How to Strip Cloth Diapers

Stripping cloth diapers on a regular basis will ensure your diapers maintain optimal absorbency and smell fresh. It can also help extend the life of your diapers so you get the most out of your investment in cloth diapering. The process is called “stripping” because you are stripping your diapers of laundry soap residue build-up. The first time I heard about stripping cloth diapers I thought it sounded kind of silly…why would I need to wash the soap off my diapers that I used to clean my diapers? Despite my skepticism I gave it a try and noticed a big difference in the “freshness” of my diapers. Now I strip them every few months. In fact they are past due for a stripping which inspired this post! You will know it’s time to strip your diapers if they are starting to stink or are less absorbent.  It’s actually a very simple process, although it takes a while since you are going to repeat it a few times. Here’s what works well for me, however you may need to tweak accordingly since everyone’s washing machine and diapers interact differently.


Load your washing machine with diapers as usual. Select the hottest water setting. Select heavy duty wash cycle. Select pre-wash and extra rinse option if available. Select large load (for water amount). You are going to repeat this process two or three times. The first time you can add a small amount of Bac-Out, vinegar, or baking soda. If you are dealing with some seriously stinky diapers you can add a tiny amount of bleach, however it’s usually recommended not to use bleach with your cloth diapers. The next few wash cycles you don’t need to add anything. Simply wash them in water. You don’t need to dry between washings. After your final wash, you will want to hang dry diapers in the sun. The sun acts as a natural bleaching agent and keeps cloth diapers looking and smelling fresh.


Any helpful tips to share on stripping cloth diapers? How often do you strip yours and what method do you use?


Tomorrow’s Tasty Tuesday recipe is sure to be a winner with your kids. Be sure to check it out!


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One Response to “How to Strip Cloth Diapers”

  1. Amber says:

    Can you elaborate just a bit more? How many times do you wash them after that initial wash with Bac-out? How much vinegar or baking soda should you use?
    I use a product called RLR that I got here at MMB. It works well for me. You just wash as normal but add a packet of it ($2) to your load. I’d like to try your way too and see if it works better! Thanks for posting 🙂