfectly but any other item of clothing as well.
What ends up in the diaper
Do you know what ends up in the diaper? Sure, you think so. But what exactly is it that you have to clean the diaper?
Urine consists mainly of water, urea, and salts. A terrible odor emerges from urine.
The stool consists mainly of fiber, undigested things like fats, starch, tissue fibers, and proteins. The stool also contains the dye called bilirubin, responsible for the stains in the diapers.
So, even stained diapers can still be clean and used.
Besides, skin care products have come into contact with the diaper. Mostly they are creams that contain fats, oils, and maybe also zinc oxide. You'll need detergent for all of these residues to loosen them from the fibers and water to rinse them out. Best of all, the washing machine does the work for you.
How does washing machine work: The Sinner’s Circle
Did you know there is a washing formula called the "The sinner's circle"? The procedure has proven itself for around 60 years. It describes the influence of four factors on the cleaning result:
- Mechanism of the washing machine (rotating the laundry drum and rubbing the laundry together)
- Chemistry (the detergent)
- Time (the exposure time)
Besides, there is water, through which the four factors become effective. All factors work together in laundry cleaning. If you change one of these parameters, you can compensate for it by changing another. This will give you the same washing result.
It means if you wash at low temperatures, the machine has to run longer to get the desired result. Washing programs in a washing machine are designed following this principle. So if you set 60 ° C eco-program, it doesn't mean washing at 60 ° C but will extend the wash time to equalize the temperature.
This saves energy and costs. It would help if you still refrained from using energy-saving programs when washing diapers. A washing temperature of 60 ° C is required for the hygienic cleaning of cloth diapers.
Select the correct diaper washing program
It is recommended to switch on a prewash before the main wash program. Drain out all the remaining water after the prewash. If your prewash program doesn't have this option, you can also choose a good rinse program. Prewash has several advantages:
- Most of the urine is already flushed out.
- Any stool remains are rinsed out.
- The fabric fibers are soaked and relax. This makes it easier for the dirt to loosen on the fibers.
Do not use detergent in the prewash program.
Cottons and coloreds program
You must wash cloth diapers in the cotton or boiled laundry program. These two programs use the ideal combination of temperature, time, and mechanics. The multi-layer absorbent material, in particular, has to be worked thoroughly. This is not always guaranteed in other programs.
Never overfill the machine (there should be a hand's breadth of space at best) so that the diapers get enough movement. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding maximum load.
Energy and water consumption
Many fall back from using cloth diapers, fearing high energy and water consumption. But they don't know the exact calculation.
Let's say you swaddle your child over the age of 3 and wash your diapers separately every three days a week. You have a modern average machine; the wear and tear we calculate from the purchase price and service life of 10 years or 1,840 washing cycles. You use a conventional detergent from the drugstore, which is normally dosed. In the overview, you can see the consumption of electricity and water and the costs resulting from it, which is lower with buying one-time diapers.
Some susceptible materials require hand washing, including wool and silk. Hand washing is done by hand at a maximum of 40 ° C with a lot of water and as little mechanics as possible with a gentle detergent and then rinsing out with plenty of water. Washing machines have programs that can readjust a hand wash. The drum does not turn completely. She carefully weighs the laundry back and forth.
You reduce the rotation for spinning the diaper laundry to 1000 rotations. In this way, you save energy and reduce wear and tear. The insoles still get enough movement to dry quickly afterward.
You spin wool at the lowest available spin speed (usually 800 revolutions). Otherwise, it can compress. Some wool products can also handle higher spinning speeds. Please note the information provided by the manufacturer.
It all comes down to the right dosage of detergents
The detergent has three main roles:
- It loosens the dirt from the fibers (detergent substances and enzymes).
- It prevents the dissolved substances from settling on the fibers again during the washing process (inhibitors).
- It prevents salts from the washing water from settling on the fibers (softener).
In addition, other ingredients are often included:
- Regulating water foaming: soaps and silicones
- Increase the pH value so that fibers swell and dirt dissolves more easily: washing alkalis
- Treat stains: oxygen bleach
- Making white whiter: optical brighteners
- Smoothing fibers: cellulose enzyme
- Let laundry smell: fragrances
- Making detergents free-flowing and durable: thickening agents / preservatives
You must pay attention to the dosage and follow the recommendations of the detergent manufacturer. The dosage always depends on the water's hardness because the washing-active substances can only work if the water's salts are not present.
The harder the water, the more water softener is needed. You can inquire about the water hardness from your utility company.
For soft water, you do not need a softener in addition to the heavy-duty detergent, as this is sufficiently contained in it. From medium-hard water, we recommend adding a softener to the detergent. You then dose for soft water and save on detergent. The washing-active substances work in a low dosage.
For very hard water, you can also add a liquid descaler (e.g., lactic acid-based) to the fabric softener compartment. It decalcifies the rinsing water, which is rinsed in again after the washing process. So you don't run the risk of new salts settling on the freshly washed diapers. Another positive effect: it makes you softer.
