***Please note that the routines described below are based on North American style washing machines that bring water in from a separate hot water tank. If you are using a machine that heats the water in the machine, do not wash on water hotter than 40 degrees Celsius as we've heard reports that washing with water at 60 degrees has damaged diapers.***
Preparing the Diapers Before Use
The most important thing is to machine dry your diapers on high heat before use to heat seal the seams. Washing the inserts and diapers is not necessary to have the diapers function properly but is recommended to remove any manufacturing residue. Fibers such as microfiber do not require washing to make them absorbent however our bamboo inserts are blended with cotton so you may notice that they become more absorbent over time.
If you decide to wash the diapers before use, make sure you are using detergent that does not contain fabric softeners. Do not use any liquid softeners, dryer sheets, dryer bars or natural oils while washing and drying the diapers at any time. Remove all the inserts from the diapers and place everything in your washing machine. Add the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent and run a hot/cold wash. Throw the diapers and inserts in the dryer and run a regular dry on high heat to heat seal the seams and stitching. Please note that if you know that your dryer runs particularly hot or are unsure about the heat, heat seal the diapers on medium heat. If you follow these instructions but are having issues after the first few uses, simply fill out our troubleshooting form here and we will help you get down to the cause!
Adjusting the Size of the Diapers
Getting your child’s diapers to fit properly can go a long way in ensuring their comfort, avoiding leaks and ensuring trimness under their clothing. Adjusting one-size cloth diapers is one thing but getting a good fit on your baby is something different all together. Here is a handy sizing chart and a few tips on getting the best fit.
Glow Bug Cloth Diapers Sizing Chart
The rise snaps can be found on the front of the diaper through the crotch in 4 rows. All of your diapers need to be adjusted before using the diapers on your baby. This is a general guide to go on but every baby is different. If you notice the front of the diaper is gaping and pulling down along the top, you may want to adjust the snaps to the next size.
- Small Rise Adjustment (top row snapped to the bottom row) 7lbs-10lbs
- Medium Rise Adjustment (top row snapped to the third row down) 10lbs-18lbs
- Large Rise Adjustment (top row snapped to the second row) 18lbs-25lbs
- Extra-large Rise Adjustment (not snapped) 25lbs+
Make sure to also watch our video tutorial on how to adjust and put your diapers on your baby.
- The main thing is to make sure that the diaper fits comfortably on the baby without gaps around the legs or around the belly
- When placing the diaper on your baby, make sure that there is plenty of fabric in the front
- With more fabric in the front of the diaper, the elastic will sit better around the baby’s legs and there is more absorbent material where it needs to be to do its job
- Make sure the diaper is not too tight on your baby. Some red marks are normal for cloth diapers but angry red or broken down skin is not normal. See your doctor and email is at firstname.lastname@example.org if skin breakdown should occur
- When applying the diaper, use your hand to smooth down the tab making sure the white inner flap is tucked into the diaper
- The diaper fits properly when it lays flat against the baby’s tummy and does not gap around the legs.
Changing Glow Bug Cloth Diapers
We recommend storing your soiled diapers using the “dry pail” method with no essential oils, baking soda, vinegar, bleach or water in your diaper pail. Soaking the diapers in a pail of water can grow bacteria and is more difficult to transport to the washing machine. All you need is a laundry hamper with a solid bottom for your diaper pail but there are also carbon filter cloth diaper pails that can reduce the amount of odor from the diapers. You can also use a “pail liner” inside your diaper pail that can be washed with your diapers.
If it is a pee diaper or your baby has an exclusively breastfed poop, simply remove the diaper and place everything in the diaper pail because breastfed poop is water soluble. If the baby is formula fed or has started solids, you must discard the poop into the toilet before placing it in the diaper pail or wet bag. Only exclusively breastfed baby's poop can go through the washing machine.
Click here to see our video tutorial on removing poo from cloth diapers.
Don’t use any petroleum jelly, petroleum based creams, baby oil or prescription cream unless you have a flush-able or reusable liner protecting the diaper's lining fabric. If you are wondering if your diaper cream is safe to use without a liner, here is a great searchable list. If you notice after using cream with liners in your diapers that your diapers are repelling or leaking, please fill out a troubleshooting form here. On a regular basis, make sure to change the baby’s diaper every 2-3 hours during the day.
Washing Cloth Diapers
Every 2-3 days place all diapers, inserts and inverted wet bags into the washing machine. Do not use any liquid softeners, dryer sheets, dryer bars or natural oils while washing and drying the diapers. Turn the water level up to the highest level for loads of 12-24 diapers or adjust according to the number of diapers in your load. Turn your agitation level to heavy duty.
Do a cold or warm “pre-rinse,” “rinse” or short cycle to rinse all the urine out of your diapers with the amount of detergent recommended for a small load according to the product label. Once the rinse has finished, add the amount of detergent recommended for a large or extra large load and run a hot wash with 1 cold or warm rinse. If you have hard water, slightly increase your amount of detergent and use either 1/4 cup of Calgon, 1/2 cup of Borax or 3/4 cup of Washing Soda to remove minerals. After the wash is complete, throw all the diapers and inserts in the dryer on medium heat or hang to dry in the sun. It is not recommended to dry your diapers indoors away from direct sunlight because this will grow bacteria in your diapers. Always hang your wet bags to dry inside out to dry. Do not use the “steam/sanitize” setting. Steam can damage the diapers.
When your diapers come out of the dryer, there should be no ammonia or barn yard smell. If your diapers have odor or if they are repelling liquids please fill out our troubleshooting form here and we will email you with recommendations on stripping your diapers and improving your wash routine.
Most stains will come out in the wash, however if you have a stain that is not coming out, simply place your wet clean diapers out in the sun or in a sunny window for the day and the sun will naturally remove the stain and sanitize the diaper. Lemon juice can also be applied to the stain as long as the diaper is wet before placing the diaper in the sun.