L'ABC de la couche lavable - Aux p'tits cadeaux

Everything you need to know about washable diapers

L'ABC de la couche lavable - Aux p'tits cadeaux


How to choose your washable diapers?

There are different types of washable diapers, there is something for everyone and every budget! Each type of diaper has its specific advantages. We are going to look here at the different possible options (all available in our shop) so that you find the ones that will best suit your lifestyle and preferences.

Each type of diaper is made available to you by different manufacturers and has its own characteristics. We recommend that you start with a set of 20 washable diapers from different brands so that you always have a good fit on hand. We often compare the purchase of washable diapers to the purchase of jeans. Some are more fitted, others are larger, some have a lower or higher rise, some are more elastic and flexible, etc. A varied batch will allow you to follow the evolution of the physiognomy of your child throughout his growth.


See our starter diaper sets



The different types of washable diapers 

The pocket diaper

The pocket diaper is the most widespread on the market. The diaper has an opening (a pocket) into which absorbent inserts can be inserted. The inserts absorb the liquids. They have different names such as insert, trifold or bifold. The quality of your inserts will determine the absorption of your pocket diaper. Once the diaper is soiled, everything must be washed. We cannot reuse the "shell" for a next change, because the inner fabric would already be wet.

For diapers with double openings, in theory, the absorbent inserts should come out of the pocket by themselves during washing. However, it will be necessary to remove the absorbent inserts from the single-opening diapers before putting them in the washer to prevent the insert from getting stuck in the pocket and not being adequately washed.

The pocket where the inserts go is closed with snaps or velcro. Neither is really better than the other. The best will actually be what suits you as a parent. Velcro layers provide you with ease of adjustment. The snaps take slightly longer to adjust, but are still very easy to use. We will have to take care to dress the baby when it starts to crawl on the ground to avoid damaging our diapers under the snaps. The velcro layer, however, will require you to close the velcro straps before washing to prevent them from clinging to your other layers or insertions and damaging them. In addition, when small hands become more agile, Velcro is very attractive. The use of pajamas is therefore recommended in order to avoid unpleasant surprises in the morning (speaking from personal experience).

See our models of diapers with pockets


The all-in-one diaper (TE1)

The all-in-one diaper is the easiest to use since no insertion manipulation is required. It is the favorite diaper for people on the go and for people who want a ready-to-wear option since the absorbent inserts are integrated into the layer. It will be your favorite washable diaper when it comes out of the dryer, because it will already be ready to use. However, it takes longer to dry than the pocket diaper or the flat diaper. When the diaper is soiled, simply put it in a basket or a dirty diaper bag. Some brands of all-in-one diapers offer a pocket for additional absorption as needed, combining the advantages of the pocket diaper and the advantages of the all-in-one diaper.

See our all-in-one diaper models


The fitted diaper

The fitted diaper is a diaper whose entire surface is made of absorbent material. This can be bamboo, cotton, hemp or a mixture of these high-performance fibers. It is often used at night for its high absorption capacity although it can be perfectly used during the day. However, it will need a diaper cover to ensure its waterproofness although some models have a hidden waterproof barrier inside it. It is installed just like a pocket diaper, using snaps or velcro.

See our models of fitted diaper


The all in two diaper (TE2)

The all-in-two diaper comes in 2 parts: a “shell” (diaper cover) and absorbent inserts which will simply be inserted in the latter. This type of washable diaper has an interesting advantage because it requires fewer shells (diaper covers) than insertions.

When changing the diaper, it is possible to reuse the waterproof shell if it is not soiled and simply put new absorbent inserts in it. However, it is important to avoid microfiber inserts which could be very irritating when in direct contact with the baby's fragile skin. The all-in-two layer has the advantage of drying extremely quickly and will be particularly appreciated by parents who prefer to avoid the regular use of the dryer.

See our all in two diaper models


The flat diaper and liners

Flat diapers are similar to old school diapers, the ones our grandmothers used to wear. These are large squares of fabric that need to be folded to make a diaper. It will be necessary to use a diaper cover to ensure its waterproofness. To set the diaper in place, you can use snappis, which are safer and easier to use than conventional safety pins.

