Generally when washing cloth diapers you want to use an oxygenated soap like Dr. Bonners, Sun Detergent or 7th Generation. These soaps aid in releasing possible set in stains. Additionally, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS dump solids into the toilet before beginning the wash routine.
Some tools I find helpful and certainly handy are:
- 2.5 Gallon ( or larger) Bucket
- Bowl/Large Cup/Small Pail
- Latex Gloves
- Stain Remover
- Dr. Bonner's Soap (used for pre-wash)
**IMPORTANT** Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets when drying your diapers. This will shorten the life and decrease absorbency.
Now, on to the soaking/prewash methods...
First is the soaking method. Fill a bucket, diaper pail etc with lukewarm water and toss your diapers in until it's time for the wash (remember to dump those solids.) When the time comes, pour everything including the water into the washing machine. Start with the spin cycle and allow the water to spin out before beginning the regular wash routine.
Although this method is the least hands on, there is an odor build up, so, you'll want to change the water everyday to every two days because odds are the odors will set into your diapers. Baking soda can also be used to absorb possible odors.
Second is the dry method, which I prefer. When my daughter soils her diaper I fill the bucket with just enough hot water to begin a pre-wash and rinse. I then add a drop of soap to the water and repeatedly dunk the diaper in and out. For "poo" diapers I add a little bit of Dr. Bonner's soap to the blemished areas, work it into a lather and use the washboard to get the rest out. If you don't have a washboard simply perform a handwash. Thoroughly rinse the diaper, ring it out and store in your pail until time for the wash.
With consistency, you'll begin to notice washing your diapers and keeping them in rotation is a feasible feat.