How to Strip Your Cloth Diapers

When your cloth diapers get less absorbent and super stinky, it's time to strip them. In this post and video, we'll show you how.
When your cloth diapers are less absorbent and they stink like rotten radishes right out of the wash, it’s time to strip them. And in this video Mike will show you how.

Do YOU need to strip your cloth diapers?

Find out in our video, 8 Signs It’s Time to Strip Your Cloth Diapers.

What you’ll need to strip your cloth diapers

All you need is some original liquid Dawn dish detergent (blue formula), as well as some bleach.

The process is pretty simple. Wash your diapers once in super hot water with some Dawn dish detergent.

  • one teaspoon of for high efficiency machines
  • one tablespoon for regular washing machines

Also, add up to a 1/2 cup of bleach in the wash cycle. This is key.

Do a couple more hot water rinses with no detergent to completely rinse diapers clean. If you see suds at the end of the rinse cycle, keep rinsing!

Dry your diapers as normal and enjoy the absence of stank!

Isn’t bleach harsh on the diapers and on the baby?

Our diaper manufacturer, bumGenius, recommends the bleach, so we’re okay with it on the diapers. And, after several rinse cycles, we’re confident that the bleach isn’t reaching the baby. Moreover, it’s the only thing that works for us!

Our info was picked up directly from bumGenius

Their stripping instructions are:

Wash once in hot water with one teaspoon (for high efficiency machines) to one tablespoon (for regular washing machines) with original liquid Dawn (blue formula) and up to 1/2 cup bleach in the wash cycle.

Do two additional hot water washes with no detergent to completely rinse the diapers clean. If you still see suds, keep rinsing until the diapers are rinsed clean.

How often we strip our diapers

These days, we do the whole strip process once every three or four months. But we add some bleach and do extra rinses every month or so to beat the stank back into submission.

What’s your cloth diaper IQ?

Do you know your prefolds from your AIOs? Your hybrids from your cloth wipes? Check out our post Cloth Diapering 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started for the full scoop on CDing.

How about you?

What method do you use to beat the cloth diaper funk?


About Genevieve

After battling weight, digestive, and immune system issues for years, I know firsthand the harmful effects of conventional life. Through a long road of detox, I discovered the healing power of natural living. This transformation spread into every area of my life - physical, emotional & spiritual. Now I'm on a mission to help other mamas live happier, healthier lives.

Please note: Many links on this site, especially those to Amazon, are affiliate links. Should you click on these links and purchase something, the price is no different for you and I earn a small commission. Thanks for supporting Mama Natural!

Disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.


  1. Crystal April 30 at 3:11 pm

    I have Dawn Ultra Original, what is the difference between Dawn Ultra and not Ultra? Will the Ultra even though it is original still work? Thank you!!


    • Genevieve May 4 at 9:13 am

      We’ve used the ultra and it’s been just fine :)

  2. Claire February 18 at 11:34 am

    Good morning, girls.

    After baby boy got an immonia burn from his diapers, we had to try “stripping” them. I followed this method – perhaps not understanding the directions – but I washed the diapers with regular detergent, then washed again with 1 tbsp. dawn, and when it started agitating, added about 1/4-1/3 cup bleach. Afterwards, I ran 2 whole cycles with no detergent to completely rinse them out, and now they’re line drying. Only AFTER these 2 chemicals (dawn & bleach) were in the wash, did I read that this mixture could release a poisonous cloud that could kill my family.

    It’s possible someone else would come on here panicking and reading every comment. Helpful as it is to post “never mix these, don’t even think about it”, I hope this is helpful for someone who’s in the “WHOOPS, I ALREADY MIXED THESE” stage (or to avoid that for the future. It’s an uncomfortable place to be).

    After contacting Dawn, Dawn Chemicals Division, downloading the ingredients list, referring to the bottles, and contacting the PCC, here’s what I’ve come up with (you know us natural mamas; we’re like this):

    Yes, be on the safe side, don’t mix these things. I opened all the windows and fanned the place out. I didn’t notice any particularly strange smell, and neither did the men around here.