The liners can be folded and placed inside the diaper cover. The flat diaper and the liners have the advantage of being economical and having a perfect fit for all babies since you adjust the diaper yourself to fit your baby's body. Certain flat diapers are extremely efficient in terms of absorption and are used at night by a large number of parents. It is, however, the most complex layer to use since it requires knowledge of folding techniques and will often be refused in daycare for its complexity of use by novices (and several dads). <

See our models of flat diaper and liners


Prefold diapers

The prefold diaper is the cousin of the flat diaper, you will save a little folding time since only the center must be folded, but this implies folding on the baby. It is used in the same way as the flat diaper. You have to secure the diaper with a snappi and it requires the use of a diaper cover to ensure its waterproofness.

See our models of flat diaper and liners


Swim diapers

In addition to being the most elegant, pool diapers help reduce the environmental impact of using disposable diapers while saving money. No absorbent insert is required since it simply retains solids. Some models, however, have a light absorbent lining to prevent small accidents before entering the water. It also has the advantage of drying extremely quickly!

See our models of swim diaper


Training pants

Does your child show an interest in cleanliness? He's probably ready for training pants. These have the advantage of donning like underwear and promote easy toilet training. Some are very light and only hold small accidents while others are very efficient and can be used even at night for children suffering from bed wetting.

See our models of training pants


Adjustment of washable diapers

Adjusting a washable diaper is not rocket science (even my 7-year-old daughter is a pro). It is important not to over-tighten the cloth diaper on the baby. I often compare the diaper to jeans. It must be comfortable and allow good ease of movement. It should not be like too tight jeans after the holidays which prevent us from sitting down comfortably. It is important to leave at least 4 fingers vertically between the baby's abdomen and the diaper.

Little tip, you can sit your baby down after putting on the diaper to make sure he is comfortable in this position. Check that the thigh elastic bands conform to the shape of the thigh at the level of the groin. The elastic should not be located above the thigh, but rather at the groin. Then check that the diaper covers your child's bottom. Just like the clothes we wear (stockings, bras, pants, etc.), the elastic bands can sometimes lightly imprint the skin and disappear quickly. On the other hand, marks of elastic bands persistent on the skin would be a sign of a too tight washable diaper.


Folding flat diapers is not rocket science  

While this type of diaper can scare many people, folding is actually quite simple. There are a multitude of folding techniques to ensure a good fit according to the morphology of each baby.

Here are some examples of flat diaper folding techniques:

  • Origami fold (most commonly used)
  • Modified origami
  • Pickman fold

As for the prefold diaper, folding is simpler and faster. If the principle of the flat diaper interests you, but you are afraid of folding, the prefold diaper will be ideal for you. It has a format similar to that of a diaper. You just have to fold the crotch, put it on the baby and secure it.


The different types of diaper covers


PUL diaper covers (laminated polyurethane)

Made of a water-resistant synthetic fabric, the PUL diaper covers are available with velcro or snaps. Just like washable diapers, you can select the newborn size, one size (OS) or large size for older children.



Wool diaper covers

Contrary to popular belief, wool is no hotter than other textiles. It breathes, it is naturally antibacterial and regulates heat. The diaper cover slips on like an undergarment. The wool can be lanolized to ensure its impermeability. This means that the diaper cover must be soaked in a solution containing lanolin (natural coating present on wool).


PUL/Fleece diaper covers

Shape-wise, they look like the wool diaper covers and slip on like an undergarment or a PULL-UP. Some models on the market will have snaps on the thighs and waist. These are mainly made of PUL with fleece at the thighs and waist for baby comfort. They are available in several sizes. The pul and fleece diaper cover offers you simplicity and comfort while remaining very easy to maintain.



The different types of absorbent inserts

The performance of your pocket diapers and all-in-two diapers is a direct result of your selection of absorbent inserts. These are rectangles or squares of fabric made of absorbent material that we introduce into pocket diapers or that we simply put inside a diaper cover.

Some inserts offer you a light absorption and are often called "boosters" or "liners", others offer you regular absorption during the day and some are extremely effective at night.

The best absorbent insert for your child is not necessarily the one with the highest degree of absorption. First, the absorption tests are theoretical and only inform you about the maximum absorption capacity of the insertion. Other factors such as absorption speed, ability to retain liquids and flexibility are to be taken into account in the selection of your insertions. Moreover, only French-speaking Quebec companies will carry out absorption tests, English-speaking companies rely more on customer comments than on theoretical data.

