Cloth Diaper FAQ’s

cloth diapers

I asked Candis from EcoBuns to give me a hand in answering some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to cloth diapering.

How many cloth diapers do I need to start?

You should expect to have a stash of around 25 diapers to start clothdiapering your little one full time.

What else do I need to get other than the diapers?

In addition to the actual cloth diapers you are going to need to invest in cloth safe detergent, a wet bag or pail liner to store your dirty diapers, a sprayer and a cloth safe diaper cream.

How do I prep my cloth diapers before I use them the first time?

All cloth diapers will need to be washed and dried a minimum of three times prior to your first use. Most diapers will gain max absorbency after about the eighth wash. You will add a decreased amount of cloth safe detergent to a hot wash using the highest water level possible. A cold rinse will follow the wash before you dry the diapers.

What’s the best way to wash them? (and Can I use a HE washer?)

A top loading machine is the best way to wash cloth as it enables you to choose the amount of water you wash with. You can certainly use an HE, you may find that a wet bath towel thrown in the machine with the diapers is needed to add more weight so the machine adds more water for proper rinsing.

What do I do with the dirty diapers before I have enough to wash? Do I need a wet pail?

You will need to store your dirty diapers in a “wet bag” or a “pail liner”, both of which use a PUL to make the bags waterproof. Either of the options allow for you to simply toss the soiled diaper (after poo is removed) into the bag or pail which remains dry. There is no need for any type of soaking or bucket filled with water, actually most reputable manufacturers discourage use the use of a wet pail. A long continual soak in a wet pail can breed bacteria, disintegrate fibers and pose a drowning risk for small children.

What about stains? How do you get the cloth diapers actually clean?

So stains are natural and normal in the world of cloth, just because you see a stain does not mean they are not getting clean. Some people are totally comfortable with staining while others want them gone ASAP. Good old sunshine is going to be your best friend when it comes to removing stains, after you pull the diapers from your washing machine simply bring them outside and allow the sun to do its job of drying and bleaching! You will be amazed as to what a few hours in the sunshine can do for stained diapers. Keep in mind some stains ( blueberry poop) can take multiple sunnings to remove.

Will I be able to use them while out?

Absolutely, a travel size wet bag will accompany your traditional diaper bag and when your baby needs a change, simply toss the dirty diaper into the wet bag and move on! You can use flushable liners to help with the poo when out and about or just resign yourself to knowing you will be using your toilet sprayer to take care of the day’s diapers when you get home.

What do you do with the “poopy” cloth diapers?

Spray, spray and spray again! The diaper sprayer is the easiest and most convenient way to keep hands poo free while flushing it where it belongs. Some people swear by using a poo spatula that they scrape the poo away with, not me!

What’s the best way to figure out which cloth diaper will work best for your baby?

Patience and a variety of styles and brands will help you to decide which system is going to work best with your lifestyle, budget and baby. All cloth diapers will do the main job but you will eventually find yourself gravitating toward a favorite, you may have 4 or 5 favorites for different reasons! Don’t be afraid to try something that seems completely out of your comfort zone.


Candis DeBoer is a cloth diaper lover who not only uses cloth diapers but tries to pass her love of cloth on to other natural living parents in her store, EcoBuns, located in Holland,MI.

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This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

About donielle

Donielle is a natural momma of two, lover of real foods, and owner and editor of Grand Rapids Natural Living and Naturally Knocked Up. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up some nourishing foods, cuddled on the couch reading books to the littles, avoiding the laundry and Mt. Saint Dishes, or tapping away on the laptop. Her husband puts up with her sometimes crazy "hippie" ways, but loves her regardless. Welcome to my home away from home.


  1. I still used disposable wipes and use them as liners for the diapers. Not new wet wipes, but washed and dried ones. When it’s time for the messes it pulls away from diaper alot neater than having to handle it all directly on the diaper. I wash the wipes we use to clean up the pee off of our little ones, so they get extra use out of them.

    We obviously throw out the dirty wipes, but have been saved so many yucky messes by reusing out old wipes too. Most wipes wash and dry fine, but some come out of the wash rough so I avoid buying them.

    When money warrants it I buy organic wipes these wash so nicely they cover most of the area of diaper, some other brands I have to put two laying together.
    I hope this can save someone some time from the dreaded task of cleaning out the dirty diaper.

    • donielle says:

      I never once thought of rewashing disposable wipes…..mine always fell apart when they accidentally got put in there!