How to Clean Cloth Diapers with Poop: The Definitive Guide

  • By: Ashley
  • Time to read: 6 min.

When you are a parent, there are a lot of things that you have to learn on the fly. One of these is how to clean cloth diapers with poop. It may not be the most pleasant thing in the world, but it is something that you have to do if you have decided to do cloth diapering.

And honestly, its really not that bad once you nail down a few things. Cloth diaper poop is usually quite easy to deal with and it becomes second nature once you start washing cloth diapers.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process step by step so that you can feel confident in your ability to deal with a dirty diaper and clean cloth diapers with poop!

Step by Step Guide to Cleaning Cloth Diapers with Poop

Before you start, gather your supplies. You will need:

-A diaper pail with a lid or a hanging pail diaper bag

-A sprayer attachment (optional)

Now, let’s get started!

Step One: Remove the Diaper from Baby

The first step is to remove the diaper from your baby. If the diaper is wet, you can simply take it off and put it in your diaper pail or hanging wet bag.

If the diaper is soiled with poop, you will need to do a little bit more work.

Step Two: Remove Solids and Rinse Off the Diaper

If the diaper is only wet, you can skip this step. However, if the diaper is soiled, you will need to rinse it off before disposing of it. If you have used flushable liners to catch any solid poops then just flush them with the poop into the toilet bowl. A disposable liner is great for when they start weaning and their poop becomes a lot more ‘interesting’

If not, you will need to rinse off the poopy diapers.

Diaper Sprayer

The best way to rinse your poopy diapers is to use diaper sprayers on your toilet. If you don’t have one of these, you can also just hold the diaper under running water.

Diaper sprayers make cloth diapering easier as they remove the messy poop. You can end up with a bit of water on the toilet seat but nothing which isn’t easily cleaned.

When baby starts eating solids, a diaper sprayer becomes almost essential! When we started cloth diapering these were not available, but we find you end up with a cleaner diaper if you can really sluice it well before washing.

Poop Spatula

Another option for removing poop is to use a poop spatula. Scrape as much of the poop from the stinky diapers as you can.

Toilet Paper

Many parents often use toilet paper to scrape of the diaper cover or pocket diapers. This is easier to use with formula fed babies as the poop tends to be solid poo.

With exclusively breastfed babies the poop is a long messier and poop removal can be all but impossible! Bbut it is water soluble so can easily be rinsed off with an extra rinse cycle with cold water on wash day before you start washing.

Step Three: Store the Dirty Diaper

Once the diaper is rinsed off, you can dispose of it in your diaper pail or water pail. If you are using a hanging pail wet bag, just drop the diaper in. If you are using a regular diaper pail, open the lid and drop it in. We’ve done a guide to storing soiled diapers here.

You have the option to dry pail (with no water) or wet pail (soaking them). We’ve gone into the details of the pros and cons of dry pailing here. You can use baking soda to help mask the smells of the diaper pail.

Step Four: Wash Your Hands

This step is important for two reasons. First, you don’t want to spread any bacteria from the diaper to your hands or anywhere else. Second, you don’t want the smell of poop on your hands!

You should do this whether using disposable diapers or cloth diapering. If you are not near a sink its always useful to have a spray bottle of hand cleanser or antibacterial wash on stand by.

Step Five: Launder the Diaper

The final step is to launder the wet diapers. This can be done in a few different ways, and you can just use you’re regular detergents and no fabric softeners. We’ve done detailed guides to cleaning cloth diapers here.

You will also want to make sure that the diaper is rinsed multiple times so no harsh chemical or detergent residue is left on the diapers which will be next to baby’s skin. Pre rinsing in cold water (not hot water) is the best. Then wash on a hot cycle and ensure you have the load size correct, don’t overload the machine.

And that’s it! Just follow these steps and you will have no problems cleaning cloth diapers with poop.

Drying cloth diapers is just the same as drying your clothes, but most won’t be able to go in a hot cycle in the dryer.

Getting Into a Cloth Diaper Wash Routine

Now that you know how to clean cloth diapers with poop, it’s time to get into a routine. The best way to do this is to create a schedule and stick to it.

Wash your diapers every two to three days.

This will help to prevent any buildup on the diapers and will keep them smelling fresh.

Use a detergent and make sure to rinse multiple times.

This will help to get rid of any lingering smells or bacteria.

And that’s it!

Can a Baby Poop in Cloth Diapers?

The answer is yes, babies can poop in cloth diapers. A lot of people use disposable liners to catch the poop and flush it down the toilet.

Did you know that you are supposed to flush the poop from disposable diapers down the toilet?

Where Does the Poop Go With Cloth Diapers?

If you are using a toilet sprayer attachment, the poop will go into the toilet. If you are holding the diaper under running water, the poop will go down the drain. Either way, it will not end up in your washing machine.

Can You Put Poopy Cloth Diapers in the Washing Machine?

You can, but it’s not necessary. When using a cloth diaper you can firstly use paper liners to catch the solids.

Alternatively with dirty diapers you can sluice them out with a diaper sprayer. Just rinse the cloth diaper over the toilet, and hey presto, poop is in the toilet not your garbage bin!

How Do You Clean Poopy Cloth Diapers Without Sprayer?

There are two types of cloth diapers- those with a diaper liners and those without. Those without a liner will require you to rinse the diaper out after your baby poops in them.

This can be done by dunking and swishing the diaper in your toilet or using a diaper sprayer attached to your toilet. If you have a liner, you can simply remove the liner and flush it down the toilet. Easy peasy!

How Do You Wash Cloth Diapers With Poop?

First, remove any solid waste from your cloth diaper. If you have used disposable liners just flush them down the toilet. If you have a diaper sprayer then just spray the diaper over the toilet to sluice it out.

Then just wash your dirty diapers like you would any other washing!

Can I Put Baby Poop in Washing Machine?

If it’s breastfed poop, yes, it’s water-soluble. Just rinse before starting your main diaper wash.

If not, it’s best to try and clean as much of the poop out first either with a diaper sprayer or by dunking the dirty diapers in your toilet bowl and flushing.

Conclusion on How to Clean Poopy Cloth Diapers

We hope this article has helped you understand how to clean cloth diapers with poop. Just remember to always flush the poop down the toilet and to wash your diapers every two to three days and you will end up with lovely clean diapers!

Cloth Diapers x
Cloth Diapers