Night inserts, although extremely absorbent, would be unsuitable for a young child during the day and could even leak due to their thickness which could create a small space between the diaper and the thigh. It is therefore important to find the ideal combination of inserts for your child so that they are thin enough and effective enough to avoid leaks. You have to make sure they don’t harm your child's motor development.


The textile components of absorbent inserts



Microfiber is a synthetic fiber characterized by its high absorption speed. Even if it is not our first choice in terms of absorption capacity, it remains after all very efficient at this level. However, it retains liquids less well than natural fibers and could cause what are known as compression leaks if combined with a second microfiber insert. It makes an excellent duo when combined with a natural fiber insert. By placing the microfiber on top, you will benefit from its rapid absorption while letting your natural fiber perform in terms of liquid retention. It is by far the most economical fiber on the market and the one that dries the fastest. However, it is less flexible, thicker and can clog more easily.


Le bambou 

Bamboo is a natural fiber characterized by its high capacity for absorption and retention of liquids. These are our favorite insertions at Aux P'tits Cadeaux for their highly appreciated characteristics: flexibility (even with wear and tear), less odor impregnation than other fibers and very high absorption and retention capacity.

The textile can be an amalgam of bamboo and cotton, bamboo and polyester, or bamboo and hemp. Bamboo being a hard fiber, it must absolutely be combined with another fiber to become a flexible textile.

The fiber combined with cotton or hemp is more natural, ecological and efficient than that combined with polyester. However, a low percentage of polyester allows your bamboo insert to resist heat and warping better and will wear less quickly than the all natural fiber version.


Le ''bambou charcoal''

Some companies offer bamboo charcoal inserts. According to their descriptions, this fabric is made of bamboo and charred charcoal particles, which possess antimicrobial and odor-resistant characteristics.

To be honest, whenever we have asked our Asian suppliers for the textile composition of these fibers, it has been reported to us that they are 100% polyester... So there seem to be false names going around about this textile. It is for this reason that these are renamed ''charcoal insertions'' in our shop without any mention of bamboo.

These inserts are similar to the microfiber inserts and share the same characteristics. However, the outer fabric is very soft and has a dry effect. They can therefore be placed directly against the skin in an all-in-two diaper unlike microfiber which is irritating. The charcoal color of these inserts greatly reduces the risk of stubborn stains. They are also economical and a popular option amongst parents.



Hemp is a natural fiber similar to bamboo. Hemp inserts are therefore very efficient in terms of absorption and retention and remain thin and flexible.

Hemp is the most environmentally friendly textile that exists. Indeed, hemp is a fast growing plant (11 weeks) which requires little water and which does not need any pesticides to maintain a steady growth because it is very competitive with weeds. It is a plant native to Canada that grows very easily. However, the hemp textile that we have comes from overseas. Canadian expertise in this regard remains to be developed due to government legislatures. Maybe the new changes in cannabis legislation will allow better access to a highly ecological textile in addition to being local!

Unlike bamboo, hemp is less resistant to heat. The dryer will undulate the contours of your insert, which in no way affects its efficiency. It will get rougher when it gets badly worn over time.




Cotton is the most produced natural fiber in the world. It has an average absorption capacity, but a good capacity to retain liquids. Cotton is however thicker than hemp and bamboo and has a lower absorption capacity. It also wears out faster than other textile fibers. On the plus side, it dries faster and remains a very economical choice while being more environmentally friendly than microfiber.



Zorb is a material that was developed by Wazoodle Fabrics and that was specially designed to make washable diapers and inserts as absorbent as possible.

According to the Wazoodle website, the original Zorb fabric is a three-dimensionally woven material from entangled cellulose fibers of bamboo viscose, cotton, organic cotton, and polyester. It can absorb 10 times its weight in less than two seconds and absorbs liquids 10 times faster than other materials like bamboo, cotton or hemp knit. Two layers of Zorb Original will replace eight layers of flannel, six of terrycloth, or five of fleece.

Several types of Zorb have emerged, which each have their own characteristics and different textile compositions. Some even have antimicrobial properties.

Zorb insertions are therefore extremely efficient in terms of their absorption and retention capacity. They remain thin compared to their absorption capacity. In our personal opinion, however, this textile wears out faster than other fibers and will show signs of wear more quickly without affecting the performance of the insert. It is also the most expensive textile of all and it is for this reason that few manufacturers or artisans select it as a raw material.

