How to Strip Cloth Diapers

Due to a few inquires from others on my Washing Cloth Diapers post I thought it might be beneficial to also go over how to strip your cloth diapers as well. You see, as you wash and use your cloth diapers a build up can sometimes occur. Usually that build up is due to the detergent you use. There isn’t anything wrong with your detergent, it’s just something that naturally happens over time.

In order to get rid of that build up and increase the absorbency of your diaper (as well as reduce the chance of irritation for your baby) it’s best to strip your diapers from time to time. I usually strip my diapers once a month but I know other mamas who do it every few washes. Basically when you start to notice that your diapers either a. are getting a little smelly or b. aren’t as absorbent you want to strip them.

There are two different products I’ve seen out there that cloth diapering mamas use:

Bac-Out is a product made by Bi-O-Kleen and it’s an amazing neutralizer. It eliminates the most difficult, organic stains, odors and waste the way nature intended. Bac-Out is a very unique blend of natural living enzyme cultures and botanical extracts, with more strains of cultures for more effective performance than commercial brands.

Yes, it’s true. You can use Original Dawn to strip your cloth diapers. But remember to buy the original blue Dawn, not the scented or foaming Dawn. You can also use this product to strip other things like your clothes and towels. If Dawn can cut through oil on a baby duck then it can take care of your diapers! There are also a few other uses for Dawn too highlighted on a few blogs. Check out Blissfully Domestic or Wise Bread for more suggestions.

Now to get to stripping… no, not that kind of stripping. Diaper stripping. Stripping your diapers is super easy. Just follow these steps and you’ll have clean and absorbent diapers in no time!

How to Strip Cloth Diapers

1. Wash With Hot Water
To strip your diapers you will need the hottest water possible. If your washer machine does not have hot, hot water you may consider boiling a large pot of hot water and adding it to the wash to make the water hotter. Once you have the hot water add a squirt or two of Dawn, or Bac-Out, to the water (I literally just take the whole bottle, put it upside down and squirt the product into the water). Once the Dawn dissipates into the water add your diapers.

2. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse
Once your diapers have gone through the wash cycle it may take a few rinse cycles to get rid of the soapy bubbles. I rinse my diapers in cold water 2-3 times or until there are no more soapy bubbles. Don’t confuse soapy bubbles with bubbles caused by agitation. Soapy bubbles will linger whereas agitation bubbles will disappear pretty quickly.

3. Air Dry
I like to air dry my diapers after I’ve stripped them. I feel as if I’m freshening them up by stripping them so why not freshen them up some more with some clean air. And the sunshine only adds to the cleaning process (plus it bleaches out any lingering stains). Pop the dried diapers in the dryer and dry on low for 10-15 minutes to fluff them up and you’re ready to go!

And if stripping your diapers doesn’t take care of the stink or absorbency problem please do not hesitate to contact the diaper manufacturer. They will more than likely be willing to help you out in finding a solution. You might have a yeast problem and yeast sucks. But don’t give up hope! Pinstripes and Polkadots has a few suggestions for yeast problems and prevention. Some other great resources and suggestions on alternative methods to strip your diapers can be found on Zany Zebra Designs and Lite Green Living.

© A Crafty Spoonful - All Rights Reserved
It is OK to use one of my photos provided a link back and/or proper credit is given. It is NOT ok to copy and paste a whole post including instructions. Please do not remove watermarks or alter images in any way. Please contact me with any questions at