8 Signs It’s Time To Strip Your Cloth Diapers

If you cloth diaper, it’s essential to strip your cloth diapers from time to time. Here are eight signs that it’s time to get to work.

If you cloth diaper, it's essential to strip your cloth diapers from time to time. Here are 8 signs that it's time ;)

If you are a long term cloth diapering parent, you know how important it is to strip your cloth diapers from time to time. But how do you know when the time is right?

Here Are 8 Signs That It’s Time to Strip Your Cloth Diapers

Let’s Recap…

These are the biggest signs that it is way past time to strip those cloth diapers, amiright?!

  1. You start playing the “Who dealt it?” game
  2. Laundry becomes a pretty toxic event
  3. You dread going out in public for fear of weird looks
  4. You begin to lose your appetite
  5. Washing your cloth diapers just doesn’t work anymore
  6. You entertain cheating thoughts
  7. You have a new worst enemy
  8. You fight over who’s turn it is to do the diapers

Get free updates on baby’s first year! – Free Updates on First Year [In-article]

Sign me up!

Okay, So I Need to Strip My Cloth Diapers. How Do I Do It?

There are a couple of different way to strip cloth diapers. The first is an old school, not so “natural” option, but it definitely works.

The process is nice and simple, too. You simply wash your cloth diapers once in super hot water with a little bit of Dawn dish detergent.

Here’s a quick guide:

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

You also want to add up to a 1/2 cup of bleach to the wash cycle. Don’t skip this step, as this is key.

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

If you don’t want to use bleach (and I don’t blame you!), you can make a more natural option as an alternative to the bleach.

Pour 1 1/2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup of lemon juice into a one gallon jug. Then, fill the rest of the jug with distilled water.

Once you’ve done this, use 1 cup of this natural bleach when you strip your diapers (versus 1/2 cup of regular bleach). Then, follow the directions above as normal.

To add a fresh scent to the cloth diapers, you can also add 10 to 15 drops of lemon or thieves essential oils to your liquid washing soap for an added cleaning boost and a nice, clean scent.

Still looking for more info? Check out our post on how to strip your cloth diapers for a deeper dive.

Are You Researching Cloth Diapers?

Check out these other helpful posts on cloth diapering…

Cloth Diapering 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started: Cloth diapering is easy to do—and much more affordable than using disposable diapers. Here’s the full scoop.

Mama Natural’s Cloth Diaper Setup:What do you need to get started cloth diapering? See our full cloth diaper set up – from the diapers to the sprayer – in this post!

6 Reasons Why Cloth Diapers Are Better Than Disposables (And 1 Reason Why They Ain’t): Cloth diapers are WAY better than disposable diapers IMHO. Here are 6 amazing reasons to consider cloth diapering (plus one reason why they kinda stink).

Why We Chose bumGenius Cloth Diapers: Cloth diapering is WAY more complicated than we thought. We were looking for the simplest option. Here’s why we choose bumGenius.

Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a doula and childbirth educator. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 135,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


  1. I am in the process of getting ready to strip my cloth diapers for the first time in over a year. I haven’t really had much of an issue with them at all, but there are some stains that need to be addressed, so I am looking forward to seeing how this method works for that. I wanted to mention, though, that my regular diaper upkeep involves washing every other day at most, and I use a mixture of half borax, half salt with added tea tree and lavender essential oils to wash them. 1/4-1/2 C for a whole load in a top-loading washer has kept the diapers from stinking this whole time. Plus, borax and salt are WAY cheaper than any detergent, which is always a good bonus.

  2. I am 52with 2 grown kids never used anything but cloth like my mom with in diapers at same time, don’t misunderstand I thing it is great cloths coming back but I never striped a diaper ,I sure my mother didn’t ,so it it the materials used now we had tried fold 100 % cotton and rubber pants for trip only , but babies potties trained much faster also.

  3. Thanks for this post and the video on how you guys stripped yours! We just did a load and they’re back to fresh(as fresh as diapers can be) 😉

  4. I see you’ve got a front-loader. I live in the UK (where that’s what you always have) and have managed to find bleach – but I’m so scared to put it in the front-loader as I’ve heard it doesn’t disperse as quickly as in a top-loader (the standard American one I grew up with) and so can make bleach marks on the outers. But everything stinks, so I totally need to strip my diapers.

    And about cloth wipes: we have a large bathroom so change my son there, and use cloth terry wipes (glorified baby wash cloths) with water from the sink, then toss them in the diaper pail and wash them with the diapers. I rinse the poop off the same way I do with the diapers before chucking them in the pail. No problems with staining, and he hardly ever gets a diaper rash when in cloth. Makes everything way easier! I still use disposable wipes for out and about, though.

  5. Ok. Call me crazy, but we’ve been CDing for over two years now and I’ve never had to strip them. I don’t know why! I watched this video to double check but nope, don’t have an issue with any of those things! Maybe because I make my own diaper detergent? I feel like one lucky momma though!

  6. Hilarious!

  7. We are so there. SOoooo there!

  8. ok I’ll admit I haven’t watched the video (baby is sleeping and our apartment is small), but the topic caught my eye. The typed phrases you have with this post are not the extreme that I am experiencing with my diapers, but I can’t get rid of the rash from my prefolds and the “I can tell that he peed because I can smell it” is what I’m experiencing but the smell is not horrific. I also use organic flats, those I’m not having the same issue with but they are newer. Thoughts? thanks!