    Turns out there is no ammonia in dawn, according to the ingredients list, the PCC, and the Dawn Consumer Line. As a side note; there is ammonia in your diapers if your baby is getting “ammonia burn”, so that’s something to consider. Wash diapers several times thoroughly in very hot water before using any bleach.

    Use dawn if you want, then rinse, rinse, rinse. Use bleach separately. When I contacted Dawn to find out what the “harmful when mixed with bleach” ingredient was, they mulled around and were very unhelpful, until finally the representative admitted that it is NOT recommended, but they aren’t sure which ingredient it would be. It’s more of a disclaimer, and download the ingredient list if you want to research which one it is yourself.

    After more research online, it looks like people have been mixing these things and surviving for a while.

    To sum it up: While it is in fact VERY dangerous to mix ammonia and bleach, there is no ammonia in Dawn. It may be harmful to mix the other ingredients in Dawn with bleach. Do it at your own discretion and risk.

    Finally: My diapers seem nice and fresh, although to save myself some emotional grievance, I’m definitely not doing it this way again. If you just did this, open a window just in case, and calm down. Rinse, rinse, rinse.

    • rebekah February 24 at 10:33 am

      ok so i have accidentally put both in at the same time. are they going to be ok?? i also have washed my diapers before i did this. i wasnt even thinking.. will my diapers be ok for child to wear?

  3. Anya Starr January 5 at 4:04 pm

    I was just wondering; aren’t you concerned about using bleach? Isn’t there an EO blend that would work??

    • Bivi January 7 at 11:37 pm

      Does not the bleach damage your color/print diapers?

  4. Rhonda January 1 at 10:54 am

    The diapers should be rinsed before washing. Do you have a diaper sprayer? It is a tremendous help. Throwing diapers full of urine and feces in the washer is not a good idea. I have a front load washer, and it is not an issue. Remember, though, that adding the Dawn or any other non-washer detergent to a front loader could possibly void your warranty. It might be a good idea to check first. If they smell, they’re not getting clean, period, Try changing HE detergents, run a rinse cycle first, and run in the full-length cycle.

  5. Sarah November 29 at 8:01 pm

    Hi there, need some help. Our cloth diapers smelled strongly of ammonia when our daughter peed in them and they were giving her nasty diaper rashes. I have stripped them 3 times using the method you mentioned above and also 3 other methods using baking soda, biokleen, apple cider vinegar, and one with no detergent. The diapers still smell strongly of ammonia and are giving her diaper rashes. What am I doing wrong? We have been using disposable for several months now and I want to go back to the cloth diapers. I have only ever washed them with Charlie Banana detergent. Any advice that might help I would love to know! Thanks!

    • Helen December 8 at 12:51 am

      Hi Sarah,

      We’ve been having the same issue for a while last year, and it took me a while to figure things out for us. I think for us the main issue was – I wasn’t using ENOUGH DETERGENT. Apparently the ammonia smell could be there because there was not enough detergent to wash it off. You have to find that perfect amount though of course. The second thing I think was not ENOUGH WATER in our HE washing machine. I’ve started to put in as much water as I could. (I even open the washing machine and add a bucket full or as much as it allows without splashing out.) The third thing I think was – leaving the diapers sit in the pail without first RINSING THEM. (In summer time I also hang them outside to air dry, and when it’s time to wash, just take them off and put them straight in the washing machine.)

      I also found then the ‘proper’ washing cycle (at least proper for us): 1st – rinse in the cold water, 2nd – wash in hot water, 3rd – wash/rinse in cold (if not enough repeat step 3 as many times as needed. We normally do only 3, but I add as much water as possible to each cycle.)

      The above seemed to have helped us remove the strong ammonia smell on the regular basis. OF course we still have to do the occasional stripping.

    • brooklyn December 8 at 7:06 pm

      Do you have a front loading washer? I learned the hard way that front loaders are terrrrible for cloth diapers. The diapers are pretty much just wishy washing in a circle in its own urine and filth, never really ridding of all the soiled grossness.

    • Dana January 17 at 1:20 pm

      I discovered that the cloth diapers by themselves weren’t a big enough load for my washing machine to actually clean them. They would just stick to the sides and still stink/be full of soap suds no matter what settings I used. I now use 2 old towels to bulk up the size of the load and it works SO much better. One wash and one rinse cycle and they’re clean. I only use the towels to wash the diapers now because I’m picky like that. It also helps them dry faster in the dryer. Hope this helps!

