Wash Routine Check List

What to worry about:

-Odors out of the dryer
-Odors once the diaper is peed in
-Rashes on the child that don’t resolve easily within 1-2 days
-Recurring yeast infections (which may or may not be a cause of concern, some children will be more prone to yeast under any diapering conditions, but if your child seems to just go from one infection to the other, please consult with your pediatrician and make sure to disinfect the diapers.)
-Any sores or pimples in the diaper area that don’t resemble your typical heat rash

What not to worry about:

-Suds in the wash cycle or rinse cycle *if* you don’t have any odors or rashes. Some detergents/washing conditions will be sudsy. If you don’t have any odors, don’t sweat the suds, odors will be there if you have buildup.
-Stains *if* you don’t have odors. Newborns will stain their diapers. If you press the diapers up to your nose and smell and they smell clean, don’t worry one bit about the stain, shoot me an e-mail about some tips to get them out.
-Anyone else’s washing advice if what you are doing is working for you and your baby.

The reason I like to get on a soapbox (or detergent box-tee hee) about odors, odors are your indicator that you are leaving urine and/or feces behind. If this is the case, when the diapers get re-wet with fresh urine, and placed in a dark moist pail for another 24-48 hours, you can breed bacteria, and this can be a health concern. You don’t want bacteria next to your child’s genitals. Stains can present this way, too, but odors will be present if this is the case along with the stain.

I also don’t like rashes, 99% of our rash e-mails are heat related, wetness related or ammonia related. But, for those that are yeast, staph, severe detergent reactions, in the very rare case of MRSA, these are issues that are not only annoying for baby and mom, but can have far-reaching consequences on the child’s health. Of course some of these issues, especially yeast, have differing degrees of severity and not all are a huge problem, but head them off by sniffing your washed and dried diapers every so often, it will be your best indication of problems.


August 30, 2010. cloth diapers, Wash routines.


  1. Allyson replied:

    Thanks for your post! So I can answer yes to MANY of the reasons to worry!! They smell clean out of the dryer, however, once soiled the ammonia smell is pretty bad! After 12+ hours at night, I walk into her room with a horrible ammonia smell … takes my breath away! It takes me at least 5-6 days to get rid of diaper rashes AND i think I battle yeast at least 2-3x/month! HELP!!

    (ALL BG 3.0) I do a cold wash with baking soda, hot/cold with rockin’ green with extra rinse. Last time I took out the covers and left the inserts in for another wash with 1/4 cup bleach … i hate to use bleach too much … but wondering if I should more often!!!

    Any help would be appreciated!

  2. abbyslane replied:

    Morning smell is normal, rashes are not. You have buildup, have you ever tried a different detergent? I don’t check my blog too much, email me at AbbysLane@aol.com and we can work this out 🙂

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