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Published on May 20th, 2013 | by Brittney French


Do not use the sanitize cycle!

Your baby's cloth diapers reek. That large pile of bumGenius, Flip and Econobum cloth diapers is just haunting you with its smell alone. You muster up some courage, grab that funky stack of diapers, toss 'em in a clothes basket and promptly walk toward your laundry room for an impromptu meeting with your wash machine. You've made it and are now staring directly at your saving grace. It's just you, your diapers and your wash machine — alone. But something catches your attention out of the corner of your eye. That big, bright sanitize cycle feature on your wash machine starts flirting with you from a distance. You can't lose your focus. The temptation may be hard to resist, especially in this situation, but you must use your willpower and say "NO!" Alway say NO to the sanitize cycle!

You're probably wondering why, so here's the answer:

The sanitize cycle on a washing machines generates extremely hot water, often raising it above our suggested washing temperatures of 140°F/60°C. These high temperatures can cause your cloth diapers to lose elasticity or destroy hook & loop closures, snaps, and PUL. The high heat and prolonged exposure to it can also cause some of these components to wear and degrade more quickly.

Now you're probably wondering what you need to do if your diapers stink. We also have the answer and suggest the following:

  • Strip your diapers, which we explain here.
  • Add 1/4 cup of regular liquid chlorine bleach to your wash load once a month. Just pour it in the bleach dispenser on your wash machine. If you do not have a bleach dispenser, let your machine fill with water and later pour in the bleach. You should add your diapers to the load after you have filled the machine with water and bleach.
  • Sunning. It's easy and free. Just find a nice sunny spot outdoors to lay down your diapers for an hour or two.
If you're still having trouble with odors, give us a call at 1-888-332-2243. We will be able to troubleshoot the issue with you and help you make the proper adjustments to your laundry routine.**Using this recommended amount of bleach once a month will not harm your bumGenius, Flip or Econobum cloth diapers. Always be sure to check with other cloth diaper manufacturers if you plan on adding bleach to your wash load**

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About the Author

Brittney is a social media coordinator for Cotton Babies. She has three sisters, loves pizza and enjoys listening to obscure bands no one has heard of. Outside of posting on the Cotton Babies Facebook page, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and cheers for her favorite sports team.

5 Responses to Do not use the sanitize cycle!

  1. llamalluv says:

    I wash my diapers on sanitize exclusively. It’s been 26 months, and they are as good as the first month after I got them, and NEVER stink. Flats for the win.

  2. Katie Beth says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Katie Beth says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. What about the Sanitize setting on the dryer? Just bought a new W/D and the dryer has the Sanitize setting.

    • Brittney says:

      Hi there! We do not recommend drying your diapers. Line dry only. You can tumble dry your inserts on a medium heat setting.

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