Browse our collection of absorbent inserts



Maintenance tips

First remove excess solid residue and throw it in the toilet or trash can. Using a washable or disposable sheet can simplify your task at this stage.

Then store the soiled diapers in a dry place until you are ready to wash them. We recommend the use of a waterproof bag or a diaper basket / bin.

Machine wash the layers in cold water in a short cycle, taking care to remove the inserts beforehand. Machine wash a second time in warm or hot water in a long "Heavy Duty" cycle. Make sure your water is not boiling to avoid damaging the waterproofing of your diapers. Make sure to have enough layers to get good friction between them, but also avoid overfilling the tank for the same reason.

Hang layers to dry in the sun or tumble dry on low heat.

Clean soiled diapers ideally every 2-3 days.

Do not use bleach or fabric softener to avoid damaging them.


 Use only diaper creams compatible with washable diapers.


Compatible creams

The diaper creams for the little buttocks of your minis are not all compatible with the use of washable diapers, some could even damage them. All the creams offered in our shop are suitable for your precious diapers.

First, here is a list of ingredients to avoid:

Vaseline, petroleum derivatives, paraffins, mineral oil, cod liver oil.

Why ? Because these are not soluble in water. They will clog the fibers of your diapers and the urine will slip rather than be absorbed by your washable diapers.

The traditional butt creams should therefore be avoided. We are talking about: Penaten, Zincofax, Desitin, Ehle paste (all brands combined), Zinc oxide paste (generics of Zincofax).

Zinc in very small quantities is compatible with washable diapers, but it could, however, cause stains without damaging them. The use of a washable sheet will help you avoid this inconvenience.

At Aux P’tits Cadeaux, we offer a host of products for diaper rashes. Here are a few:

Buttock care products


Care of washable diapers - more in depth

A good washing routine always includes 2 complete washing cycles: a first short one in cold water to remove excess urine and stool followed by a second long cycle, in lukewarm or hot water to wash the washable diapers thoroughly.

In the 2 cycles, the ideal is to put detergent although it is optional to put it in the 1st cycle in freshwater. Putting it in both cycles prevents the appearance of stubborn stains. The first cycle requires little detergent. We will see in more detail the different washing routines according to your type of washer in our section “the suitable routine”.

To get a good cleaning of our washable diapers, you need good friction inside your washer. For this reason, we recommend washing a minimum of 15 single-size washable diapers (or around twenty newborn diapers) with their absorbent inserts in a load. A smaller load would cause insufficient friction, so it is possible to add small items like wipes to increase the volume of your load.

We advise you to avoid extra rinse in hard water, unless you have a slippery and soapy texture to the touch, which would suggest an excess of detergent accumulated in your washable diapers. However, in fresh water it is strongly recommended to extra rinse during the 2nd cycle. This will help remove possible detergent residue.

Although it is possible to wash in lukewarm water, hot water has the advantage of washing more deeply than lukewarm water. In case of viral, bacterial or vaccine infection, we strongly recommend that you cycle with hot water to remove the infectious agent well or add a sanitizer to your cycle if you do not have access to hot water. These are available in our shop as well as in all washable diaper shops.

We strongly advise you to avoid cycles such as "ALLERGEN", "SANITARY" and "EXTRA HOT". These are too hot, even boiling, and can greatly damage your washable diapers. These cycles can bring water to as high as 90 degrees Celsius, and manufacturers of cloth diapers recommend washing below 60 degrees Celsius, which is the normal temperature of a residential water heater. Excessive heat could cause delamination of the layers, that is to say the detachment of the membrane waterproofing the fabric.

At the same time, we also recommend that you avoid "TAP COLD" especially in winter. The water is too cold in winter, even your washer will thank you!

Several users report odors during periods of teething.

  • Good tip: add about 2 tablespoons of Oxiclean, percarbonate or whitening powder in the 2nd cycle to prevent potential odors.

