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.
This article may contain Affiliate links. I earn a small commission if you shop using my links, at not extra cost to you.
Prepping Natural Fibres
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.
Prepping Synthetic cloth diapers
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 once, with you chosen detergent, on a quick wash setting and then 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. You can get away with a single quick wash to prep.
How I prep my Cloth 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 before use 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. You might not know how to start figuring out a wash routine.
No worries! You can take this oppertunity to establish a great wash routine from day one. I’ve written a blog post here about how to wash cloth diapers. You can even print a handy Wall chart for your laundry room.