  6. Tiffanyt May 20 at 4:16 pm

    We had what I’ve herd called as “the barn smell” to our diapers. Did a long hot soak in rock in greens hard rock formula (was using the classic rock at the time) problem solved.

    • Abbey June 12 at 11:03 am

      Rockin Greens Classic Rock has given us “the barn smell” also! I accidentally bought it (was previously doing the Motley Crue scent). So glad I came across your comment!

  7. Sarah January 21 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Mama, thanks for the info! When you give the steps 1-3, you say add dawn and then add bleach to wash cycle. Do you first rinse diapers with just water…then wash with dawn AND bleach, then run multiple rinses until suds are gone? I was confused whether the dawn and bleach cycles are together or separate.


    • Mary E April 9 at 9:53 pm

      Actually, isn’t it bad to mix vinegar and bleach in the same wash/rinse cycle? Doesn’t bleach and vinegar together emit chlorine gas? Thinking back to my high school chemistry class…

      • Amy April 16 at 5:20 pm

        I believe Karetha is saying to replace the bleach with vinegar.

      • BabyNurse123 October 16 at 8:20 pm

        It is bleach and ammonia that create chlorine gas when combined, not bleach and vinegar. So don’t mix bleach with ammonia. I believe bleach and vinegar are fine.

  8. Seasons January 13 at 12:33 pm

    I live in mexico so I cant get RLR or Dawn dish soap so I boil my prefolds! Its easy I build a fire and put a huge metal pot over the fire and throw all of my prefolds in you can actually smell and see the scum that was on the diapers! I also try to use roma soap on them in the wash since I baby my diapers and hand wash them the roma is the only thing that rinses clean in my opinion I also throw all of my pockets and covers in a vinegar soak every time I wash to help with stink but the microfibers I agree a bit of bleach is all I can find that helps I boiled them once but I felt that it might be too hard on a man made fiber.

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  11. Genevieve Cavanaugh November 5 at 9:08 am

    During the summer (I live in CT so this wouldn’t work during the winter unless you want frozen diapers ha) I sun bathe them after I wash them to get rid of the stink. It also helps get rid of stains. But I was looking for something during the not so sunny days and very cold days Thanks!

  12. Emily September 28 at 1:21 pm

    I think our cloth diapers may need to be stripped. They no longer smell fresh out of the wash, and smell horrible of ammonia after a small amount of urine goes into them. I noticed that you put in bleach, with the pockets and inserts. Is that ok to do with colored pockets? I dont want to bleach the colors out of them. Thanks!

    • Karetha Dellgrottaglia April 8 at 1:55 am

      Those are all symptoms of needing a stripping. But Dawn contains ammonia and should never be used with bleach. Try 1/4 cup distilled vinegar instead. Add them both to a hot wash cycle and let agitate, then let sit overnight. Finish the wash, run three more hot wash cycles (till no more suds). Rinse. dry. Awesomeness.

  13. Juliana F September 26 at 12:59 pm

    is bleach a good detergent to use even if you’re not stripping? I am new to cloth diapering & I am trying to get as much information as possible I don’t want to ruin my diapers and I don’t want to cause discomfort on my son.

  14. Ashley August 25 at 4:08 pm

    Do you put your shells and inserts in the wash with regular bleach? I don’t want to ruin my shells with bleach!

  15. Natalie August 24 at 11:47 pm

    I really think I need to strip my diapers. I just bought them from a lady that I found on a diaper swap fb page. The diapers leak and have a smell after worn. They are bum genius pocket diapers. If you have any input on them please feel free to share. My two questions are, when you put the bleach in a HE washer do you stick it in the slot or directly in the wash? Also, do I put the shell and insert in the wash to strip? Thank you for your help.

  16. Rachel August 22 at 9:50 am

    Loved this video! I am going to strip my sons diapers today! The bleach will not harm the colored ones will it? I am excited to get rid of the radishes! HA

  17. Kate August 19 at 9:13 pm

    Wish I would have found this before now….

    Would there be a reason for them leaving rashes on my baby’s skin? Even the all natural ones if I dot change them every hour leave her wee wee read (just that nothin else) – I am striping them as we speak.

