My Semi-Eco-Friendly Cloth Diaper Wash Routine (Without Homemade Detergent!)


My Semi-Eco-Friendly Cloth Diaper Wash Routine (Without Homemade Detergent!)


My Cloth Diapering Failures

Once upon a time, I did what many a crunchy mother did. I washed my cloth diapers in homemade detergent. *gasp!!!*

I know, I know. Shame on me.

After years of stinky diapers, and a few ruined ones, I have learned my lesson. I am happy to announce that I am one year homemade detergent sober.

So since many of us crunchy mamas now know that homemade laundry detergent is useless, what’s an earth conscious mama to do with all those dirty diapers?

I have spent quite a bit of time researching and testing different detergents. I have also been following Fluff Love and CD Science’s research. Between the two, I think I’ve found a detergent and wash routine that is Eco-friendly, leaves the diapers stink-free, and doesn’t destroy my washer.

The Eco-friendly laundry detergent award goes to…

I have to admit, I’m a Seventh Generation lover. Their products are way more expensive than most, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice if it means having clean diapers and a better earth. After all, I started cloth diapering BECAUSE I wanted to leave as little of a footprint as possible when it came to my babies. It would be senseless of me to cloth diaper, then turn around and use a detergent that contained harmful pollutants and the like.

I personally use Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus on my diapers. I’ve tested a few different kinds of Seventh Generation detergents and this one has been the winner time and time again. It requires the least amount of water and detergent to get my fluffy diapers, like my AIOs, completely clean.

My Wash Routine

My wash routine is actually fairly simple. I wash diapers every 2-3 days. Included in my diaper wash are our family cloth (toilet paper substitute). Since Bitty A is eating some solids now, I swish the diapers in the toilet before tossing them into our diaper pail. That’s the only prep that I do.

When I’m ready to wash everything, I toss them in for a pre-rinse. Usually after 2-3 days, the kids and I have accumulated enough diapers and family cloth to make for a full laundry load. I throw everything in and turn my washer knob to “Rinse and Spin”. I add a half a cap of my detergent and run the rinse cycle on cold.

Once the rinse cycle is complete, I turn the temp knob to hot. I then fill the cap up completely to the #6 line and add it in. The wash gets run, no extra rinses.

When the wash is finally complete, I hang dry everything. I have a drying rack that I can use indoors if the weather isn’t permitting.

Currently I have soft water, but in the past when I’ve had harder water, I’ve added a little bit of borax to my wash routine.

How to find what will work for you

All I can suggest is experiment, experiment, experiment! It took me a while to finally find what worked for us. The first best step would be to check out Fluff Love & CD Science. Their page has been so helpful for me in my cloth diapering journey.

If you’re my neighbor and near Fort Smith, check out our local cloth diaper group, Fort Smith Fluffy Bums. The folks that run that page know their stuff! Again, if you’re local, you can also stop by Natural State Parenting Supply and Yoga Studio in Fort Smith. Jana and Sarah, the lovely ladies who run the store, know the ends and outs of cloth diapering.

How about you? What does your washing routine look like?


*This article contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission from the company if you choose to buy your product through them. You can read more about the affiliate work I do here.*

10 thoughts on “My Semi-Eco-Friendly Cloth Diaper Wash Routine (Without Homemade Detergent!)

      1. Thank you. Target frequently has a cartwheel for it and the IbOttawa app a good rebate to take the cost down 😉


  1. Hi,

    I’ve never made or used home made detergent but why does it not work? Curious! I’ve seen many different recipes online and have wanted to try but never got around to it. We don’t do cloth but I have been using 7th gen disposable for my last 4 kiddos (7 years straight now!). I tried cloth with my oldest 15 years ago but they were so leaky.. I ended up having to change her whole outfit every time she peed. I was using bummis diaper covers with diapers I had to fold. I know cloth has come a long way even from 15 years ago but I can’t justify spending so much just for 1 baby to use.. my 8 month old is my last. It would have made more sense if I bought them years ago and used them for multiple babies but my x husband didn’t want to mess with cloth so we went the 7th gen disposable route.


    1. Hey Erica!
      I hope you’re doing well! So, the issue with many homemade detergents is that they don’t actually get your diapers (or clothes) clean. Most homemade detergents are made using a booster, a soap, and a water softener. The soap portion of the recipe (typically things like castile bar soap) coat the diapers in oil, preventing them from actually getting cleaned. The boosters and water softeners are fine, if you need them, but they alone can’t clean your diapers. So all that really happens is that bacteria builds up in your cloth diapers, since they’re not actually getting very clean, and can cause stink, diaper rash, etc.

      As for your issue about whether to cloth or not, it’s certainly a hard choice! I’m cloth diapering my last baby, so it was something I had to think about myself. Many of the diapers I had used when I cloth diapered his older siblings were old, ragged, and just not usable for an infant. I still chose to cloth diaper him, but I decided that I wasn’t going to spend a ton of money doing it. What I’ve done is buy gently used diapers, primarily from a local store (which also ships! You can find them here: I’ve managed to buy him enough diapers to last him for 3 days without doing any laundry (it could go further, but I never go that long without washing) for less than $75. I would have spent that much on disposables the first few months alone. So really, I feel like I’ve still saved money cloth diapering, even though he’s my last baby.

      When he’s visiting grandparents, I do like to buy Seventh Generation compostable diapers for them to use. Although, my stepmom seems to really like a few of the all-in-one (AIO) diapers I have, so I might try to get a few more of those so that the grands can cloth diaper, too.

      I hope you have a wonderful day, and thank you for taking the time to comment!

      Light and Love,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s good to know about home made detergents!! Thanks 🙂

        Also, that is a great idea about buying 2nd hand gently used diapers, I never even thought about that! Disposables do get expensive. I try to stock up when they go on sale for $9 a bag. I suppose there are ways I could have made cloth work I just find the initial purchase daunting. It’s much easier for me to get a few bucks here and there together to buy a pack of diapers when we run out. I’m glad you found a way to make it work for your fam and thanks for all the info!! 🙂


      2. You’re very welcome for the info, Erica! And you’re absolutely right, it is about what works best for you and your family. I’m glad you’ve found something that works well for you and that you’re supporting a company that considers their impact on this planet. Keep being awesome! ❤

        If you want to read up more on homemade laundry detergents and why they don't work, here's a helpful article:

        Blessed Be!


  2. Unfortunately, I have a feeling I’m still in my learning-the-hard-way about homemade detergents, and I’m really glad I found this post. My son is about to turn 1 and I have always cloth diapered, but a lot of what you said in this post is resonating with me. Our homemade detergent works wonders with everything else but cloth diapers, may have to grab something just for them I think.


    1. Hi Mama Zed! Congratulations on your little one! I hope you’re able to find a detergent that works for you. And don’t knock yourself. It took me 3 kids and nearly 4 years of cloth diapering before I finally figured out how to wash them correctly. 😉 Bright blessings to you and yours! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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