Cloth diapers require a lot of washing. While most cloth diapers can be washed in hot water with no pre-treating, some washable diaper covers require special treatment. Check the labels on all diaper covers to make sure they can be washed with diapers.

  1. Launder diapers in a separate load

    Load your diapers into the washer directly from the diaper pail. Soak ahead of time to remove stains only for the most stained diapers. Keep each load to 24 diapers or fewer.

  2. Use fragrance-free detergent

    Use detergent designed for use on baby clothes, or choose a detergent free of fragrances, whiteners and enzymes. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to each load. Use bleach only when necessary, not on a regular basis. Avoid using fabric softener, which can irritate a baby's skin.

  3. Wash in hot water

    Start the diaper load with a cold pre-wash, then switch to hot water for the washing. Make sure diapers are thoroughly rinsed. If any diapers still smell odorous when you take them out, run them through a second wash. Odor can be a sign of bacteria, which can cause diaper rash.