  18. yeast infection July 3 at 7:27 am

    I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also visit this blog on regular basis to take updated from newest information.

  19. Melisa June 23 at 8:18 am

    I had some used Bum genius diapers I bought (They were well loved and I got a GREAT deal on them). They had a funny smell. It was really weird. I soaked them in rocking green, I used dawn, vinegar, baking soda, sunned them, washed them about 50 times and COULD NOT get rid of the smell no matter what. They smelled even after being washed. It was almost like a grease smell like they were stored somewhere funny. Finally i was about to give up and get rid of them. I washed them with normal Era. Then rinsed about 10 times. So happy they don’t smell. I used them they don’t leak and they aren’t bad smelling (any more than normal) after soiled. SO HAPPY.

  20. Whitney June 22 at 9:20 pm

    I think bleach is ok if you’re stripping washed diapers.

  21. Sara June 20 at 11:56 pm

    I’m researching that this can actually be toxic. That’s why it says on the label not to add with chlorine bleach, because the reaction emits toxic fumes into your house. Well now I’m up at 1am worrying about this, since I didn’t realize until after all was said and done. Please review your method and update so more people don’t do this!

    • Karetha Dellgrottaglia April 8 at 1:49 am

      You are 100% correct. Dawn contains ammonia and should never be used with bleach. Try 1/4 cup distilled vinegar instead.

  22. Whitney June 17 at 4:19 pm

    I loved this post! We have really weird, hard water–I’ve gone to war with it, and won!! Yes, the dish soap and bleach work great. But I’ve found that, for everyday use, Rockin’ Green Hard Rock and soap nuts (used throughout the cycles and re-used many times) work awesome! It took a year and a half to figure this out–now we can never move. I find I really don’t care too much what kind of unnatural stuff I’m using on the diapers to strip, as long as it washes clean and WORKS!!!

  23. Scars Crunchy Momma May 21 at 2:50 pm

    Momma’s I need some help. I am very low on funds and work 45 hours a week so I don’t have the time nor resources to make our own dipes right now. Disposables are killing me! I tried cloth before but didn’t have a washer to use every week, which resulted in some ruined dipes. We have about ten dipes right now. what’s the cheapest, yet best brand to invest in? I need my punkin back in cloth.

    • Lauren May 21 at 5:16 pm

      Well, I think this is kinda off the topic of this discussion, but since you asked… You need to go with a waterproof cover and absorbant diaper on the inside.
      Except for plastic pants, Econobum covers are the cheapest you can get (but they still work great and may fit a slender baby through potty training. Not the case with me because all my babies are, well…sturdy). Flip covers are great too and are bigger so they should definitely work through potty training.
      As to what to use on the inside, if you’re on a really tight budget, you can use receiving blankets and just fold them like a flat diaper (you can find videos on youtube) or do a YouTube search for “the no sew t shirt diaper”. Both of those ideas are practically free if you shop at a second hand store. Of course you can also use prefolds or flat diapers (I like OSoCozy flats from for my 5 month old and Econobum prefolds for my 2 year olds)
      Just keep in mind the age of your baby. If his poop is still all runny (sorry :-p) then you’ll want something that you can fold and pin or Snappi around him to keep the cover clean so it can be reused. If he’s older and on to the more solid stuff then you can just lay whatever diaper in the cover and put it on him.
      I hope this helps! Check out Sometimes they have sales on their seconds. Have fun!

      • Scars Crunchy Momma May 21 at 7:58 pm

        The only reason I had posted it on this feed is because it’s about CD and I couldn’t find any other feeds about it recently :) Thank you!!

      • Melisa June 23 at 8:20 am

        the Econobums are great for prefolds. You can get them on cottonbaiies website for 6.00 for 3 of them and free economy shipping, and the econobum covers work good too. Also imagine has some nice covers for under 10.00

    • sfranklin June 9 at 8:38 pm

      Sunbabies diapers are the cheapest I have found. They work great! I love them as much as the bum genius I have. They are about 4.50 a diaper including an insert. You have to buy at least 12 though.

