Washing Cloth Diapers with Baby Stuff? (Diaper Advice)

Is washing cloth diapers okay with my baby clothes?

Most of the questions that I see about fluff generally pertain to washing cloth diapers.  When it comes to washing cloth diapers, we all have our own routines.  The basic gist, though, is “cold or warm pre-wash cycle, extra long hot wash, double rinse.”  With that in mind, there are plenty of reasons to avoid washing cloth diapers with baby clothes… and the rare exception where I would.

Washing Cloth Diapers for First UseWashing Cloth Diapers with Baby Stuff (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

I started with a long, drawn out, possibly confusing answer about washing cloth diapers for first use with baby clothes.  In a nutshell?  Yes, it’s okay.  However, there are a few caveats.  The detergent must be cloth diaper safe.  If you’ve got your heart set on using Dreft, then don’t add your cloth diapers to the wash.  If you’ve got beautiful, soft, squishy organic bamboo baby clothes, don’t wash it with your synthetic cloth diapers.  Really, though, in order to avoid all of those caveats, I would not bother.  Sure, your cloth diapers won’t be ruined, but let’s start your brand new fluff out with best practices in order to keep your diapers in great shape for years to come.

Different Wash Routines Required

There are a ton of reasons that I didn’t wash baby clothes with cloth diapers.  For one, a cloth diaper laundry routine is significantly more intense than a standard baby clothes routine.  My cloth diapers take about two hours to wash.  Baby clothes took about 40 minutes because I’d wash them in cold on the gentle cycle.  You’d have to adjust your baby clothes to fit your cloth diaper laundry instead of your cloth diaper laundry to your baby clothes.  I don’t think that baby clothes will stand up to repeated two hour hot wash cycles when they’re pretty soft and gentle.  Additionally, you’ll probably end up with a lot more stains since some of those stain treaters are no good for your cloth diapers.

Between the different temperature requirements, the length of washing, the stain treatment limitations, the detergent restrictions and the dryer sheet bans, I don’t encourage washing cloth diapers and baby clothes together.  Exceptions: I have been known to wash Norton’s jeans with diapers after he has an accident.

Have you tried washing cloth diapers and baby clothes together?  How did it go?

Image credit: Natara / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I wash some towels and wash cloths with my cloth diapers. Sometimes I throw in some of my daughter’s clothes. I just stick to my diaper laundry routine. (Also, I have used Dreft on my Best Bottoms without any problems. I think my water and washer are a pretty good combination.)
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  2. Good points…..I guess it’s better to have a light load of cloth diapers and wait a couple days to wash baby clothes rather than OVER wash the baby clothes in a big load:)

  3. I’ve done the same as you. Every once in a while, if an item of clothing gets soaked with urine or stained with #2 then I’ll throw it in with my diaper laundry AFTER that first initial rinse.

  4. I will sometimes prep an individual new cloth diaper or two with my regular laundry. I use cloth diaper safe detergent for everything. I never use chemical fabric softeners. I would never wash my cloth diaper laundry with regular laundry…EW.

  5. eric rivera says:

    oh yea we do it all the time! cause accidents arent always limited to just the diaper

  6. The only time I have washed clothing with diapers is when we have had a rare explosive diaper.

  7. I’d like to say now, before I’ve ever cloth diapered, that I will never do this. However, I also have to use a laundromat, so in all honesty I probably will mix my loads.

  8. Michelle T says:

    Eh, babies only wear baby clothes for a couple months. You could wash them with diapers for a few babies and the wear still won’t show.

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