And most importantly: NEVER use a fabric softener when caring for diapers, both when washing and when drying. Whether in liquid or sheet, it will create a greasy film on your absorbent layers and inserts, thereby waterproofing them. A layer that has become waterproof, or that water simply beads on, is a layer that no longer absorbs at full performance. You can, however, use it for your regular loads of clothes. The use of drying balls with a few drops of drying breeze (available in stores) will give you the same effect (reduction in drying time, reduction in static and very pleasant odor), but without risk for your washable diapers. Plus, it’s a zero waste solution!

Drying washable diapers is very simple. They can be dried on the clothesline as well as in the dryer. However, we recommend that you follow these little tips:

  • Hang layers to dry in the sun or tumble dry on low heat. The sun helps to remove stains resistant to washing, but avoid leaving the washable diapers in the sun for too long once dry to avoid damaging the elastics of your diapers prematurely. If you use a clothesline, we recommend that you extend them horizontally (on the longest side) to avoid stretching your elastics in the long run, especially for heavier all-in-one diapers once wet. According to our personal experience, the use of the dryer at low temperature helps preserve the elastic longer than drying the layers in the sun.
  • Make sure your diapers and inserts are completely dry within 24-36 hours to prevent the development of microorganisms or the smell of moisture. A very humid room would not be the perfect place to hang your diapers.
  • Do not hesitate to complete the drying in the dryer to restore flexibility to your layers if you choose to dry them in the open air.
  • If you use the dryer, wait until they have cooled down before handling them and introducing your absorbent inserts in the diapers (especially with pocket diapers). The pulp of the layers (the waterproof part) is more fragile when it is still hot, as are the elastic bands.

  • If you usually air dry, it is recommended to tumble dry once a month to tighten the fibers and elastics. This is not mandatory, but recommended by most manufacturers of handmade diapers.


Washing machine maintenance: a monthly task you shouldn't neglect

Washable diapers or not, it is important to clean your washer regularly.

Why? To remove hard water residue, avoid unpleasant odors and residue build-up.


Simple technique: it can be done simply by using an Affresh tablet or a similar brand.

Homemade recipe: 2 cups of vinegar & 1 cup of baking soda to put directly in the tank.

Most washers have a self-clean cycle, or you can just use the longest cycle in hot water.

For a front-load washer, remember to clean the gasket regularly.

For SAMSUNG or LG front washers, consider emptying the drain filter. It is located on the front of your washer, at the bottom.


The maintenance of washable diapers - the routine adapted to your type of washer

Several users of washable diapers have developed marked expertise in the maintenance of washable diapers. They have developed routines adapted to each type of washer. Although we are not experts in routines, here is the information that was given to us by one of these experts:


Traditional pivot washer


First cycle

  • An average or heavy-duty cycle depending on availability on your washer (usually 8 or 10).
  • Water level: flush at diapers or a little more.


Second cycle

  • A maximum duration cycle, in normal or heavy-duty mode depending on availability on your washer (super wash, heavy wash and derivatives).
  • Water level: flush to layers, maximum 3-4 inches above layers if layers are pressed. If too much water or between 2 levels, add small pieces of maximum size of a hand towel.


HE top and front loading washer


First cycle

  • A short cycle with a minimum duration of 30 minutes. Generally, a QUICK WASH with the soil level at MAX or a NORMAL with the soil level at MEDIUM or LIGHT. Adding an extra spin or extra rinse to lengthen a quick wash is not a good option, we want an ordinary 30-minute cycle with no option added.
  • Water level: fill at least half of the tank with layers. We can do tests with less, but a too small load is not effective enough (additions are possible in the 2nd cycle if necessary). MAXIMUM 3/4 full.
  • Spin always at maximum


Second cycle

  • A long cycle, of general designation; POWER WASH, WHITES, HEAVY DUTY and derivatives. With the soil level at MAX.
  • Do not use BULKY ITEMS or DEEP-WATER style cycles. These are not suitable for washable diapers.
  • Add small pieces if you don't have enough layers.
  • Spin always at maximum


Special feature for WHIRLPOOL CABRIO

Some washers reuse 100% of the rinse water (please refer to your instruction manual to find out if this is your case), so you will need to rinse and spin at the start (with a little detergent if hard water).

Other features of high efficiency washers with XL tubs:

High efficiency washers with XL tub. Whirlpool Cabrio, Maytag bravo XL etc. You will need to wash more than 15 layers. Generally, a minimum of 20-25 depending on the washer to fill at least half of the tank with layers. As the capacity of washers varies, you will need to experiment with the number of layers to wash.

