Skip to Content

How to Use Cloth Diapers at Home

If you’re looking for a comprehensive How to Use Cloth Diapers at Home guide, here it is! The ins, outs, and hows of using cloth diapers.

How to Use Cloth Diapers at Home
This post was inspired by a collaboration with Buttons Diapers. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

Congratulations on making one of the best decisions for your baby, your family, and your Earth by choosing to use cloth diapers! I was met with so much skepticism when I told friends and family that I was going to use cloth diapers that it almost got me down, almost. Everyone seemed to think that using cloth diapers would be way too hard, but it’s really not. That might be easy for me to say since I had 4 years of cloth diapering experience, but you’ll be saying it in no time too.

I still get emails weekly with questions about cloth diapering, which was the main inspiration for this post. Using cloth diapers is an extensive topic, so much so that I have dozens of blog posts dedicated to this very subject, but today I’m on task to write a comprehensive guide on how to use cloth diapers at home – a one post resource that will make the process easy to understand… and easy to use!

There are 3 main components to using cloth diapers at home:

  • Choosing and Using Cloth Diapers
  • Diaper Storage – Clean and Dirty Diapers
  • Wash Routine

Buttons Cloth Diaper Cover LumberjackButtons Cloth Diaper Cover LumberjackButtons Cloth Diapers Laundry Wet BagButtons Cloth Diapers Laundry Wet BagButtons Cloth Diapers InsertsButtons Cloth Diapers InsertsButtons Disposable Bamboo Diaper Liners (100 Count)Buttons Disposable Bamboo Diaper Liners (100 Count)

Let’s get started by examining these three subjects more closely so you can feel like cloth diapering at home will be a great success for you and your baby!

Choosing and Using Cloth Diapers

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when you decide to cloth diaper is the type of diapers you’ll use, as well as the brand you choose. While there are many different brands and types out there, I usually recommend Buttons Cloth Diapers as the best cloth diapers for new parents. There’s a few reasons for that including: ease of use, lower start-up cost [because of the All-in-Two system and the fact that they are One Size Diapers], and the fact that they really work and absorb well for both day and night time.

Buttons Diapers recommend that you invest in 8-10 covers, 18-24 inserts, and 2-3 doublers. This amount will be enough  to cloth diaper your child from birth to potty training, saving you thousands of dollars over using disposable diapers! You can read more about using the Buttons Cloth Diapers system and how they work here.

Using Cloth Wipes

Another great choice to make when you are using cloth diapers at home is choosing to use cloth wipes as well.

Cloth wipes are just as easy as disposables, really they are. I keep a basket of wipes on our changing table and a small spray bottle of my favorite cloth wipes solutions. I simply toss my wipes right into the diaper pail after a diaper change and wash them with my diapers so they really aren’t any extra work at all. Buttons Diapers Cloth Wipes are some of the softest cloth wipes we have!

Storing Clean Cloth Diapers

This is perhaps the fun part of cloth diapering and one that I take great pride in. When you see all of those cute, clean diaper covers lined up, you’ll get excited too! I’ve changed up my method for storing cloth diapers many times – from drawer totes, to cute baskets so our fluff could be displayed, to drawer systems.

I find the most important part of storing your clean diapers is… accessibility and ease. I like to stuff my cloth diapers right out of the dryer so they’re ready to go when I need them. I also like to have all my accessories on hand right at the changing table to make using cloth diapers easier and fast, which is exactly what you need when you’re changing a baby’s diaper!

Storing Dirty Cloth Diapers

This is where things get interesting because once cloth diapers are dirty, what do you do with them? There are 2 main ways to store dirty cloth diapers. The first is in a cloth diaper pail, like the one seen above. That’s my favorite diaper pail ever and it’s actually a trash can like this one with a Buttons Diapers pail liner. I definitely recommend having 2 pail liners so you always have a clean one because when you go to wash your cloth diapers, you simply empty the pail liner in your washing machine along with your diapers. You really can be pretty hands-off when it comes to dirty cloth diapers.