  9. There was no internet when I had babies (my youngest will be 17 next week), but I really wish there was because all of this information would have been extremely helpful 🙂

  10. I have a 5yo, 3yo, and 16mo and cd with all of them. I use dry cloth wipes and California Baby diaper spray. I loved the part of the video with the “cheating” as I stood in the store the other day thinking the same thing…then I reminded myself that if I was going to cheat do it next week when I off from work so at least I get the perks not my nanny. The hemp inserts we use at night have been awfully stinky lately…at night my daughter scooches up near my pillow and it is as if I am sleeping with a skunk…we recently got a front loader so I’m wondering how the stripping process works with this type of washer…in my old washer I used either Dawn or baking soda and vinegar…would love some tips for front loaders.

  11. Love your site! I’ve been CD’ing since my girl arrived (15 months ago!), and just last month made the switch to cloth wipes. I LOVE them, and she does, too. I just fold and stack them in a plastic wipes container, then douse them with about 2 cups of chamomile tea with a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil mixed in. That’s it! It’s great because the wipe can get bundled and tossed into the same bin as the diapers.

    • Thanks for sharing… You make it sound so easy!

      • Haha…. i WISH! We made the switch after she started getting a rash from even sensitive/no additive wipes, and her rashes and irritations are totally gone. Looking forward to your stripping video! (did I just say that?)

  12. Soooooo been there with the cheating. There have been times when the poop was so bad I contemplated throwing the cloth diaper away! I am so happy though that I made the decision to cloth diaper. I am pregnant again and with breastfeeding, hand-me-downs, and cloth diapers, my expenses are minimal which is great because I am a stay at home mom now. When I was working through my first pregnancy, I bought two cloth diapers every other week. Those diapers along with those that were purchased off my registry helped me accrue a good supply with my budget. Just something to think of if someone is worried about shelling out the 300-400 bucks at once for the diapers.

    I do recommend pulling out the pocket before putting the diaper in the pail. That way when you get to the washer you just push the diapers into the washer through the bag as it folds inside out. Then toss the bag in! No need to touch the diapers! 😀

    Love the site, keep up the great work!

  13. I have been cheating lately…*blush*. We are between adjustment sizes right now (we use one-size pockets) and he is either dealing with a too tight or too loose dipe (so marks on his legs or leaks everywhere). I am going to strip them before we start using them again though, so I am looking forward to that video!

  14. Can’t wait for the stripping video! I think my son’s dipes need to be stripped…they’ve started smelling nasty and vinegar-y whenever he pees in them. They always smell fresh when they come out of the wash, though…so I’m perplexed…

  15. Although I realize the above question (about cloth vs. disposable wipes) is for the woman in the video, I thought I would pitch in my two cents – we use disposable wipes for dirty diaper messes, and dry cloth wipes with thirsties booty luster spray to clean after wet diapers, so that the cloth wipes last for more than a single cleaning.

  16. Just curious… Do you use disposable wipes or cloth wipes? I’ve been experimenting with cloth and can’t seem to formulate a wipes solution I love. Great info! Can’t wait to see the video on stripping. Baby girl is 3 months old and I haven’t stripped diapers yet (enjoying the easy to clean water-soluble breast milk poop) :))

    • Jessica-try the California Baby Diaper Area Wash…it is a spray bottle solution…after trying to make my own solutions unsuccessfully many times (homemade always gave my son a rash) I bought the spray…I love it. I cut the solution in half and dilute it with water to stretch it out.

    • I use cloth wipes that I made myself, out of old flannel receiving blankets. As for a solution, I used to make one with tea tree oil and coconut oil, but discovered that just plain witch hazel works really well! I can always tell when I haven’t been using it on my 2 year old, because her bottom starts to get a little spotty (we’re just now moving back into cloth diapers, so she’s been in disposables). My DH doesn’t care for the smell of the witch hazel, but it works. I just keep the dry wipes in an old wipes box, open the lid, and squirt the top one right from the bottle. If the next one gets a bit wet, it’s ok, because with a 6 month old as well, it gets used or dries before it gets funky.

    • I make my own wipes using cut up viva paper towels and just use water and throw them in a wipes warmer to store. My son is almost 11months old and has never had a rash and he has sensitive skin too! I put coconut oil on him between diaper changes and sometimes I put it on the wipes too because it helps take stuck poo off the tushie. Lol. I used these soft cotton ones when he was just born from the pump station and also used cloth wipes when it wasn’t major poo.

    • I use reusable wipes. I mostly just use water, occasionally throw in a dash of dilute Bronners. You *really* don’t need anything but water.

    • Hi there. I have no idea how long ago you posted your comment as only the month and day are listed, so this may not even apply to you anymore, but I make my own wipe solution. I have a standard size carafe that I mix it in. I start by filling it with either filtered or distilled water, leaving a 2-3 space at the top to mix in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of Castille soap. I top it off with 15-20 drops each of lavender and tea tree essential oils. I use the same formula for wipes in our bathroom and have completely eliminated the use of toilet paper in our house in doing so. I just toss everything in the diaper bucket next to the toilet and wash with the diapers.

  17. Loved this – I related to every bit! (Except for putting your diapers in the dryer – it’s really bad for them and will wear them out way faster. Most manufacturers recommend hang drying!)

  18. I literally snorted out lout when I saw the part about disposables. HA! Been there sista!

  19. We’ve certainly had those moments!

    Looking forward to the video on how to strip.

    I recently started soaking ours in water with borax before washing them, then adding vinegar to the wash with either borax or just a little detergent.

  20. i can’t wait for the next video. diapers lately have been our most extreme nightmare do to the use of hemp and how much of the oils it really absorbs. i did learn white vinegar can be a really good friend and was extremely happy when removing them from the washer and i couldn’t smell anything gross:)

    i love diaper topics.

    • We keep it real! :)> even the smelly stuff. LOL!

  21. Your cheatin’ heart, will nevah mend… LOL! Love this.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required *


Hey Mama! Get my FREE baby updates every week!

  • Track baby’s development
  • Discover safe & natural remedies
  • Access free tools & resources


Not on Messenger? .