Washing Cloth Diapers with Sal Suds and Sunshine

There’s an oft-repeated, well-intentioned piece of advice from older moms to younger ones: “Cherish every minute because it flies by so fast.”

It does fly by fast.  But I didn’t cherish every minute.  Some minutes could have flown by faster.  Mainly those minutes involving bodily fluids.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am ridiculously glad I have my three ducklings, and I love them beyond words. Looking at each one of them is like seeing my heart walking around outside my body.

But I didn’t enjoy being a human Kleenex or burp cloth or diaper. I didn’t find those moments memorable, except in an “oh-my-stars-I’m-glad-that’s-past” sort of way.  Though I was thankful that all their little systems were fully operational, it was a relief when they could wipe themselves on both ends.  And now I can wear white again.

Be that as it may, diapering is an unavoidable part of raising young offspring, so let’s camp on it for a minute.

One of the many absurd questions in the litany of questions people ask a woman who has just announced that she’s pregnant – usually just after asking if she knows what it is (a baby), and just before they launch into their personal horror stories about morning sickness or incontinence – is whether she is going to use disposable or cloth diapers.

Should you choose to use cloth diapers, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner will help you maintain clean, soft, absorbent, stain free diapers.  Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap is an option if you have soft water, but in hard water, the soap reacts with the minerals in the water, leaving a film that can make the diapers less absorbent.  Sal Suds is fail-safe in all water types.

Because of the great variety in cloth diaper types, I can’t here state one specific way to pre-treat, wash, and dry cloth diapers.  There’s variability on whether the diaper should be soaked or not, washed hot or cold, dried in a dryer or outside.  Refer to your diapers’ recommendations.

However, at some point in the process, you’re going to come to the step of actually washing the diaper, and this is where Sal Suds steps in.

Sal Suds makes for a fantastic diaper wash because it is free of fragrance and dye, contains no fabric softeners, bleach, or enzymes that might reduce the absorbency of the diaper or leave a residue to harm baby’s skin.  Sal Suds is tough on stains, works great in hot or cold water, and is exceedingly clean rinsing.  It combines great with vinegar as well as baking soda (although those two will react with each other, so use separately), which can bring greater whitening and odor-removal.

Most cloth diaper manufacturers recommend less cleaning agent than you would use for normal laundry.  My recommendation for normal laundry is 2-3 Tbsp. of Sal Suds for a large load in a conventional, non-HE washer.  For diapers, use 2 Tbsp. of Sal Suds for a large load in a conventional washer, or 1 Tbsp. in an HE washer.  Reduce the amount relative to the size of the load.  Wash per manufacturer recommendation with cold or hot water.  Sal Suds works equally well.

Air drying in sunshine is a great way to add some extra whitening to the diapers, as well as using less energy.

And you are on your way with a fresh pile of diapers ready for another round of use!

2 thoughts on “Washing Cloth Diapers with Sal Suds and Sunshine

  1. I don’t have babies, but have a question on Sal Suds. Probably because of the cold weather now (I live in Oceanside, CA), Sal Suds is thick, difficult to come out of the bottle and when it does, well, it is a lot. Any tips on keeping it liquid?

    Thank you, Lisa.

    • Hi Margarita – Yes, as you suspect, it is the cold that is causing the Sal Suds to thicken. It will still work perfectly fine, but if you can’t get it out of the bottle, you can set the bottle in a bowl or sink of hot (not boiling water) for 15 minutes and it will re-clarify.

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