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How often do I need to wash my cloth diapers?

Castle Rumparooz One Size Pocket Cloth Diaper

How many days can I go between wash days for cloth diapers?

In the realm of cloth diapering, maintaining a regular washing schedule is essential to ensure both the hygiene of your baby and the longevity of your cloth diapers. Many parents wonder about the ideal timeframe for washing cloth diapers – is it every day, every other day, or can you push it to every few days? Here at Kanga Care, we recommend washing your cloth diapers every 2-3 days with our approved wash & care tips. We have compiled this information over years in the cloth diaper industry and research along the way so that we can save you some headaches. Remember, at the end of the day it is just another load of laundry! 

Why is it critical not to exceed this timeframe?

  • Preventing Bacterial Growth: Leaving human waste to sit too long can create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These bacteria not only cause unpleasant odors, but can also lead to skin rashes on your little one. Washing your cloth diapers every 2-3 days helps prevent the buildup of bacteria, ensuring your baby's delicate skin stays clean and rash-free.
  • Steer Clear from Ammonia Build Up: The longer you wait to wash your cloth diapers, the higher the risk of ammonia build up. When the water from urine starts to evaporate, salt (ammonia) crystals will start to form in the fibers, the longer the diapers sit the more crystals that form. Once there is ammonia build up, it becomes difficult to remove without sanitizing as bacteria can start to grow pretty quick.
  • Avoiding Prolonged Soaking: When cloth diapers are left to soak for extended periods, this can lead to weak spots in the waterproof TPU which will leave it compromised and can cause micro abrasions or delamination. 
  • Ensuring Proper Cleaning: Waiting too long between washes makes it harder for your machine to remove stains and odors. Washing your cloth diapers within the recommended time frame ensures your washing machine can work efficiently on the diapers, keeping your diapers fresh and clean. With a strong routine, you should not need to strip or sanitize your cloth diapers regularly.

Can I Wash My Diapers More Frequently?

Absolutely, you have the flexibility to wash your cloth diapers daily if you prefer. However, if your reason for daily washing is due to using your entire diaper supply in a single day, you may want to consider expanding your stash. By increasing your diaper rotation, you reduce the wear and tear on each individual diaper. A larger stash spreads out the usage, ensuring that no single diaper faces excessive use, ultimately prolonging their lifespan.

Another consideration with frequent washing is proper agitation. If you find yourself washing only a handful of diapers at a time, your machine might struggle to achieve the necessary movement for effective cleaning. To optimize the cleaning process, it's recommended to aim for at least a half full load in your washing machine, ensuring adequate agitation and a thorough cleanse.

Can I Wait Longer to Wash My Diapers?

While you can wait longer between washes, it's advisable not to exceed the 3-day mark if possible. Waiting beyond this timeframe allows waste to settle and liquids to evaporate creating ammonia crystals, making it harder for your washing machine to clean the diapers effectively. The longer waste sits, the more challenging it becomes to remove stains, odors and potential bacteria. It should also be considered, in specific environments, waiting too long can result in persistent odors, leading you to believe there's an issue with your washing routine when, in fact, the problem stems from waiting too long before washing.

What is the Longest I Can Go Before Washing My Diapers?

It's highly recommended not to extend the interval beyond 4 days. Beyond this point, bacteria has the opportunity to grow and establish a foothold in your diapers. This not only leads to unpleasant odors but can also cause skin rashes and leave the diapers unclean after your completed wash routine. Regardless of how effective your wash routine or detergent is, waiting too long jeopardizes the hygiene of your diapers. Maintaining a regular washing schedule within the 2-3 day range makes certain that your cloth diapers remain fresh, odor-free, and most importantly, safe for your baby's delicate skin. Lastly, waiting too long between wash days, especially with younger babies can result in a large volume of soiled diapers. While we want to make sure you have enough diapers in your load, we also do not want to overfill your washing machine. Having too large of a load size can heed proper agitation as there is not sufficient room for the water and detergent to circulate or for the diapers to agitate to remove waste. We suggest a max fill of two thirds for your machine size. 

Kanga Care Wet Bag

Where do I store my diapers during the 2-3 days?

Proper storage of cloth diapers between wash days is crucial in maintaining their cleanliness and preventing odors. Two options for storing soiled cloth diapers are wet bags and pail liners, each offering unique benefits to make the process convenient and hygienic.

  • Wet Bags: Portable and Versatile Solution

Wet bags are incredibly versatile and convenient for parents on the go. These waterproof bags come in various sizes, the Wet Bag and Wet Bag Mini, making them ideal for storing soiled diapers when you're out and about. Whether you're running errands, visiting friends, or traveling, wet bags provide a secure and odor-containing solution. Their waterproof lining makes certain that moisture and odors are sealed inside. Plus, they're easy to clean and can be tossed into the washing machine along with the diapers on laundry day. The snap closure handle allows you to easily hang these wet bags wherever needed, from your changing table, on a stroller, or anywhere! 

Pail liners are specifically designed for home use and fit neatly inside diaper pails or waste basket cans. Kanga Care’s tapered design and drawstring closure make the Pail Liners a perfect fit. These liners are made from waterproof TPU and corn spun polyester, preventing leaks and containing odors effectively.

I am washing every 2-3 days but my diapers stink?

Are you storing your cloth diapers properly, using our approved detergents and wash routine but your diapers still have a barnyard smell, ammonia build up or are coming out of the wash dirty? Please reach out to our customer care team at and we can assist in troubleshooting your cloth diapers.

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