Buttons Cloth Diapers Laundry Wet BagButtons Cloth Diapers Laundry Wet Bag

If space doesn’t allow you to have a full diaper pail, you can always use a hanging wet/dry bag like this one. Even if you use a pail, I’d recommend having a large wet bag too because they make the perfect diaper pail when you’re traveling!

To avoid stains and get the best wash, you should always shake solids off the diaper insert into your toilet before placing them in either a wet bag or diaper pail.

Cloth Diaper Wash Routine

One great thing about the Buttons Cloth Diaper system is that it’s a cover and inserts system meaning you can reuse the covers a couple of times before they have to be washed, as long as they aren’t soiled. That means you’ll have less cloth laundry than you would with other diaper types.

While that may be true, you will find yourself washing cloth diapers at least every 3 days. I never went more than that because the longer your diapers stay dirty, the more likely you’ll have issues getting them clean. The main thing I want you to take from my cloth diaper washing routine is… don’t complicate things! Once I quit complicating things, I had clean diapers.

My front loader washing routine goes like this:

  1. Warm Rinse with no detergent, no spin.
  2. Warm/Warm Wash with Tide powder detergent [1 load size amount] with extra rinse.
  3. Cold Rinse.

Yes, I use Tide to wash my cloth diapers. There are a few different detergents that are made specifically for cloth diapers, but I found I had issues with smells after using them for a few weeks. Once I uncomplicated my wash routine and switched to Tide for my cloth diaper laundry, I had clean, good smelling diapers.

Cloth Diapers on the Go

While this post is all about how to use cloth diapers at home, there will be some point that you actually have to leave your house. While long day trips or even over night trips tend to need a lot more thought, a quick errand trip doesn’t.

This is another reason that Buttons Diapers make a great choice for cloth diapering systems. There’s no need to pack your diaper bag with 2-3 bulky cloth diapers just in case when you have to run out for just a bit. An extra cover [if you’re like me and like to prepare for the worst case scenario], an insert or 2, and a small wet bag is all you need!

While I know learning to use anything new can seem overwhelming at first, don’t let cloth diapers be! Learn how to use cloth diapers at home to make cloth diapering your baby a success.


Clarice A.

Saturday 13th of April 2019

We have a newly adopted 13 year old daughter whom we have had for two months now and we are using just the plain white,pin on cloth diapers on her with adult size plastic pants over them,24/7,due to her daytime wetting accidents and her bedwetting.Her diapers are the Gerber flat in the 24x27 inch size and i get the diaper pins at walmart.Her plastic pants are in pastels and nursery prints and fit her blousy over the diapers for comfort.It would be great if they made the diapers shown above in teen sizes,but so far i have not seen any on the market.


Sunday 23rd of December 2018

I love the ideal of using cloth diapers. They have really came a long wat to just the plain white cloth diapers.


Saturday 24th of November 2018

Love this post!! Can you please tell me which kind of Tide detergent you are using? Thanks in advance!


Monday 3rd of April 2017

I would like to buy the trash can you recommended, but the link sends me to an Amazon listing for only the lid. Anyway, I'm curious if you use the 35 qt or 50 qt trash can? Also, any idea if the Planet Wise pail liners would fit the trash can properly? I have two already, from my first child, and I don't want to buy others if I don't have to. Thanks in advance.

Lindsey G.

Monday 3rd of April 2017

Hi Cherise! Thanks for your comments and questions. I didn't realize I linked only to the lid - thanks for the heads up. I found a couple of similar ones on Amazon to what I have, but they're way more expensive than Walmart. Here's a very similar one on - It looks like I have about a 50 quart and your Planet Wise pail liners should fit fine! Let me know if you have any other questions.


Thursday 2nd of February 2017

I would choose Picnic.

Comments are closed.