do I need to strip my diapers?

This week we are going to start a discussion that will span a few weeks regarding “stripping” the diapers and what it is intended for. Stripping refers to an action of doing something to the diapers to disinfect or strip them from detergent buildup, ointment buildup, old feces or urine buildup, fabric softener, basically anything that is hindering absorbency. Today I am going to review what does need to be stripped versus what doesn’t.
Many times, truly most times, that a customer thinks the diaper needs to be stripped, it is actually a scenario where more absorbency is needed. You do NOT need to strip if:

-The diapers leak, but more than 30-45 minutes has passed
-The diapers leak, but the entire diaper/fitted or insert is wet
-The diapers leak but do not have odors to them

If you are having leaking but find that the above fits, you likely have an absorbency or fit issue, not a need to strip. Very, very rarely will buildup occur without an accompanying odor. If you have enough buildup left to hinder absorbency, you will be trapping old feces and urine, and it will stink. What may be a cause to strip is:

-Odors out of the dryer, or once freshly peed in
-leaking within the first few minutes of the diaper being on
-leaking and the diaper is wet in spots only
-use of creams, and you can see and smell spots where ointment has been
-use of liquid detergents that are “free and clears”


February 15, 2011. cloth diapers, FAQ, Q & A.


  1. mamab replied:

    Great! I was going to strip tonight with a squirt of blue Dawn. Curious to hear what y’all have to say.

  2. sheilamom2six replied:

    I’ve never stripped my dipes, and I’ve never noticed a need (on my 2nd cd’ed child). So, I wondered if I just didn’t know what I’m doing, LOL. ‘Glad to know it isn’t “necessary.” Thanks!

  3. Nathania replied:

    Ok, I finally had time to just sit down and read–I’ve been saving your posts! Stripping diapers is a new thing for me, and especially since I have “new” diapers–(gifts from families who no longer need them for their children) I definitely think we need to strip our diapers! I have tried using a cloth friendly detergent, and done a lot of washing with baking soda, hot wash, cold wash–I have tried everything! So now, I take a sigh and a breather–I KNOW for SURE I need to strip my diapers to get that urine smell out of them! 🙂 Thank you so much for posting, your writing is NOT IN VAIN!

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