When washing diapers, pay attention to the hardness of the water. Too little softener sooner or later leads to “stinky diapers.” The washing water's salts combine with the soap in the detergent and are deposited on the fibers as lime soap. Besides, germs and other residues attach to it. These have a potent smell when they come into contact with urine again.
Hygienically clean at 60 ° C
Many of the previous washing habits have long gone. Thanks to modern washing machines and detergents, washing is easier than ever today. The following applies to cloth diapers: Instead of 90 ° C, 60 ° C is now utterly sufficient. Only if your baby has a contagious infection or thrush, give one tablespoon of oxygen bleach in addition to the heavy-duty detergent. In combination with 60 ° C, this is sufficient for disinfecting laundry.
A hygiene rinse is unnecessary, pollutes the environment, and can trigger allergic reactions. You can also use environmentally friendly oxygen bleach to disinfect.
Washing in: So that the absorbent material absorbs really well
Before using diapers for the first time, you should wash all products at least once in the washing machine at 30 ° C in order to remove residues from production.
It helps the absorbent material develops its full suction power. Absorbent material shrinks a little while washing. It is important to have them dried after each wash. You can also use the diaper after the first wash. But remember, it has not reached its full suction power yet and needs to be changed more quickly.
Prepare the Washing Machine Before Washing Reusable Diapers
Clean the Machine
To get your cloth diapers cleaned, you shouldn't forget to clean the washing machine. Washing cloth diapers and poop leftovers won't harm your washing machine. Really! Do not let yourself be unsettled by family and friends who prophesy the immediate death of the washing machine. The biggest enemy of your washing machine is limescale and bacteria. Lime can also slowly build up in cloth diapers so that you can proceed in a very similar way with these.
Descale the washing machine
If you have medium or hard water, limescale can build up on the heating elements. So the washing machine uses more energy because the heating elements can no longer heat the water effectively. How often you have to remove deposited limescale depends on water's hardness: medium or hard, the history of the washing machine, added softener, and the temperatures you wash.
With soft water at 30 to 60 ° C, much less lime is deposited than hard water at 95 ° C. Descaling your washing machine every 3 to 6 months is a good practice so far. Descaling works best and cheapest with pure citric acid in powder form.
You can easily find it in your trusted drugstore. Packs, those labeled "machine decalcifier," usually contain nothing but acids: Often, it is 100% citric acid, sometimes malic, lactic, or tartaric acid is also included.
How to get your hard cloth diapers soft again
If you have as-hard towels or inserts, you can run through the process again with the difference that you now add hard cloth diapers and pads. Citric acid can also dissolve the lime in the fabric fibers. It would help if you did the first run without laundry, as a lot of dirt is loosened the first time. If you have a dryer or can use one with family or friends, you put the laundry in there for a while. Then you have softer cloth diapers again. The steps:
- Washcloth diapers normally
- Clean washing machine
- Decalcify with citric acid: gauze diapers, prefolds, and insoles at 95 ° C, the rest at 60 ° C. Do not include everything from PUL!
- Put everything in the dryer.
- Free the washing machine of bacteria and other germs
The treatment at 95 ° C with citric acid has already solved many "bah" and bacteria in your washing machine. If you usually only wash at 40 ° C, you should use your washing machine at least once a month at 60 ° C with oxygen bleach to minimize bacterial cultures in your device.
If you don't use oxygen bleach by default, now is the time to start. If you regularly wash at 60 ° C, then cloth diapers and towels can, of course, be put in the washing machine. If you have an acute stink problem, the best thing to do is empty the washing machine and use 95 ° C.
How do I keep my washing machine permanently clean and in order?
Hang up wet laundry immediately
After washing, you should take the wet laundry out and hang it up immediately. Otherwise, the moisture and residual in the machine will cause bacteria to multiply explosively. If you cannot avoid the downtime, then you should forego the last spin cycle and leave the laundry utterly wet in the drum. This delays the formation of odors. When you are available again, the laundry only needs to be spun once and hung up. Remember that PUL can be harmed by being in the water for long periods.
Leave the door open after washing
You should heed a straightforward tip to leave the washing machine door and detergent drawer open between washes. This allows moisture to escape, and the bacteria are deprived of their livelihood.
Clean the sealing gap
The sealing gap between the drum and the door of the machine should be cleaned regularly. This is where bacteria settle, which then get into your cloth diapers or washed clothes during the next wash and multiply there if you never use oxygen bleach. To do this, simply wipe the rubber seal with a wet cloth and remove excess water.
Clean the softener compartment
You should clean the sealing gap between the drum and the door of the machine regularly. This is where bacteria remain hidden, which then get into your cloth diapers or washed clothes during the next wash and multiply there if you never use oxygen bleach. To do this, wipe the rubber seal with a wet cloth and remove excess water.
Clean the fluff filter
The lint filter helps to catch textile fibers that come off the clothes during washing. It's behind a panel in the lower part of your washing machine. If you don't clean it regularly or never use oxygen bleach, mold can form on the wet lint.
