Single-layer Cotton Flats are the easiest reusable diapers to clean and the fastest to dry. And, if you use Alpaca Covers, you won't have plastic in the laundry trying to "waterproof" dirty diapers from clean water. Moreover, alpaca can be washed infrequently, dries faster than wool, and doesn't need to be "lanolized" to work!
How to Wash Alpaca
1. Soap + Water
Fill a sink or small bowl with warm water. Add a gentle soap. We prefer SOAK but baby soap will also work! Just a capful will do. It's like a tiny bubbly bath for your alpaca.
Add your alpaca to the tiny bath, pushing the water through the cover a few times. Then let it soak for about 15 minutes.
3. Rinse, Roll, Dry
Rinse with warm water. Gently squeeze (don't wring!) out the water then roll it up in a towel (or a cotton flat) to help speed up drying. Lay flat or hang to dry.
How to Clean Cotton Flats + Wipes
1. Remove Solids
Pee-only diapers (and that’s most of them) can go straight in the hamper — hurrah! Baby hasn’t started eating solid food yet? Super easy: everything goes straight in the hamper! Seriously.
If the diaper has anything solid-looking in it, you need to dump it out first. If it’s not “plop-able”, use a bidet sprayer, toilet paper, or our wooden Wipe-Away Wand to push anything "3D" into the toilet. Don’t worry about streaks, they’ll wash out.
2. Wash (every 1-2 days)
Machine wash warm for at least a 40 minutes (not a sanitize cycle, that’s too harsh for regular use). Some prefer to add a pre-wash or quick cycle before the main wash. Use any commercial laundry detergent (no DIYs) and avoid bleach (except in cases of illness or to sanitize pre-loved items).
TIPS (useful for all laundry, really!)
• Don’t add extra detergent, just go with the recommended amount or it might leave a residue.
• Machines work best when they’re 1/2 to 3/4 full for proper agitation.
• Look for detergents without optical brightness, fabric softeners, or fragrances. These additives bind to fabric and may cause repelling and/or rashes. Your skin and towels will thank you.
• Consider washing plastic fabrics (like wet bags and other PUL diaper covers) separately. These can act as a raincoat and reduce how well your machine can clean your cotton.
• Use a hamper with good airflow: it reduces smells and avoids mold. We prefer a mesh laundry bag or simple basket lined with a cotton flat.
We recommend low heat (try just a 15 minute cycle, they dry fast!) or line dry. No dryer sheets with your diapers, consider alpaca or wool dryer balls instead. If you notice any stains, let them dry directly in the sun instead. "Sunning" can remove poop stains like magic!
TIP: Low heat or line drying are not only great ways to reduce your energy bill and environmental impact, it will extend the life of all your garments.