Cloth Diaper FAQs for a Natural Homekeeping Facebook Group

October 22, 2013

How-to, Washing Cloth Diapers

I was recently asked if I could offer my cloth diaper advice in a new Facebook group called Natural Homekeeping and Cloth Diaper Care.

Although I’m not able to be present to answer questions that often I was able to answer questions for their FAQ document.

I invite you to check out the group if you prefer natural cleaning products in your home and use cloth diapers.

My answers are concise and to the point…pretty much how I communicate in real life!

  • Your name and a little background info on your awesome self and CD experience:

Hello! I’m Autumn, owner and author of All About Cloth Diapers.  I am married to an uber wise man! Michael is abnormally intelligent (he may be a tad abnormal as well) and a true entrepreneur.  It is because of him that All About Cloth Diapers came to be.  He saw a passion in me and turned it into a successful business.  I am also the mommy to 6 children.  Haley is my oldest (11) and the only one who wasn’t cloth diapered.  Oh, how I remember WELL the blowouts with her!  I began cloth diapering when my son Haven was 15m old (Oct 2005) and cloth diapered from day 1 with Paisley, Sterling, Camden and Finley.  I have used every kind of system over the years and dozens of different brands.  Truly every child is different and not one diaper works the same on each one.

Many of you know me well by now but for those of you who are new to All About Cloth Diapers you can learn more about me by reading these posts: 7 Smokin Hot Topics I Get Asked All the Time, I’ll Tell You My Dirty Little Secret, 3 Reasons Why I Chose to Cloth Diaper.

  • What is your favorite wipes solution recipe(s)?

In 2010, I made my own.  It consisted of water, jojoba oil, and either peppermint or other yummy smelling essential oil.  I would pre-moisten the wipes and place them in the Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer.

  • What is your favorite store bought wipes solution(s)?

I mostly use disposable wipes but I do LOVE Scarlet’s Naturals Hiney Honey Bites.  I have every scent she offers but my favorite is coconut.  Always coconut! Love coconut!

  • How to get ride of ammonia build-up on natural fibers?

First, I always do an extra hot wash cycle to break down any detergent buildup if present.  Then, depending on water type I do the following:

soft/softened/normal water: white vinegar soak.  4 cups of vinegar either in a top loader or bath tub.   Use hot water.  Let diapers soak overnight- easiest for me.

hard water: RLR soak.  1 packet of RLR + hot water in top loader or bath tub.  Soak for a few hours (or if easier overnight).

Drain or transfer to washing machine.  Run a hot cycle no detergent.  At this point you can choose to run a cycle with detergent if you desire.

  • How to get rid of ammonia build up on micro cloth?

Same as above.  Funk Rock soak works great for microfiber revitalization.

  • How to get rid of barnyard stink on natural fibers?

More detergent!! Every time I or a reader has had barnyard stink it is because not enough or not a strong enough detergent was being used.  It takes more than 2 tablespoons of detergent to clean a load of DIRTY diapers.

  • How to get rid of barnyard stink on micro cloth and other synthetic fibers?

Same as above.  Add more detergent and try another brand.  I’ve found that alternating detergents helps keep diapers from developing buildup.  What one brand has the other doesn’t and they end up working together.

  • Best stain removal product/method?


  • How to properly sun bleach?

Wash.  Lay wet diapers face up or directly in sun.  I do not have a line but will lay diapers anywhere I have a place outside! I’ve laid them on the top of the car before.

  • Natural hard water washing solutions?

Add 1/4-1 cup of washing soda to your washing machine or detergent compartment in addition to your detergent.  Washing soda can be made by baking Baking Soda.  In this post  I explain how to do this. Another great post was written by Pooters Diapers Cleaning Your Diapers the HARD Way

  • Natural soft water washing solutions?

Use less detergent, rinse well!! Vinegar in the rinse cycle works great in soft water at releasing buildup in the soakers.

  • Favorite store bought diaper detergent?

Grab Green gardenia pods, dropps, or Purex Natural Elements

I am IN LOVE with Grab Green 3-In-1 Laundry detergent, Gardenia.  Everyone who comes to my house falls in love with it too! It smells A-mazing.  I’ve been using it for 3+ weeks now and I am obsessed.  I sniff the bag every time I go into the bathroom/laundry room.

  • How to properly strip?

Any of the above recommendations for ammonia.  Adding washing soda or RLR to a wash cycle can also be successful.  I’m not a fan of using Dawn but many prefer this method.

  • Your wash routine (and with what kind of washer)?

In Texas: Samsung Steam front loader
In California: GE top loader w/ agitator

Routine: prewash on cold, wash on hot, extra rinse on cold.  Dry inserts in dryer, shells air dry.

  • Bacout: Yay or nay? Why or why not?

Yay! Bacout is a great product.  Currently I don’t use Bacout (for test reasons) but I would still recommend it.  I always recommend it in the prewash then it has plenty of opportunity to be fully rinsed out by the final cycle.  New labeling DOES NOT mean a new formula.  The formula is still the same just more specific.

What are my test reasons?  I want to see if not using Bacout for several months causes any changes to the cleanliness of the diapers.  So far, none.

  • Anything else you want to add?

Keep it simple and use enough detergent.  There’s no need to use bleach unless you have an infection you want to make sure is killed.  Even then you can use Grapefruit Seed Extract to do the job.   Cloth diapers are to serve you, not the other way around.  Get them cleaned but don’t stress yourself out over what’s safe and what isn’t.  Seriously.

I just love washing diapers here in California!  Things are so easy and problem free…so far!


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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at

View all posts by Autumn Beck

5 Responses to “Cloth Diaper FAQs for a Natural Homekeeping Facebook Group”

  1. Cynthia Foster Says:

    I am all for using Washing soda for hard wate issues, but it is always just recommended for the wash cycle. Wouldn’t it be necessary to soften the rinse water as well? I dissolve about 1/2 cup washing soda in hot water and add it to the rinses(both of them). Our hard water sucks. Am I taking unnecessary steps?


  2. Gretchen Says:

    I live in Alaska and decided to try the sun method for my stains. I had already dried my shells in the dryer on low. I stuck them in a sunny window since it was cool outside and we don’t have a porch or any place I could put them and keep them dirt free (gravel road and all). Anyhow, it worked great! I wasn’t sure since it was through the window but the stains were gone within two hours. Granted they were very faint stains but I was still impressed.


  3. Emily Taaffe Says:

    oh, and just one question… Have you found an RLR soak to be effective in normal water, or just hard?


  4. Emily Taaffe Says:

    Thank you so much for all of the wonderful responses! You rock, mama!! ;)


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