It Can Be Done

Cloth diapering is easy if you have your own washer and dryer at your home, condo or apartment. If you don't, you may wonder if it's feasible to use cloth on your baby. We talk to moms who have been there, done that, and show you how you can use reusable diapers!

Baby diapers

One of the obstacles many modern parents face when they consider cloth diapers is the wash routine. How do you wash diapers? How do you handle... poop? And if you don't have your own washer and dryer in your home, that may seem like an impossible hurdle to overcome. The good news is that not only is cloth diapering possible, but it can become an easy part of your routine.


If you won't be able to use an in-home washing machine, you might consider simplifying your cloth diaper stash to include mostly flats. Flats, or flat diapers, are simple squares of cloth, generally made of birdseye cotton. You can find online tutorials on how to fold flat diapers, and they can be easily customized to your baby's size and absorbency needs.

These types of diapers will need a waterproof cover, so many moms opt for natural options such as wool covers. Other options, such as fleece or more traditional waterproof varieties work well too.


While washing at a laundromat can be expensive and inconvenient, it can be very easy to work cloth diapers into your weekly wash routine without breaking the bank. One mom from California rinses her flats really well in her sink every night and then hangs them to dry. She then stores them in a bucket until wash day. The rinsing cuts down on any odors and also helps keep stains from setting in.

Hand washing

Last year, there was a "Flats and Handwashing" challenge that inspired many mothers to try their hand at old-fashioned diapering. You can use your bathtub, a 5-gallon bucket or any other container that is big enough to hold your diapers and plenty of water.

Think about what a washing machine does -- it agitates. You can do this by hand, with a spoon or even with a plunger. Add the diapers to plenty of hot water and your diaper-safe detergent and give it a go. Drain the water, fill the container back up (this water can be cold) and agitate again to rinse the detergent out.


Squeeze as much water as you can from the diapers and hang them wherever you can. Outdoors on a warm, sunny day is ideal because the sun can help disinfect the diapers as well as help eliminate stains, but indoors is good too.

Washing diapers without modern appliances isn't simply for those who lack them, and also not only reserved for those who practice attachment parenting. You can use these methods on vacations or when your power goes out. It can also give a mom who wouldn't have tried cloth diapers a reason to test them out. Kristy from Missouri says that her challenge helped some friends try cloth. "I know I inspired friends who had been wanting to make the switch," she shared. "They didn't want to use it at first because they had no washer or dryer, but they invested in flats and now use cloth."

More on cloth diapers

The new wave of cloth diapers
Why use cloth diapers
Save money by using cloth diapers


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