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Fluffy Friday: How to Wash Cloth Diapers in a Front Loader {and a Molly’s Suds Detergent Review}


I promise using cloth diapers really is easy.  So many, I feel, tend to over think the process which makes it seem overwhelming.  Just think back a few decades ago when everyone used cloth diapers and there were no options.  They did it.  It worked.

Sure, new products and gadgets can make the process easier, but a lot of times they also tend to complicated the process.  Modern washing machines sure are nice {so is the indoor plumbing that comes along}, but lots of people tend to run into problems when washing cloth diapers in a Front Loading Washing Machine – or any other HE machine.  Today, I’m going to share with you how I’ve washed my cloth diapers in a Front Loader… successfully for over 3.5 years now!

Wash CDs in Front Loader

I already had a Front Loader when I decided to cloth diaper Sophia and even though I read that people had issues, it wasn’t a concern enough to go out and buy a new washer for only cloth diapering!  So, I decided I would make it work.  I purchased the HE machine to save money to begin with, so it had to go hand in hand with cloth diapering, I thought!

One of the reasons that so many believe that cloth diapers don’t come clean in Front Loaders and other HE machines is because they feel that the machines don’t use enough water.  Now, I’m no scientist and I’m not claiming to be {or chemist, plumber, whoever can make these scientific proclamations}, but I can attest to the fact that I’ve been washing my cloth diapers in a HE washer for over 3.5 years quite successfully!

You may have heard of the “Wet Towel Trick” – where you put in a wet towel with your diapers to “trick” your HE machine into thinking the load is heavier and it will use more water.  I can’t say if this works or not, really, who can?  Sure, your HE machine may use less water in a load than a traditional Top Loader, but if you put your diapers through a long enough wash and rinses, they will come clean!  And by long enough, I don’t mean 4 or 5.  So, have a look at my wash routine, compare it to yours and tweak as necessary!


I do an initial Warm Rinse just to clean off the diapers, with low spin.  No Detergent

Heavy Duty Wash {my washer runs about 1:30 hours} with Extra Rinse.  Warm/Warm  

How much detergent?

CD Washing TipWell, that’s the million dollar question!  Too much detergent and you could get build-up.  Too little and you’ll get very stinky diapers that tend to leave rashes.  The key is to find out what detergent works best with your water {every area is different}, and how much works for you.  I have generally found that 2 tbsp of a cloth diaper safe detergent, like Molly’s Suds, is a great starter amount.

Finish with a Cold Rinse, just to make sure all detergent is out of the diapers.

Mollys SudsAnd speaking of Molly’s Suds – I was recently sent a bag as a sample to test out on our cloth diapers.  If you’ve been reading SEBG, you may know that I like to use the same detergent on my diapers as I do my clothes, just to simplify life.  With that said, though, I’ve found that Molly’s Suds works absolutely fine on my cloth diapers too!

It is nice to know that the Cloth Diaper Laundry Powder from Molly’s Suds contains No Phosophates, Parabens, or Harsh Chemicals.  It is non-toxic and completely safe for everyone in the family, and has a “A” rating in the EWG Cleaning Guide.  The fact that it’s Fragrance Free {and when you’re diapers are truly clean they smell like… well, nothing} means if you have a baby, or other family member with super sensitive skin, Molly’s Suds may just be the perfect detergent for you!

Mollys Suds Laundry ShelfYou can purchase Molly’s Suds directly from their website and on Amazon.  In addition to the Cloth Diaper Laundry Powder, you’ll also find Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder, All Sport Laundry Powder, Wool Dryer Balls, and Dog Shampoo!

Be sure to follow Molly’s Suds on social media, to stay in the know about new products and sales, by liking them on Facebook and following on Twitter!



Thursday 29th of May 2014

I have a HE front loader and my wash routine is very simple. I do a cold Rinse/Spin cycle (no detergent) followed by a Heavy/Bulky Hot wash with a full scoop of Tide Ultra powder and 1/4 cup Calgon (we have very hard water). Then I remove the pockets and wetbags and dry those in the dryer. With the bamboo inserts and cloth wipes left in the washer I do a Rinse/Spin on cold with Seventh Generation fabric softener. When that is done I remove them and dry in the dryer. Unfortunately natural detergents have not worked for us. I've tried Ecos, Rockin' Green, Biokleen and Eco Nuts. The diapers got horrible ammonia build up with each one of them. With Tide there have been no stinkies.

Sarah L

Thursday 2nd of January 2014

Long ago and far away (not really far away, but 40 years ago) it was a different story. I'm glad that today's moms have so many more options than were available back then.

Shannon Stubbs

Wednesday 1st of January 2014

Getting a front loader sure changed things up a bit for us. If I could do it again, I probably wouldn't, but it's what we have now so I had to figure it out. We use Molly's Suds too and I love it.

Abbie T

Saturday 28th of December 2013

Thanks for this post...I have a front loader as well and am new at cloth diapering my 3 week old. Trying to get those stains out have been a challenge but I use Molly's suds as well and love the cloth diaper powder and the regular laundry powder. I'm gonna try your suggestion settings.

Lindsey Galvez

Saturday 28th of December 2013

Abbie - I've found the best thing for combatting stains is washing regularly and not letting the diapers sit. I would definitely be washing every other day with a little one like yours. {Congrats by the way!} Also, sunning works wonders on stains as well!

Julie Wood

Friday 27th of December 2013

Wow, you really discuss how to wash cloth diapers in a front loader. It looks like doing it the way you have done it works. I do not have a front loader, but I can see that using one like yours is very good on getting diapers clean!