  24. Mandi May 13 at 12:30 pm

    We use apple cider vinegar to strip our diapers. We have heard of bleach ruining diapers by eating holes in them and causing more wear in them. Our son ended up getting a horrible yeast infection and the apple cider vinegar seemed to help the problem and got rid of the stink of the diapers. We also put a little bit of Oxi Clean in every load including when we strip. No need for Dawn dish soap and bleach, and the smell that brings with them. Hope this helps someone:)

    • Heidi June 13 at 6:26 pm

      How much apple cider vinegar do you use to strip them?

  25. April May 7 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve heard of using dishsoap to strip the diapers and a friend of mine said that’s all she used and it worked great. My thought with bleach…you aren’t supposed to mix it with ammonia…BAD…and that’s what urine leaves behind. Not to mention you aren’t supposed to mix it with dish soap. Mixing it with vinegar is totally fine and makes a great cleaner. We avoid bleach because we have a septic system, but I hadn’t heard of using bleach with cloth diapers before reading this. I’d be warry…

  26. Marie April 16 at 1:33 pm

    I have been using regular Clorox bleach once per month on our BG diapers (4.0, Freetime and Elementals), per the manufacturers’ instructions. I started looking at using chlorine-free bleach, and decided to e-mail CottonBabies to ask for any recommendations, and I’ve just received their reply:

    “We actually recommend using 1/4 cup of regular chlorine bleach, it’s best to sanitize once a month. The oxi clean types can actually wear the diapers faster.”

    So, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Clorox takes care of any stink (mostly very light) and also stains we may have in our diapers.

    Cotton Babies also recommends not to use vinegar or baking soda to wash cloth diapers.

  27. Panes March 26 at 10:48 am

    Genevieve, please let me know the exact amount of vinegar you used. I’d love to try your suggestion. Many thanks

  28. Julee March 18 at 11:46 am

    If you have hard water don’t use vinegar in your wash or rinse! It can make the stink worse. This happened to me. So I am going to start using a diaper safe detergent, add a softener in the wash and use baking soda for my fabric softener and hope that helps get rid of the stink! I have been having to strip every 2 weeks bc of the stink caused by my hard water mixed with vinegar usage!

  29. Izzy February 6 at 11:25 am

    Does it have to be dawn? Could I use any dish soap that cuts grease? Like a more natural Meyers soap?

    • Genevieve February 11 at 10:39 am

      I would think that any de-greasing soap would do — but, the BumGenius web site was very specific about the old school blue Dawn, so that’s what we use.

  30. Bridget Warwick January 22 at 2:25 am

    I used RLR once and loved it. But at $2 I hate the price. So, I did some internet sleuthing and discovered that it’s basically “washing soda”. You can make this SUPER cheap: take regular ole baking soda, put it on a baking sheet, bake it at 450 for roughly 45 minutes until the consistency changes. This process removes H2O.

    To use: wash as usual. in the first rinse cycle add about 2 TBS, then continue to rinse as normal until no suds are left.

    Cost: about $2 for a large box of arm and hammer!

    • Trish January 25 at 10:58 am

      That’s the first I’ve heard of DIY RLR. My LO is almost 6 months and it seems it’s time to strip our diapers, so I was looking online for options. I have RLR from my baby registry, but have been trying to save it since it’s SO expensive. Thanks for this tip!

  31. Jenna Bouchard October 13 at 5:48 pm

    I was also wondering about the bleach–I use a combination of BG 4.0s, Elementals, Freetimes, Fuzzibunz pockets, and a few other types. Before I had problems with leaking, I just threw them all in together and had no problems, other than some light staining. Now that I’ve moved and have a new washer (Amana front loader), they are unusable! Can I use the bleach on the covers of the various pockets? Or should I separate out the microfiber inserts?

    • Becky January 11 at 1:54 pm

      I usually soak the microfiber and other inserts/prefolds for a while in the bleach/vinegar, and then throw the covers in at the end so that they get a bit of the bleach, but not the full soak.

  32. Jena October 7 at 6:30 am

    Can you bleach the pocket diaper covers even though they are colors? I also have lots that the exterior of the cover is the minky fabric.

