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Best Cloth Diaper Detergent + Cloth Diaper Wash Routine

Choosing to use Tide to wash my cloth diapers has proven to be the best cloth diaper detergent I’ve tried. No stains, no stink. There’s only clean diapers in this cloth diaper wash routine!

stack of cloth diapers with text Best Cloth Diaper Detergent

Overwhelmed by the number of articles on washing cloth diapers? Do you think there has to be a simpler way to wash cloth diapers than to have 3 different kinds of laundry detergent, dryer sheets for some, dryer balls for others?! There is.

Let me let you in on a little secret…

Washing Cloth Diapers

Yes, they really do. I’ve been using Tide on all of our laundry for almost a year now, including our cloth diapers, and I’ve only stripped them once. Once. Because I wanted to.

For the first year that I used cloth diapers, I made my own Cloth Diaper Detergent. I made it because it was relatively inexpensive and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a cloth diaper detergent.

While the homemade detergent worked, I still struggled with stink issues. But I thought that was normal since I kept reading about how to strip cloth diapers. I just deep cleaned them every month or so to really get the funky smell out – extra work is always fun, huh?

While my homemade cloth diaper detergent was working, to an extent, it wasn’t working for our family. I was basically having to wash the diapers twice and still having smell issues. Plus, I hated stripping them once a month.

If you are totally against using Tide to wash cloth diapers, it’s ok. I was too, at first. The thing is – other cloth diaper safe detergents, like Rockin’ Green, do work. But I found that they were a lot more expensive than opting for good ole Tide in the long run. And I don’t know about you, but one main reason I cloth diaper is because it saves money.

You don’t automatically have to go for Tide. I’ve had personal experience with most of the cloth diaper safe detergents on the market and really liked most of them.

Detergents made for cloth diapers are wonderful for diapers, but as a Mom of 2, I’m just trying to really simplify some things in life, in addition to saving money.

Buying an extra type of detergent is a small act, but by cutting it out, I feel like I have simplified my laundry room a bit. Besides, it’s just too expensive in most cases to wash all of my laundry in a cloth diaper detergent.

Cloth Diaper Laundry PIle

We have a Front Loader and the detergent has helped me deter stains, stink, and any issues with PUL/elastic, etc. And before you say it, I know that not everyone wants to use Tide and that’s ok, but it works for my family and if it works for yours – good!

Simplify your routine with what works for YOU!

How to Use Cloth Diapers at Home: CD Laundry

Thankfully laundry, of any kind, is actually my favorite chore. I mean, it’s my favorite chore, not something I enjoy doing in my free time, but I don’t mind it. Why? Because it’s super easy.  Don’t let thoughts of like these deter you from using cloth diapers…

“What will I do with the dirty ones?”

“How many extra loads a week will cloth diapers give me?”

“What kind of special detergent will I have to buy”

Washing cloth diapers is really just as simple as washing any other laundry in your house. I promise. Especially when you only use one cloth diaper detergent!

Washing Cloth Diapers – My Routine

front loading washing machine with cloth diapers inside with text Cloth Diaper Wash Routine

I recently got an email from a reader asking my Cloth Diaper Wash Routine, so Antonella this post is for you! By switching to Tide, I’ve been able to eliminate the second wash cycle. Yes, I used to wash my cloth diapers twice… So now my routine looks like this:

  • Warm Rinse, no Spin, no Detergent.
  • Warm/Warm Wash with Tide & Extra Rinse.
  • Cold Rinse w/ no Detergent.

Is liquid or powder detergent best for cloth diapers?

When I first started using Tide to wash cloth diapers, I used it in the powder form. I’ve found that liquid is the best cloth diaper detergent for us now. It seems to dissolve easier in our front loader and handle cleaning the best in all types of laundry for my family. I think it really depends on your washing machine.


Tuesday 20th of May 2014

I see a lot of comments about this working on front loader washers. How well does this work for top loading machines? Does anyone know how much to use for a medium load? Also do you still set your washer to the biggest load or can you dial down to a smaller load as to not use so much water?

Lindsey Galvez

Tuesday 20th of May 2014

Excellent question, Jolyn! I hope someone can help answer as I've only ever had a Front Loader while CDing.


Tuesday 20th of May 2014

I washed in basic h2. It cost next to nothing and has no harsh chemicals. Strips and cleans at the same time.


Saturday 17th of May 2014

Hey there! I just came across your blog, (I'm a cloth diapering newbie) and am definitely feeling a bit of relief! I have a few questions though if you don't mind? I'm planning on getting my diapers ready to go this weekend and starting next week. I have 18 BG 4.0s (with the BG inserts), 5 Flip covers and around 30 prefolds I planned on using for the flips. I'm assuming that they will need to be prepared for first use seperately, but once I get going, can I wash all the different types together? Thanks!!


Friday 16th of May 2014

Lindsey, I just ordered my cloth diapers for my son who is 3 months. I am very nervous because I am now realizing the challenging things that can come with CDing. This is my first baby and I only know one person who CD, besides my grandmothers lol. I am starting to freak out a little that I took on something that is going to be too much. I am all for using one detergent for my family and I have always used tide for my husband and self. I am nervous that my son will have a reaction to the tide. I have only used All free and clear on his clothes. Have you had any problems like that? Do you recommend spraying the diapers off before washing them? My son is a frequent soaker and I am starting to think i will not be able to keep up with him. I want to CD to save money but I am staring to think it is going to be too much. -help please!

Lindsey Galvez

Friday 16th of May 2014

Oh Brooke - you're not alone! Please don't overthinking get you down because that's what happens so much in the CD community sometimes. I never had any problems with my girls when washing their diapers in Tide. That's not to say you won't, of course, but I would definitely try if you're wanting to keep things simple and Tide cleans the diapers well. Just make sure that you're using the recommended amount and rinsing the diapers well [I always add in that last rinse cycle]. As far as your son being a frequent soaker, you may want to look into adding a hemp insert in the diaper. That helped with my girls tremendously! If you ever have any questions, you can always email me at too!


Sunday 30th of March 2014

Will Tide Free & Clear liquid work just as well as powder?

Lindsey Galvez

Monday 31st of March 2014

I've always heard that the powder is the best option, but I've never used Free & Clear OR Liquid Tide, so I can't say either way.