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How to dry your cloth diapers
January 9, 2012 1:12 am | by
Prepping Cloth Diapers
It has been almost a year since we’ve shared information about how to dry your cloth diapers. In that time, we’ve retired some products and created some new ones. Today, we are updating this information in case you are new to cloth diapering or just needed a reminder.
We get a lot of questions about how to dry diapers. Many of you want to know more specifics about how to safely dry your diapers, especially during the cold, damp winter months. Our basic instructions are “Line-dry covers and diaper shells. Tumble dry inserts, fitteds and prefolds.”

Making sure to dry your diapers completely is the key to avoiding mold and other issues. However, too much time in a dryer or too high of a temperature setting can degrade the elastic, PUL and hook and loop on your cloth diapers. It’s a fine line that can sometimes seem tricky. To make it easier for you, we’re breaking down the tips according to type of diaper.

bumGenius Freetime all-in-one cloth diapers:

The bumGenius Freetime was specifically designed for faster drying times. We recommend only line drying these diapers. Most of our customers are reporting the bumGenius Freetime dries in a matter of hours. You can even hang them indoors over a shower curtain rod or a clothes hanger, no need to hang diapers outside during the cold winter months.
Pocket style cloth diapers, like bumGenius Original Pocket Diapers:
Since pocket style diapers have a PUL outer and a thin layer of stay dry material, like suede cloth, we recommend line drying the covers, especially if they have hook and loop closures.
Inserts can be tumbled dry on a medium setting.

AIO style diapers with hook and loop closure, like bumGenius Newborns (Littles):
It’s very difficult to get this style of AIO diaper dry without a tumble cycle. At the same time, you don’t want to over dry the diapers and risk losing elasticity, delaminatating PUL or ruining hook and loop. For best results, we recommend turning the diaper inside out before placing it in the dryer, to help the absorbent inner layers to dry. Because of the hook and loop closure, you do not want to use a high temperature to dry these diapers. We recommend drying them on a low setting for as long as necessary to avoid issues with the hook and loop. You can also add wool dryer balls to help wick away the moisture and lessen the dry time for this style of diaper.

AIO style diapers with snap closures, like bumGenius Elemental:
Very similar to the bumGenius Newborns, but because these diapers have snaps, you can tumble them on medium setting. Again, adding wool dryer balls may help to lessen your dry time.

Two-piece systems like Flip or Econobum:
Much like the pocket diapers mentioned above, we recommend line drying the covers. Inserts may be tumbled dry on a low or medium heat setting.
If you ever have questions about our laundry recommendations or need assistance with personalized troubleshooting for your laundry routine, please contact us. Our experienced team is available by phone at 1-314-892-1855 or via live chat. We are here to help you have a successful cloth diapering experience.

About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.



  • Cheerful Homemaker said...
    January 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I line dry my pockets in the laundry room. They don’t take long at all. I can’t wait for spring so I can sun my inserts.

  • Roscoe and Julia Richardson said...
    January 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    line drying in the house works in a suburb 🙂 I bought some clothes pins and use a drying rack – let em dry overnight while inserts dry in dryer and stuff in AM – works like a charm! I did use high heat on elementals and now am seeing holes in fabric – take head and do NOT use high heat!

  • Dryerpods said...
    January 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    We love using Dryerpods to dry our cloth diapers. They are so eco friendly and use the heat of your home to quickly dry all your cloth goods! They work easily to dry covers and inserts at the same time with no cotton breakdown!

  • Monica said...
    January 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I wanted to add that consistently line drying your covers (or anything with PUL) in direct sunlight will cause the material to breakdown quicker than if you line dry them inside or in indirect sunlight. There were three of us who all had kids at the same time and chose the BG 3.0’s and there was a clear difference between me, the one who always hung the diapers in direct sunlight, the friend who dried hers in the dryer, and the friend who line dried hers inside. More info on that on my blog post

  • Anonymous said...
    January 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

    We line dry covers in the laundry room when it is too wet or cold outside.

  • llamalluv said...
    January 9, 2012 at 9:31 am

    How many covers do you have? We have a mix of wool soakers/longies and PUL one size covers used with pre-fold and flat fold diapers, and what we usually do is just let them air dry in the house. We are in the Chicago area, and use gas heat (very drying), so the extra moisture from the damp laundry is helpful. We have enough covers that we can wait up to three days before we have to resort to the back up Gerber plastic pants. (And THAT has only happened once.) We wash daily. If your covers aren’t drying fast enough, you may need to invest in a few more to suit your laundry schedule.

  • Anonymous said...
    January 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

    In the winter I tumble my pockets on low for maybe 10 minutes. That is all it takes to make them dry!

  • Elaine said...
    January 9, 2012 at 7:37 am

    When line drying pocket diaper covers is not an option, what dryer setting can we use? (Several months of the year, we don’t get enough sun / dry weather to be able to line dry. Even my flip covers have to be dried by hand with a towel after washing! )

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