  33. ellen August 23 at 8:36 am

    I don’t have a problem with the stank (LOL!) but with stains and absorbancy. I always rinse with cold, and use Nellie’s Laundry Soda to wash in warm, then hang in the sun to dry. But we still have lots of staining. Would stripping help? I have never used bleach in my life!! Also, they seem to be leaking a lot more, and wondered if there was a detergent buildup. So many things to learn as a new mom *sigh* :)

  34. Kaitlyn July 14 at 7:36 am

    I am trying this method as i type :) my daughter got a yeast infection and i have tried everything to get her back into cloth (seems everytime we put her back in IMEDIATELY she gets a rash) so we were told to try bleaching the diapers, i found this method and im gonna give it a try! fingers crossed it works!

    • Amy September 13 at 1:15 pm

      PineSol is the best for killing yeast in diapers!!!!
      Leaves that smell in the dipes but it will definitely kill the yeast organisms.

    • Lauren April 18 at 6:26 pm

      I’ve heard that grapefruit seed extract is the only thing that will kill yeast spores in diapers. We added about 1.5 tsp of it to our hot wash, and all of my babies yeast problems cleared right up.

      • Misty August 15 at 9:53 am

        We used GSE in the wash (20 drops) & sunned everything outside when we had yeast.

        • Cassandra October 22 at 6:30 am

          Where do you guys find GSE? Thanks!

          • Sarah October 22 at 10:53 am

            You can get GSE on amazon or at Whole Foods. I use cloth wipes as well, and to keep the yeasty beast away I make my own wash for the wipes: 1 cup water, 1 tsp. baby wash (right now we use California Baby Calendula) and a few drops of tea tree and lavendar oils. Works great. We also use coconut oil as our diaper cream. It’s antiviral and antibacterial, and no buildup so far! (Our girl is 6 months old.)

  35. Ashley February 24 at 9:45 am

    We actually have a laundry pure Hooked up to our washer so we cannot use hot water. How important is that hot water rinse? I never had a problem with the smell of the diapers, they are just very non-absorbent now (gdiapers). I just assumed it was the brand. They’re now going to be a back up.. Your other video talked me into ordering the bum genius. :)

  36. Samantha February 22 at 4:27 pm

    My stripping was a success (sounds funny!)! I used a few drops of Dawn and 1/2 cup of baking soda in the wash cycle. I ran 2 hot washes and maybe 6 rinses (I only have the option for cold rinses). I also added about 1 quart of boiling water to each hot wash to make the water EXTRA hot. Worked like a charm and my baby boy is skunk-smell free! :)

    • Genevieve February 25 at 8:44 pm

      Very nice and good thinking, mama!

  37. Elka February 22 at 4:19 pm

    We have stripped with vinegar and several whitest white cycles. We use cotton inserts for day and microfiber at night. When I notice ammonia smells, I strip and switch detergent. We go back and forth between country save and ecos brands. It works great for us.

  38. Bethany February 21 at 6:27 pm

    I put baking soda in the bottom of the diaper pail (not inside the liner), and then I put a few drops of Peppermint oil in the diaper pail liner. I use my own homemade detergent (borax, washing soda, and a bar of organic soap grated), and after the wash and rinse cycles, the diaper still smell like peppermint. :) Not to mention the diaper pail smells like peppermint too, even with the dirty cloth diapers!

    • Laura February 21 at 10:36 pm

      I loved your Sh*t Crunchy Mamas Say and my kids (not little anymore) think it’s funny, too. We thought the raw milk sale was pretty funny.

      We cloth diapered for several years (three kids) and learned some things about washing. We found that everything got cleanest and lasted the longest if we washed the covers and the diapers separately. We washed the covers with our whites on warm. When we tried washing them with the diapers, they would deteriorate faster and get stinky. I’m not sure what we would have done if we used pocket diapers because then the covers get poopy and not just the diapers. I think if we used the pocket type diapers, we would have used liners against the inside so that those could be washed with the dipes and the covers could be washed with the regular laundry.

      We also discovered that ointments like A&D wrecked diapers and would actually make rashes worse due to the zinc oxide not washing out of the dipes. Our favorite ointments were and still are miracle salve and miracle salve plus from Kerry’s Herbals

      We washed the diapers (the absorbent part) with a soak before the wash and two rinses after. Sometimes we used vinegar in the rinse and sometimes we soaked for a few hours in Biokleen Bac-out. You have to use cool water for this soak because the enzymes in Bac-out are destroyed by heat. Also, don’t soak overnight like we did for a year or so. Our washer ended up getting rust in it from the long soaking.

