How to Store Cloth Diapers


Oh no, the time has finally come to pack up our cloth diapers and decide what to do with them next.  We are finally potty trained during the day and only use 2 diapers or training pants each day.  We’re still using cloth so I need to save a few for nights and naps.

How To Store Cloth Diapers For Future Children

How to Store Cloth Diapers (for future children)

1.  Clean your diapers thoroughly.  Now is a good time to wash your diapers very well.  This should include a good wash followed by a good stripping to remove any mineral and detergent that has built up in your diapers.  Depending on your machine and how dirty your diapers are I would recommend the following routine:

  • 1 warm rinse cycle (or 1 full warm water wash cycle) with no detergent
  • 1 hot wash cycle with your favorite detergent (you can add Calgon or RLR if you have hard water).
  • (Optional) You may choose to add a small amount of bleach to this hot wash cycle if you think they need to be sanitized.  Remember to check your manufacturers directions for using bleach.
  • 3-6 additional hot rinse cycles (or 2-4 full hot wash cycles) to remove build up
  • Hang dry in the sun or dry in the machine on low/medium
2.  Repair and Fix.  Is your elastic shot?  Is your Velcro worn out?  Whatever damage has been done over the years now is a good time to repair the diapers so they are ready to go when you need them again.  If you are storing diapers for more than a year you may want to hold off on repairs until you are ready to use them so that time won’t age the elastic.  Many cloth diaper retailers and manufacturers offer replacement elastic and Velcro either for free or for just a few dollars.  You can also buy them in bulk at your local fabric store.  If you aren’t handy with a needle you can always hire this task out by a professional.
3.  Select a Storage Container.  Most people would assume that they would need a plastic storage box or space saver bags.  These may not be your best options for storing cloth diapers.  It is actually recommended to use a breathable storage system like a pillowcase or other fabric bag.  This will keep your diapers from getting musty and keep odors and mildew from attacking your stash.
4. Select a Storage Location.  Stay away from attics and garages.  The extreme heat and cold is not good for the plastic in the PUL or the elastic in the diapers.  A better place to store diapers would be in a closet or under a bed in a climate controlled location.
5.  Try not to cry.  Putting cloth diapers away can actually be an emotional time for parents.  For us, Lil’ B is our last baby so it’s actually been quite hard to actually let go of our stash.  Cloth diapers have become a part of our lives.  It is however quite a relief to know that we’re almost done with the extra laundry each week.
How to Store Cloth Diapers
What if you don’t plan on having other children?  There are many options on what you can do with used cloth diapers.
  • Cloth diapers have a strong resale value on Craigslist, Ebay, Forums, and even some local consignment stores will accept cloth diapers these days.
  • You can also donate and share your diapers with friends or parents in need of a little financial support.  I’m packing up a small shipment for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope this week (I procrastinate) and plan on donating some locally as well.
  • Flats, prefolds, and inserts can be used around the house for cleaning.
  • I’m sure I’ll be saving a few for demonstration purposes as well.  You never know when someone you know will ask you about cloth diapers.
  • My toddler will probably get a few of the old, torn, and tattered diapers to use on her babies too.

Have you had to pack up your diapers yet?  What did you do with them?  Let’s continue the conversation on Facebook – come visit The Eco Chic fan page and share with me your best tips for storing diapers long term.   

Looking for cloth diapering resources and tips? Visit my cloth diapering archives, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and on Pinterest.
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  1. Tammy H says

    Thanks for writing this! I could find SO many tips for how to use cloth diapers, but now that I need to pack some away, this was all I could find in a quick search in the whole Internet! Haha, so thanks :)

  2. Amanda says

    Thanks! Packing up #2’s diapers and expecting #3 in a few months, so this was exactly the article I was looking for!

  3. Kristen B says

    When you say to use a fabric bag…what exactly should that be? I have quite a few cloth diapers… :)


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