If you have a DEEP CLEAN option, activating it provides better washing.

Hybrid (HE top load and traditional at the same time)

The information given above is all valid here. However, you will need to decide whether you are using HE (precise fill) or traditional mode or you will choose the water level yourself.


Storage of soiled diapers

We strongly recommend the use of a storage method, both for its ease and for the risk of the development of microorganisms and accidents.

When the diaper is soiled, we simply remove it, dispose of solid stools according to the chosen method and deposit it in the desired container (diaper bin with a laundry bag or waterproof hanging bag).

What methods are available to dispose of baby surprises?


Exclusive breastfeeding

If the baby is exclusively breastfed and has not started solid or mashed feeding, the stools are water-soluble and will be very easily cleaned in the washing machine. No special arrangement is necessary to dispose of the stool.


Using a disposable liner - an easy method

We have a whole range of disposable sheets for you. They all have the same function: to collect the stools so that they can be more easily disposed of in a bin provided for this purpose. These simply settle at the bottom of the layer. They can be made up of different textile sources with distinct advantages. Unlike disposable diapers, disposable sheets are either biodegradable (cornstarch, bamboo viscose, polylactic acid from vegetable sugars) or reusable several times (polypropylene). Although some companies recommend throwing them directly into the toilet, we do not recommend this method due to the risk of blocking your plumbing, septic tanks and damage to municipal sewer systems.


Using a washable liner - an ecological and economical method

The washable sheet is used in the same way as the disposable sheet except that it can be reused at will. Much more ecological, it reduces waste and does not require recurring purchases. If the stool is solid, it can be placed directly on the toilet and if it is more liquid, we recommend using a toilet shower. We offer the AMP toilet shower available in our shop. The washable sheet also allows you to add a dry effect to some layers that do not have this advantage and helps protect your layers when using diaper cream and ointments.

See our liners 


Using a handheld bidet sprayer - an ecological and economical method

This method can be used alone or with the use of a washable sheet. The handheld sprayer is easily installed on the toilet water supply and allows you to rinse your diapers in the toilet. It is ecological and does not generate waste. It is also economical, as it does not require recurring purchases. It is used just before washing the diapers or with each bowel movement.

See our handheld bidet

If it is used after each bowel movement, once the diapers or layers have been rinsed, they should dry for a few hours before being stored with the other soiled layers for your next wash (to avoid the development of microorganisms). Several options are available on the market, we offer the AMP toilet shower in store.


Using the scraping method - the courageous method

Using a spoon or spatula dedicated to the task, you simply scrape the bottom of the diaper to dispose of poop in a toilet. It is ecological and does not generate waste. It is also economical, as it does not require recurring purchases.


Washable wipes, an economical and zero waste alternative  

Commercial disposable wipes are easy to use, but are sometimes very irritating to the fragile skin of the little ones. They are expensive and generate waste that is not biodegradable. Many parents are turning to the use of washable wipes for economic, ecological or well-being reasons.

Using a washable wipe is no more complicated than using a washable diaper. Put it in the waterproof bag or the diaper bin and everything goes in the same load of laundry.

First, you will need your wipes, each more beautiful than the other. We have a wide range to offer you.

See our washable wipes


Then how do we clean?

You can simply wet the wipes with water to clean the baby's bottom and then dry it with a second dry wipe.

You can also use oleo-limestone liniment for cleaning without rinsing. Both cleansing and protective, it gently cleanses, leaving a light protective film on the baby's bottom, protecting it from diaper rashes. It can be used both at home and on outings.

We also have La Striga wipe cubes. Available in two varieties; shea or plain butter. You just have to dilute a wipe cube in hot water and moisten our wipes with it in an airtight container or spray a wipe when changing.

The Minihip cleansing lotion in spray format allows you to moisten a wipe and you're good to go! Nothing's easier!


The importance of knowing the hardness of your water

Why? Because water too strong in minerals will negatively impact the absorption of the layers. The minerals get lodged in the diaper fibers and can thus create problems of odor, absorption or even diaper rashes. They will eventually render the diaper and/or the inserts waterproof. It is therefore important to know this factor in order to use the right detergent for your water.

