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How to Wash Diaper Covers

A cloth-diapered baby bum.

Tired of washing your cloth diaper covers in the washer only to be left with covers that still smell? Although washing diaper covers in the washing machine alongside cloth diapers and wipes is convenient, it doesn’t always work to remove odors, leaving you with semi-putrid diaper covers that seem a shame to put on your baby’s bum. While most methods recommend using traditional laundry detergent, vinegar, or hot water, I find that these measures are just not enough to remove all of the ammonia odor.

In fact, for the last 16 months, I’ve been living under the assumption that diaper covers beyond a certain age just smell. Period. Even “clean” diaper covers hanging in the laundry room gave off an offensive odor. I followed the suggestions online. I added vinegar to the rinse cycle; I used hot water; I used Borax and homemade powder detergent; I sent them through the washer twice in a row. But nothing put a stop to that god-awful smell. Not even lavender and tea tree oil added to the wash helped curb the smell.

One day, out of necessity, I tried washing diaper covers in the sink. I had just run out of clean covers, and with no time run the washer, I decided to hand wash. Aside from the brevity of my new-found method for washing diaper covers, I was also pleasantly surprised by the result and I will never go back to the washing machine method. If you’re not sure how to wash diaper covers to get rid of stubborn odors, try this solution:

A bottle of ActiveWear Mate

How To Wash Diaper Covers

Just pop the covers in the sink, add 1-2 capfuls of ActiveWear Mate, and fill with just enough water to submerge the diaper covers. Let them soak for a minute or two, then agitate the covers to remove debris and ammonia.

If there are visible stains on your diaper covers, you can use a cloth or brush to remove them before agitating once again and squeezing out excess water. Lay each cover flat on a towel and roll the towel up tightly to absorb the rest of the water. Simply hang to dry.

About Activewear Mate

Activewear Mate functions differently than standard detergents by emulsifying dirt and lifting it away from fabrics. Because Activewear Mate is formulated for use on synthetic fibers, diaper covers made from polyester respond particularly well to its resin polymers which bind to fabric to prevent wear. Activewear Mate can also be used in your washing machine and is approved for HE washers. This product is proudly made in the USA.

Did you try out this method for hand-washing your diaper covers? Tell us how it went in the comments below!

Of course, you should keep a close eye on your baby’s skin to make sure there is no adverse reaction.


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