Stripping cloth diapers

Today I stripped my diapers. Noah has woken up the past two mornings crying. Not just fussing, wanting me to get him out of the crib crying, but really crying. Usually when he's crying I can pick him up and his problems are solved, but the past two mornings have been different. He has been really crying. I'm talking serious tears that stream into his ears while I change his diaper. The past two mornings I' have found his diaper area to be red and he doesn't stop crying until he is wiped clean, slathered in CJ's Butter and in a new diaper. Poor baby! I even found a couple spots of blood on his nighttime diaper this morning from all the irritation. So today, I decided to strip my diapers.

If you're new to cloth and curious about stripping, hopefully this post will help you!

What does it mean to strip cloth diapers?
Stripping means to rid the diapers of any residue in the diaper.  The residue can be build up from detergents or diaper creams or it can be from ammonia build up that occurs over time.

When to strip cloth diapers
If you are experiencing any of the problems below, you should strip your diapers!

  • Diapers aren't as absorbent as they once were
  • Diapers don't smell clean after being washed
  • Strong smell after being peed in 
  • Lots of leaks
  • Repelling (diapers not absorbing at all)
  • Irritation on babies skin after wearing a diaper

How to strip cloth diapers

  1. Load your diapers into your washer as you normally would. 
  2. Run a pre-rinse cycle with just hot water.
  3. Run a long, hot wash cycle with Original Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (1 Tbsp. for non HE machines, 1 tsp. for HE machines) and up to a 1/2 cup of regular bleach.
  4. Do two rinse cycles. 
  5. Complete rinse cycles until there are no longer any bubbles.


  • BumGenius recommends using bleach on your diapers, but it voids many other cloth diaper warranties! Be sure to check with your manufacturer recommendations before using bleach on your diapers. 
  • If you are having severe ammonia problems, there are other methods you should look into before deciding that this is the best one! 


  1. Please note that using Dawn on an HE washer may clog up the hoses and void all warranties. If the build up is from ammonia or hard mineral build up Dawn won't help. Dawn is usually recommended for build up of accidental use of non-CD safe diaper ointment or fabric softeners. Ammonia or hard mineral build responds best to RLR. I'm also excited about Grovia's new Rx product.

  2. i am new to cloth diapering so this is very great to know and seems really easy to do thanks for posting!

  3. I just started cloth diapering and am a little discouraged about the ammonia smell already happening with my diapers. I don't use them overnight because the smell was so strong the very first morning we tried using them overnight...and that was a diaper with inserts that had never been used before so I don't know how there could have been build up. Thanks for posting!...I'll try stripping them again but I might have to stop if I can't get the smell out. Cloth safe detergent is expensive and I can't keep spending $15-$20 to find one that works. I'm currently using Tiny bubbles. I think it's a grovia brand. I'm also waiting for an order of RLR to come in so hopefully that will do the trick too!

    1. Hi Michele. Honestly, I've always eventually ended up with an ammonia problem using "safe" detergents. Tide has been the best bet. It is not considered safe and voids many warranties, but it gets my diapers clean, keeps the ammonia at bay, and from what I can tell it's not damaging my diapers.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...