How to know it? If you are on an aqueduct, you can contact your city/municipality where the filtration plant that supplies running water is and ask for the water hardness. Some municipalities/cities provide this info via their website. If however you cannot obtain the information, or if you have a well, we have at your disposal a quick test to be carried out to know the water hardness.


What is the hardness of your water?

  • Less than 60 ppm is fresh water
  • 60 to 80 ppm, moderate water
  • 80 to 120 ppm, highly moderate
  • 120 to 180 ppm, hard water
  • 180 ppm and +, very hard water


How to determine which detergent to use?

From 80 ppm, the mineral content is too high, so it should be considered as hard water. Thus, it will be necessary to recommend the use of a powder detergent, or add sodium percarbonate, soda crystals or calgon in order to neutralize the minerals if you use a liquid detergent.


Soak and scrub

When? How? Why? Which product to use? Here is a point which stresses many people, but which is so simple!

Soaking your washable diapers for several hours will get rid of bad smells, soap and minerals that have accumulated.

You have several options regarding the product to use. You can use sodium percarbonate (available in bulk), whitening powder (we offer those from Bummis, Gom-Mee and Pure) or even the Oxyclean that you find in all supermarkets.

We scour only when necessary, no need to do it periodically. The cleaning is not part of a normal washing routine, if you have to do it regularly, it is necessary to review your routine.

However, it becomes useful to know the basics, for example when buying a used diaper (we do not know the maintenance that was done by the previous person) or odor problems, absorption or poor maintenance.

For example, in hard water, if the detergent is not suitable or an extra rinse is added each time, the minerals contained in the water get lodged in the fibers of the layers. An odor problem then appears insidiously which can eventually cause diaper rashes. It can also gradually waterproof the inside of the diapers, which could cause leaks.

The cleaning could also solve an intense stain problem. See our SOS stain section before soaking. Other solutions could be considered before using this solution.


Put all your items to be cleaned in your bath/sink/tub/boiler (or your washer if it keeps water for several hours, often impossible in a high-efficiency washer) depending on the number of items to be cleaned. Cover with HOT water. We just want enough water to cover, no need to empty your water heater if it is not necessary!

First dilute your product in a little warm water to make sure it is evenly distributed. Calculate 1/4 cup for 20 layers and 20 inserts (40 pieces). And add it to your container and stir the product in water.

Let your diapers bask for 4 to 6 hours (or overnight, it's even better, the product will be inactive after 8 hours). If desired, add a large towel to allow your diapers to be completely submerged during the whole process.

Transfer everything to the washer (or drain if your soaking was done in the washer) & start a long cycle in lukewarm water. Repeat if you notice a slippery/soapy texture to the touch.

Follow with a disinfectant treatment in the case of used diapers or very dirty diapers. (Skip this step if this is not the case for you)


Problem solving

Although the use of washable diapers is easier than you think, it is not impossible to occasionally encounter stain or odor problems. Our SOS task, SOS odor and SOS infection guides are available to guide you and help you solve these little problems.


SOS stained diapers

Although this is only aesthetic, we all prefer to have very white and stain-free layers. Be aware, however, that it is not necessarily a faulty washing routine if a layer remains stained after washing.


Several possible causes

Stains of the exclusively breastfed baby

Although the breastfeeding period makes life easier for water-soluble stools (no maintenance required: sent to the washer!), these are no less staining for our washable diapers. It is not uncommon for a layer to come out stained even after a perfect wash, stains will fade over the wash even if you do not use our methods of Mrs. Blancheville.

Stains related to acetaminophen (Tempra, Tylenol)

There is a myth that the color in these products is the cause. It's wrong. It is actually the urine + acetaminophen reaction that can cause this. This reaction occurs occasionally for some children and is not systematic with each use.

Stains related to specific foods

We immediately think of blueberries and beets! These foods can stain urine and stool very easily. These types of stains will eventually go away on their own with regular washing. Other foods could also cause occasional stains.

Stains related to the use of zinc creams

Noooo! Your spouse or child-care worker used zinc cream in your precious washable diapers! Creams with a high level of zinc should be avoided with the use of washable diapers as they could damage them by making them waterproof. Some compatible creams, however, contain a small amount of zinc which could leave white spots on your diapers. We therefore recommend that you avoid this inconvenience by using a washable or disposable sheet.

