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Washing Guide

As Easy
As 1-2-3!

Washing TTO’s diapers is almost as simple as washing your clothes. Follow these five steps to restore a soiled diaper to its former glory.

1. Knock Off Poo

Remove the inserts from the pocket first. A high-pressure bidet spray knocks the poop off the diaper fairly easily. If you don’t have one, use an inexpensive brush to scrap the waste off. After rinsing, wring it dry.
(Note: Don’t worry, we use coffee grounds for illustration purposes! ;-))

2. Dry Pail

Place the dirty inserts and shells in a dry pail meant for soiled diapers. Keep the diapers well-ventilated by using a pail with holes.

3. Pre-Wash

Pre-wash the diapers. If your main wash happens after the 3rd day, it is best to do a pre-wash daily to avoid mould, stink and ammonia build-up which could damage the diapers.

  • When: Every 1-2 days.
  • Load: At least 6 soiled diapers to start.
  • Cycle: Shortest one, ranging from 30-60 mins (depending on the settings on your washing machine).
  • Detergent Amount: 1/2 dosage of mainstream detergent or depending on the level of load.
  • Temperature: At or between 40ºC- 60ºC. 60ºC is more effective at removing heavy soiling.
  • Spin: 800-1400rpm.

If you are not doing main wash on that day, return the pre-washed diapers to a separate dry pail meant for pre-washed diapers. Again, use a pail with plenty of holes for good ventilation.

4. Main Wash

Main wash the diapers.

  • When: Every 1-4 days.
  • Load: Full load including all pre-washed diapers, inserts and other small items such as baby clothes, bibs, small towels if you need to bulk up. Visually, the machine will look ⅔-¾ full when they’re wet.
  • Cycle: Longest “Cotton” cycle, between 2.5-3.5 hours.
  • Detergent Amount: Full dosage for heavily soiled items.
  • Temperature: At or between 40ºC- 60ºC. 60ºC is more effective at removing heavy soiling.
  • Spin: 800-1400rpm.

5. Dry

Inserts: Dry under the sun or in the dryer.

Diaper Shells/Covers: Dry in the shade, away from direct sunlight to keep PUL intact.

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The first time is a pre-wash for cloth diapers just taken off the bum. The water is at the dirtiest as it washes off all the heavy soiling in the diapers. Please take note that this is a separate wash and is DIFFERENT from running a full cycle with an inbuilt “pre-wash” setting in a machine.

The second time is a main wash where the correct loading and agitation are needed for the diapers to be fully cleaned for use again!

We recommend washing the cloth diapers at or between 40°C-60°C.

Warm water is more effective at cleaning out soiling in cloth diapers because it helps to break down and loosen dirt, bacteria, and other organic matter. Heat causes the fibres in the cloth to expand, which allows the cleaning agents to penetrate more deeply and effectively into the fabric.

Additionally, warm water can also help to activate enzymes in laundry detergents, which can help to break down and remove stains and odours.

Trust me, this is the best period to cloth diaper!

The poo from breast-fed babies is water soluble and easy to wash off. You can simply throw the soiled diapers into the dry pail or the pre-wash without having to rinse it off with the bidet spray! How easy is that?

If it makes you more comfortable to rinse it out, feel free to go ahead!

Front-load washing machines and top-load washing machines can vary in terms of water efficiency.

Front-load washing machines typically use less water than top-load washing machines. This is because they use a tumbling action to clean clothes, which requires less water to fully submerge the clothes. Additionally, front-load machines typically have a higher spin speed, which helps to extract more water from the clothes, resulting in shorter drying times. This can save water and energy in the long run.

Top-load washing machines, on the other hand, typically use more water than front-load machines. This is because they use a agitator which moves the clothes through the water and can require more water to fully cover the clothes. They also typically have a lower spin speed, which means that more water is left in the clothes after the wash cycle, which can lead to longer drying times and more energy consumption.

However, It’s important to note that the water efficiency of a washing machine can depend on multiple factors, such as the model, the manufacturer, the technology and features of the machine, and the user’s washing habits. Some top-load washing machine models can have better water efficiency than some front-load models. It’s always recommended to check the Energy Guide label or the water usage of each specific model before buying a washing machine.

Not to worry! If your top load machine has no connection to a hot water source, you could start the machine first at the highest temperature setting and when the tub is filling with water, bucket in hot/warm water from the shower. Alternatively, you can prepare some hot water on the stove beforehand. Be careful not to use boiling water to minimize any damage to the PUL layer in the diapers.

Soiled diapers are cleaned by the detergent together with friction hence, it’s important to load the machine correctly for the main wash. Loading doesn’t apply to the pre-wash but matters a lot for the main wash.

An under-loaded washing machine results in dirty diapers due to inadequate agitation and excess suds. Excess suds may also clog the drainage causing dirty water to leak from the machine.

The machine should be loaded between ⅔-¾ full when wet. When dry, the machine should be loosely full. Damp pre-washed cloth diapers are counted as dry. The load can be bulked up with light-coloured items such as baby clothes, socks, bibs, small towels or cloth wipes smaller than 60x60cm.

You can get mainstream detergents (e.g. Persil, Dynamo, Tide, Top etc) which are easily accessible from the supermarkets. It’s up to you whether you prefer it in a liquid or powder form.

Eco or plant-based detergents are formulated with plant-based surfactants and enzymes which may require a higher washing temperature or double the dosage for them to work best at removing heavy soiling. Check the labels for the recommended dosage. We recommend washing at 60°C to have a peace of mind.

We do not recommend baby detergents as they contain mild surfactants which may not clean out the heavy soil from the diapers thoroughly.

Buy the right detergent for your washing machine. A wrong detergent can not only leave your diapers soiled but also damage your washing machine in the long run and even cause leaks.

Before you grab that box of detergent, check for two things:

  1. If you have a front loader, make sure it says it’s for front-loaders.
  2. If you use a front loader, buy one with low suds.

Normally, front-loader detergents have “low suds” printed on the box. Refer to the recommended dosage as printed.

Based on our personal experiences, the front-loader detergent you bought may not be that low in suds and the suggested dose may be over the top. We suggest doing a little trial-and-error to see if the detergent is suitable before switching.

If you notice your machine’s tumbler is chock-full of suds or the machine often leaks waste water, you could troubleshoot with the following:

1. Are you loading the machine sufficiently?

An under-loaded machine leads to excess suds. This prevents proper agitation and leads to inadequate cleaning of the diapers. Try bulking up your wash with baby clothes, small towels and cloth wipes.

Likewise, an over-loaded machine does not allow for sufficient agitation to take place, leading to unclean diapers and sometimes, tears in the fabrics. In this case, reduce the load.

2. Are you using the right amount of detergent?

Over-dosage of detergent causes excess suds and leakages. Reduce your detergent quantity by 1/4- 1/2 of a scoop and monitor the next few washes to find the optimal dosage. If things don’t improve, try another brand of detergent.

3. How soiled are the diapers?

If the diapers are not that soiled and there’s too much surfactant needed for the cleaning, excess suds are created. Try reducing the detergent amount or add in dirty baby items with food scraps or mess.

We get it! Poo stains can be tricky depending on your baby’s diet, especially with blueberries!

The best way to prevent stains is to treat it quickly. After rinsing off the poo, you can rub on some Sard or any bar soap before tossing it into the dry pail, awaiting pre-wash.

You can also add on Vanish powder in your pre-wash along with the detergent in the prewash.

If the stains are stubborn, create a Vanish paste and leave it on the affected spots for a few hours. Remember, a good wash routine minimizes stains!

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