One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is how to clean poop from cloth diapers. Cloth diapers poop is easy to clean with the right technique and shouldn’t prevent you from cloth diapering. However, there are ways to make it easier and cleaner. Here are the gory details and the experiences I’ve had, good and bad, cleaning poopy cloth diapers from my children. Warning, this post contains T.M.I.! Post contains affiliate links.
We just finished a bought with the stomach bug. Usually, I can cloth it out but this time it was horrific.When Grandma called and asked if I needed anything, I had her pick up a small pack of disposable diapers. I was sick, the kids were sick and I now know the Noro Virus is not to be messed with! I actually thought I may need to throw out some of our poop cloth diapers…however, a few blow-outs up his back to his hairline and I knew we needed to switch back to cloth.
My husband walked into the kitchen, hours after I changed a diaper, and said, “What’s that horrible smell?!” It was a disposable diaper, sitting in the trash waiting to go to the curb. At that moment, I wished that through puking and feeling terrible, I had continued to cloth diaper. Why? When you clean the poop from a cloth diaper the smell is gone right away. It doesn’t sit in a pail or trash can and linger, it gets flushed down the toilet like the rest of the household poo.
It’s best to get baby poop out of the house as quickly as possible, especially if it’s the kind that makes your eyes water and could peel the paint off of a new car. In my experience, when done correctly, cloth diapers poop is the easiest to handle.
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A snippet of my mishaps
Cloth diapers poop wasn’t always easy for me. When I started cloth diapering for the first time, my son was 8 months old. I didn’t have the breast milk grace period where you can throw diapers straight into the wash, and they always had to be rinsed. I first tried rinsing poopy diapers in the sink. This was obviously a horrible idea. The poop got stuck in the drain and I had to poke at it with a stick to make it go down, scooped some out and generally dislike this method.
Next, I tried swish and flush. For this method, you hold a poopy cloth diaper in the toilet and swirl it around to remove the poo. In theory, this was a good idea. However, lifting the diaper up also brought toilet water with it and if the poop was really spread out and mushy it didn’t do a fantastic job. This is my least favorite way to clean cloth diapers.
I tried a peri bottle. You know, the bottle they give you to rinse your lady regions with after giving birth. This was by far superior to the sink but needed to be filled multiple times if the diaper was really soiled. Sometimes, a combination of peri-bottle, swish and flush and sink rinsing was the best option. One thing I did learn is if you’re going to spray poop over the toilet you need a spray shield.
Eventually, I ordered a sprayer. Actually, it said “bidet” and I purchased it from Amazon. I figured I was set! I was all set up to start spraying diapers and couldn’t wait. I stood over our toilet, cloth diaper in hand and started to spray. Water came out fast and a bit more powerfully than I had imagined. I don’t know why, but I thought all of the water would shoot down. I was wrong.Water rinsed the diaper….it also sprayed all over the wall, all over the toilet and onto the floor. Thank God I had my mouth closed!
The diaper was clean…but the splatter was another story. Water, and droplets of poop. I spent the next 20 minutes cleaning the bathroom. One step forward….three steps back! Ugh, there had to be a better way. Soon, I had two in cloth diapers and I needed to serial-spray diapers more efficiently.
I read instructions for creating my own spray shield by sawing out the bottom of a bucket. I located a bucket. Now, this was not a fancy bucket. It was a bright orange bucket my husband used to grout tile from the Home Depot. I did try this and it worked okay…but the bucket was too big for the toilet and sat around in my bathroom or in the shower until it was needed. Both ugly and unsanitary.
I won a SprayPal from a contest and was thrilled when it arrived. It folded flat and had a clip for holding the diaper in place. I could use both my bidet style sprayer and the long handled shower head for extra stuck on poo messes. Problem solved! Cloth diapers poop be gone!
Cleaning the cloth diaper splatter shield.
Yes, the splatter shield needs to be cleaned as needed. However, this is much easier to clean than your walls, toilet and your outfit. It wipes clean and after I finish spraying a diaper I give it a rinse with the sprayer. Are these items a must? No, I’m sure you could manage with other methods…as I described above, but they are certainly nice to have!
Read about managing poop cloth diapers on the go.