Stains related to a failed washing routine

Some tasks may appear due to a lack of friction due to a too small or too large load, a lack of detergent or even due to the use of a washing routine not efficient enough for your needs.


Madame Blancheville's solutions

Our friend the sun! (a tip to brighten your day)

The sun is an excellent natural stain remover! Surely you have already experienced it with your favorite Tupperware stained with spaghetti sauce which becomes like new after a little tanning session in the sun? It's the same for our precious washable diapers!

In summer, you can simply dry in the sun, making sure the stain is exposed towards the sun (if the pul is stained, it should not be exposed directly, it would be better to find another solution to detach it, too intense heat directly on it could damage it).

Sodium percarbonate and its showdown

Sodium percarbonate is an outstanding bleach for biological fluids. It can be found in bulk in our shop or under the name of whitening or stain removal powder (Bummis, PURE, Gom-Mee for example) or in supermarkets under the name of Oxyclean. You can simply add it during the 2nd wash cycle to maximize its effectiveness or soak it with hot water for well-encrusted stains. You can also make a small paste with water and leave on the layer for a few minutes before washing.

Stain removal bars to the rescue

We offer you a wide range of stain removal bars suitable for washable diapers. You just have to rub them on the stains then wash normally. We offer you those from Buncha Farmers, Madame Blancheville des Savonneries des Diligences, the Striga stain remover, Julie's Garden, Minihip, Gabari, Bumby Wool, etc.

See our choice of laundry products


SOS smelly diapers

Your diapers don't smell like roses? The first step is to determine the cause of this odor problem.

Here are some possible causes:

Too much or not enough detergent in your wash

Too much? You would think it is impossible, but if there is a detergent residue in your diapers, it can react with the urine and cause odors.

Lack of friction

This can be caused by a too small or too large load. We want a minimum of 15 washable layers, but never exceed 3/4 of the tank capacity, regardless of the type of load of the washer. Selecting a water level that is too high for the size of the load can also cause a lack of friction between the layers. In a traditional washer, you want water just at the height of the diapers or maximum 3-4 inches above.

The famous dental flare

Is it a myth or a reality? Several users report a marked change in the smell of urine associated with teething. (Fortunately, I have not experienced this with my Leo!) It is possible that the inflammatory reaction may make the urine and stool more acidic and therefore more odorous when the baby is teething. Adding about 2 tablespoons of sodium percarbonate or whitening powder to the 2nd wash cycle should easily get rid of this type of odor. These products clean, but also deodorize your diapers.


SOS Infection

Does your baby have a thrush in his mouth? If treatment is started quickly, it is unlikely to go down into the digestive system and reach your washable diapers. Keep an eye out if there are signs of fungal infections in the buttocks or genitals, as they will need to be treated. The washable diapers will have to be disinfected to prevent recurrence. Hot water and friction easily get rid of viral and bacterial infections. The use of a sanitizer is, however, necessary in case of fungal infection (fungi). These products are often called sanitizers or odor eliminators. They have active ingredients to kill these unwanted microorganisms.

See our choice of laundry products

Baby is sick? Vaccines?

Oral antibiotics are compatible with washable diapers. So there is no need to worry about your diapers. Be aware, however, that they alter the intestinal flora and that the stools may become more liquid and softer.

For antibiotic creams to be applied on the buttocks, it will be important to check the list of ingredients of the cream. If you see; petrolatum, petroleum derivatives, paraffins, cod liver oil or mineral oil, you will need to use disposable diapers during treatment to avoid compromising the absorption of your diapers.

We offer a range of disposable diapers that are more ecological than the traditional ones. They are an alternative in case of fungal infection, travel abroad, camping trips or visits to the grandparents ;)

Virus (gastro, hand-foot-and-mouth disease)

Contrary to what one might think, no special treatment is necessary. Using warm (not lukewarm) water during your 2nd wash cycle will be enough to clear the virus. It would be a shame in the case of the hand-foot-and-mouth disease, for example, to put your washable aside for 12 weeks!


Again, no special treatment is needed even if you give the oral gastrointestinal vaccine. Follow the recommendations for viruses.





Patricia Paradis (owner of the Aux P’tits Cadeaux boutique)

Valérie Carrier (admin of the Facebook group Accro aux couches lavables)

(All rights reserved, do not reproduce for commercial purposes)