Why Two Wash Cycles? 

I don’t do wash routine advice, I don’t like to give it because I’m not confident it will solve your problems. However, I do believe in providing you with as much information to help you understand why some wash strategies work and others don’t. 

If you need help with your wash routine I recommend connecting with your cloth diaper brand or retailer. These amazing people are dedicated to your success and they make it their business. They will also provide you support and assistance in line with your diapers warranties. Didn’t buy your diapers from a cloth diaper retailer? Source out a local community based cloth diaper group where people provide support, or message someone you know and trust. 

Typically it’s recommended to do two wash cycles when washing cloth diapers. One short and quick cycle to wash out the majority of the poo and pee, and a second longer cycle to work on the deeper clean needed to have diapers that smell fresh and don’t leave rashes! 

Some people wash with only one wash cycle. If you know a family like this, they will often say they are rinsing diapers in the sink or by hand prior to wash day. This strategy works well for families who might be using laundromat or need to pay for laundry. Simply rinsing out diapers at the end of the day, or before tossing in the wet bag can help rinse away the urine and fece for a better overall clean. This is not wrong if it works for you. This can work and does work for many families. 

There’s a lot of opinions out there about whether these washes should be super short, or super long; hot or cold; no detergent or some detergent; and many other opinions. I welcome you to fill in the comment section about your wisdom and experience. We all learn from each other and it helps build on the many different things that work for many different situations and families. 

Amount of Time: I’ve read anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. 

Best Answer? The one that fits your stash and lifestyle. My personal perspective is that if you’re dealing with heavy pee or poop diapers you might find longer agitation and cycles will help clean out the yuck. Whereas, if you don’t have a lot of yuck to clean, then a shorter cycle will work. 

For example, right now, we have a plopping poop and light wetting. We could probably get away with a shorter cycle because there isn’t as much to get out of the diapers. However, when we had a lot of poop and a lot of strong toddler pee diapers, then a longer prewash might be more effective. Think about what’s in the diapers and how much work might be needed to get them thoroughly clean. 

While my machine has a speed wash cycle, I’ve never considered it and just use the shortest normal wash cycle. This is partly a habit from my previous machine which had no other option. I might start trying the 30 minute speed wash and see what happens. That’s the beauty of cloth diapering you can try things and it’s not going to ruin your diapers, if you want to talk about ruining diapers, I have an entirely different post for that. 

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