That glorious day has arrived, you have Fluff Mail! In this little box of awesome is some brand new Cloth Diapers and you can’t wait to get them on your baby’s bum.
But you MUST wait. Because… it’s time to Prep your Cloth Diapers! Fear not, because my method is very quick and easy.
If your diaper material is Hemp or Cotton, this is a Natural Fibre diaper. It may take more than one wash to reach full absorbency.
Each time you wash and dry your natural fibre inserts or all in ones, you will remove oils that would repel wetness rather than absorb it. Your hemp and cotton will start to fluff up. Prefolds especially take several washes to reach peak fluffiness.
If the diaper you bought is a Synthetic All In One or has Synthetic Inserts (ie. Microfibre or Stay Dry), you only need to wash, with you chosen detergent, on quick wash setting and dry one time before you put it on baby. It’s absorbency is pretty much set from day one.
If your diaper or inserts are made of Bamboo, don’t be fooled by marketing. The Rayon processing for Bamboo pretty much makes them synthetic. They won’t actually need tons of washes like Hemp or Cotton would. Even if Bamboo isn’t technically a “natural fibre” anymore by the time it reaches your cloth diapers, it’s still a good choice due to its absorbency ability.
How I Prep My Diapers
Many websites talk about prepping Natural fibre seperate from synthetic, because the natual oils can cause repelling if absorbed by your synthetic diapers.
That never made sense to me. The point of washing my natural fibre is to remove the oil, so if I’m succeeding at doing that then it stands to reason that I’m not sticking it back into the stuff in my washing machine. A good mainstream detergent (Tide Powder is my favourite!) will remove the oils and prep your natural fibre safely, even if other material like synthetics are in with them.
I use cloth diapers partly to limit my impact on the environment, which means using less water too. So I prep my new diapers by throwing them in with my existing Cloth Diaper Laundry.
Since my natural fibre diapers will not be at full absorbency after one wash, I just add Boosters until they’ve been through my routine a few times. This way I’m not sitting in my laundry room washing diapers for 6 straight cycles before they even get on my baby’s bum.
The Importance of a Good Wash Routine
If you are prepping your first batch of new cloth diapers for the very first time, you don’t have dirty diaper laundry to throw them in with.
No worries! You can take this oppertunity to establish a good wash routine from day one.
You will need a good Mainstream detergent, a water softener if your water hardness is over 180ppm, and a Washing Machine! I can’t help everyone specifically in one article, but there is a great resource for finding a wash routine that works for you – just head over to the Washing Machine Index at Fluff Love University.
Once you’ve nailed down a good wash routine, try our handy Print Out to hang on your laundry room wall!
If you’re curious about what FluffLoveUniversity has to say about prepping cloth, here is the link.