Washing 101

A few washing 101 hints, these are my five most typed out hints to customers on a daily basis with washing issues:

-Use powder over liquid
-Switch out your cold prerinse for a warm or hot one
-Do an extra cold rinse after your wash cycle
-Don’t do a cold wash cycle at all, just a warm or hot prerinse than a warm or hot wash cycle, hot is preferable
Don’t be afraid to use a regular amount of detergent

Now, of course there are always exceptions to my guidelines, but for the most part, liquid tends to cause buildup more quickly than powder. Between cold or warm/hot prerinse we see no difference in stains, instead seeing cold working against you in the prewash cycle. That extra rinse after really helps avoid buildup if you can do it, temperature doesn’t make a lot of difference here so cold is fine. Don’t do a cold wash cycle with or without detergent, it runs you into more problems than it solves in most cases.

And lastly, with very few exceptions on soft water front loaders, don’t use a teaspoon of detergent, many cases of the stinks is solved by upping the amount.


October 22, 2010. cloth diapers, Q & A, Wash routines.


  1. Christina replied:

    What about hard water front loaders? Sigh I want my top loader back!

  2. SharpieB replied:

    everywhere i have read says do a cold wash pre-rinse; what is your reasoning behind hot pre-rinse. also what did you mean by only use a teaspoon of detergent on front loaders???
    thanks for clarifying

  3. abbyslane replied:

    Over the years we hav…e diapered, and from chatting with so many of you wonderful ladies (really, 99% of my customer service time is washing issues, anywhere from 2-12 mamas a day), we have found the cold water acts against stains. My personal theory is that no matter what detergent you use, even the most natural, will leave behind some ingredients. Nothing bad or harmful in most cases, but usually the waxy ingredients that are the bases for the detergents. When cold water hits these without being washed out first with hot water, they “seal” in the urine and feces in the diaper, like a cooling candle. Then, new detergent and hot water cleans the rest of it, and hot drying further seals all of it in. Then, when fresh pee hits it, everything gets unlocked and you can just smell all that old gunk. Warm or hot water first really helps to loosen everything up to let the hot wash do its job, and works better with stains.

  4. SharpieB replied:

    great feedback thanks!!!

  5. Diaper Bag Wrangler Wetbag Giveaway! *closed* replied:

    […] Tip of the Day: With very few exceptions on soft water front loaders… Don’t use a teaspoon of detergent.  Many cases of stink issues can be solved by upping the amount of detergent.  {source}  […]

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