      Anyway, as long as we didnt use zinc oxide or other greasy ointment, our diapers stayed fresh even though I was lazy and often didn’t wash for 5 days or so.

      • Kaitlin April 25 at 4:41 pm

        THANK YOU for saying that the Bac-out has to be with cold water! I’m trying to figure out how to use it during my first battle with ammonia, and no one else mentions this, they just say to squirt a little in the wash, or do a soak, but not much more descriptive than that. I appreciate the specifics!

  39. Sarah Smith February 18 at 6:32 pm

    I am new to your site, and I am loving it! I love your sense of humor; it is really refreshing. Both of my kids were born at home, I co-sleep and nurse my toddler, and I also eat “real” foods just like you do.

    And your Sh*t Crunchy Mamas say had me and my husband laughing so hard (meanwhile our 5-year-old kept asking what was so funny).

    I’m really excited to try the diaper stripping technique. We’re using Fuzzi Bunz that were also used for our first child, so they can have some serious stank. Some have even been permanently retired because of the smell. Oh, one note for anyone else with Fuzzi Bunz: apparently it is okay to use bleach on the inserts, but NOT on the covers (that’s what the FB website says anyway). Looking forward to my non-stinky diapers!!

    • Genevieve February 19 at 7:35 am

      Welcome mama! So glad you’re here :). XOXO.

  40. Jess b February 18 at 8:26 am

    Just FYI: I have heard cotton is the most stink-free option. Microfiber and hemp (I have all 3) have a tendency towards stinkiness. We recently stripped and changed detergent to green mnt have have noticed a huge difference. I also have started rinsing the diapers before putting them in the pail and spraying with bac-out (amazing!)

  41. Jen D February 17 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Genevieve! Love your site and the videos. Noticed you might have the same washer as we do. We use FuzziBunz and get the stinkies, but I think it’s been reduced lately because I’ve been adding extra water to our washer (front loader, Whirlpool Duet). I have a hose attached to my laundry sink, and I just run a bunch of water in after the cycle starts, through the detergent drawer. If you can reach a sink, you might want to try it! Also, I think the bleach is just one of those necessary evils, especially with microfiber, and all those layers that are sewn together. It’s more difficult to clean effectively, than, say, prefolds, even.

    • Genevieve February 17 at 9:35 pm

      Thanks Jen for tip. Yes, I do think you’re right about microfiber. I’m going to experiment with bamboo inserts. We don’t have a sink attached but good to know for future reference!

    • Cait March 11 at 5:25 pm

      I am going to use the dawn stripping method, but I have bad reactions to bleach, or even chlorinated water. Also uncomfortable with the thought of bleach and ammonia ever mixing. As such the necessary evil of bleach is just too evil for my house, but what else can I use?! I have been searching for a way out that still leaves my diapers nice and today I happened upon a variation of this method that I am really excited to try. You use the dawn in the washer alone, then take out the diapers and soak in lemon juice water, rinse and hang in the sun. Supposedly works as well if not better than bleach for the stink and the stain. I’m gonna try it out! Also liking the tea tree oil idea. Thanks all!

  42. Stef February 15 at 5:12 pm

    I was always told to never use bleach on my cloth diapers that have PUL (the waterproofing laminate on the inside of pocket dipes such as Bumgenius). From what I’ve been told, and I think according to the manufacturer’s instructions, the bleach can eat away at the PUL and then they won’t be waterproof anymore. I do run a bleach load with my microfiber inserts when they get stinky though.

    • Genevieve February 15 at 10:24 pm

      I think it has to be OK with BG since it’s in their directions on stripping.

  43. Samantha February 15 at 12:10 pm

    Ok, I need remedial help here. I’m not clear on exactly when to add the Dawn and bleach. Do you add them both at the same time, at the beginning of the wash? Or do you do Dawn in a pre-wash and bleach for the main wash? Also, does the bleach mess up the color of your diaper covers? Thanks!