The musty smell emerging from it also stays in the laundry. But watch out! Opening the lint filter will result in moderate flooding, which you can catch with a towel. Not every washing machine has an accessible lint filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 - Why do my cloth diapers smell?
The causes of the problem are quickly explained, as is the solution.
Washing temperature too low for cloth diapers
Smelly cloth diapers are the result of bacterial cultures that multiply rapidly in wet diapers. A 60 ° wash with modern detergent eliminates most of these bacteria. However, modern washing machines are designed to be energy efficient. So when you set 60°, your washing machine actually generates a much lower temperature to save energy. As a first step, you can wash your diapers at 80-95 °.
Too little water in modern washing machines
Besides the temperature issue, there is another problem. Modern high-efficiency washing machines tend to save water. As diapers are extremely absorbent, the water in the drum is not enough to wash and rinse the cloth diapers properly.
You can solve this problem by putting very small loads of laundry, additional water in the washing machine, or buying a new washing machine with a diaper program.
Q2 - Which washing program should I choose for my cloth diapers?
The whites/coloreds are the perfect programs for your cloth diapers. Most of the pads can be washed at 60 ° C and sometimes at 95 ° C. Avoid the Eco program, as it uses too little water and does not reach the specified temperature.
Overpants and other cloth diapers with a PU coating may only be washed up to 60 ° C. Some manufacturers also recommend a maximum speed of 800 to 1000 revolutions. These types of cloth diapers can also be washed in the clothing program, easy-care or mixed.
Q3 - Why should I choose at least 60 ° C for washing cloth diapers?
The higher the temperature, the more effective the washing process, and the more germs are killed. Our ancestors boiled their babies' cloth diapers every evening because they wanted to avoid bacteria and thus red buttocks. Besides, they often applied thick cream and didn't use a non-woven nappy. The cream had to be washed out somehow.
60 ° C is sufficient if you use oxygen bleach and is kind to the environment and your cloth diapers. If your detergent contains the bleach activator TAED, 40 ° C can be sufficient, as TAED ensures that the bleach can work at low temperatures.
A washing temperature of 95 ° C is only necessary from time to time.
It is best to wash polyester with a PU coating at 60 ° C to kill germs and dissolve ammonia.
Q4 - Does your washing machine reach the specified temperature?
Modern washing machines do not reach the temperature that you set. The washing machine manufacturers are in a constant race for the best energy labels. The energy tests take place as the standard in the boil / colored wash program at 60 ° C.
The manufacturers do not care whether the 60 ° C is reached or not; the actual temperature is often significantly lower so that the washing machine gets a better rating.
It may be advisable to set a temperature of 70 ° C in individual cases so that your absorbent cloth diapers, liners, and towels are sterile and clean.
Q5 - How should I wash the cloth diapers before using them for the first time?
A myth about washing cloth diapers is that you have to wash them ten times before using them for the first time. Even after the first wash, the diapers have reached their later suction power. The excess washes change the suction power only minimally. With cotton and cotton-hemp, it is primarily the suction speed and not the suction power that is increased.
Overpants made of PUL, fleece, and nylon; inserts and pieces of fabric made of microfiber, viscose, and zorb
· Wash once after a new purchase before you can use them
· Wash them with the program hot/colored wash (is oxygen bleach not necessary in the first wash) at 40 ° C or 60 ° C with sufficient detergent.
Pads and cloth diapers made of cotton or a cotton-hemp mixture
Must be washed three times in a row after buying a new one as they contain a lot of vegetable oils. Drying in between is not necessary.
40 ° C or 60 ° C with a sufficient amount of detergent
Rubbing off when washing cloth diapers
- Colorful cloth diapers such as pant diapers and inserts can stain heavily when washing cloth diapers. It is best to wash these separately with another colored laundry.
- Overpants and other brightly colored things made of PUL do not rub off, but they can turn gray when you wash them together with brightly colored things.
Q6 - What is the Sinner’s Circle? (Wash cloth diapers)
How well your cloth diapers and towels are washed, i.e. how much dirt and germs are removed, depends on the following four factors, which are collectively referred to as the Sinner's circle:
Time in which the detergent, the method and the temperature take effect
Mechanics (colored / boil wash, easy care, delicate wash)
Temperature (40 ° C, 60 ° C, 90 ° C)
Chemistry (water, detergent, oxygen bleach, other chemicals)
Up until the middle of the 20th century (in Eastern European countries and until the 1980s), washing was still a very physically strenuous job. They soaked the laundry for one night (time), washed several times (time and mechanics) with curd soap or ordinary Washing powder (chemistry), and boiled (temperature).
They rubbed the fabrics between the hands or on washboards (mechanics). At the end of each wash and rinse cycle, the laundry had to be wrung out. Sometimes it was placed in the sun on the meadow to be bleached and then hung up to dry.
In your modern washing machine, the mechanical component has been reduced through more effective detergents (chemicals) and longer washing times (time).
If you use a different detergent, you can reduce the washing time or the temperature with the same result. The longer cloth diapers are washed, the longer the detergent can act, and the cleaner the cloth diapers become.