    • Becky January 11 at 11:47 am

      No one has answered this yet (I know it’s old! But maybe it will help someone else!) You add them both in the beginning of the wash. I usually wait until the washer has completely filled with water and started washing, and then slowly add in whatever extras I am using (bleach, dawn vinegar, etc) so that it is well incorporated.

      Also someone recently told me that Bac Out has been found to have a high level of reproductive toxicity, so please be careful using it!

  44. Carmen February 15 at 11:54 am

    I find that using the Non-concentrated Dawn cuts down a lot on the number of times you rinse. You can find it at your Dollar General or online. And Mircofiber=you HAVE to use bleach. Cloth diapering is a such a science, I find. You need to know your water type, use the right detergent, and detergent amount, which is way less than you think, and use a lot of water for rinsing. I stay away from microfiber, although I really like the BumGenius design, I just use other inserts in it, and I never need to use bleach. I wouldn’t even have to use anything but detergent if I didn’t have hard water. Making sure they get rinsed thoroughly every time (no bubbles or cloudyness in the final rinse cycle) and using the proper detergent and amount=no stripping ever!

    • Genevieve February 15 at 10:24 pm

      Hmmm…. now that’s an idea! We have hard water too which is why bleach seems to be the only thing that works. But I never thought of putting in different kinds of inserts. I’m going to be trying the hemp inserts soon. Perhaps that will work since they’re more natural. Thanks mama!

    • Jennifer February 18 at 10:59 pm

      I use other inserts too. Just organic cotton prefolds (green mountain diapers rejects) with an imse vimse cotton couplers. BUT I can’t give up the bumGenius casings. They are SO WONDERFUL!

      • Jennifer February 18 at 11:08 pm

        Oh, and the red rimmed ones fit great

  45. Kessa February 15 at 8:35 am

    Our first baby will be here in about 6 weeks and thanks to our wonderful friends and community, we are stocked up on Bum Genius. We have most of the same colors that you show in your videos and I was curious about the bleach and the colors. I’ve actually never used bleach in any wash and have always thought that it would blotch out the colors. Do you find this happening or is it so diluted that it doesn’t happen?
    Thanks for all of your tips! My husband and I have learned a lot from you and Mama Natural.

    • Genevieve February 15 at 10:22 pm

      Aw, thanks Kessa. No our diapers haven’t faded or blotched using bleach.

  46. creole wisdom February 14 at 11:18 pm

    So fun. I love your videos, even if they don’t pertain to my life in the very least. You guys are just great. I love me some bleach. There is nothing like it!

    • Genevieve February 15 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks Katie! Love having your here :). Your positive and fun spirit make me happy :)

  47. Kristin February 14 at 2:10 pm

    In order to avoid using bleach, I put white vinegar in my rinse cycle every time. Works like a charm to get rid of the odor. Also, I don’t use any diaper cream, just calendula ointment – doesn’t stain or leave any buildup.

      • Monique October 22 at 5:13 pm

        Vinegar is not recommended for bumGenius so an FYI

    • Denise March 24 at 2:21 pm

      How much vinegar?

    • Natalie Jones August 23 at 10:33 pm

      How much vinegar do you use? I’m going to try both methods and see which one I like better. Thank you

      • Jocelyn October 10 at 9:22 am

        I know about 1/4 cup of white vinegar is recommended in the rinse cycle.

  48. Samantha Bice February 14 at 12:40 pm

    We use Dawn as you do, but we put a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil in the wash to get the “stank” out. :) Works for us. I strip ours every couple of months normally, but I add a drop of TTO every week to two of the washes (so we basically get all of them since half is in one load and the other half is used and then washed). That weekly drop of TTO in the wash keeps stinks away from all our cotton stuff and will help keep the stank down in our Microfiber inserts so they last till the next stripping.

    • Genevieve February 14 at 1:30 pm

      Hmmmm, will have to try that. Thanks Samantha!

  49. Miss Dee February 14 at 11:22 am

    Gimme dat STANK! LOL! Loved this. My husband and I don’t have itty bitties yet, but when we do, it’s good to know that information like this is around to help us. Awesome job, guys!

    Oh, and, Mike… no more butt sniffin’, ‘kay? :)

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