For the Mamas | Cloth Diapering 101: Dealing with Issues (e.g. Mold, Mildew, Ammonia, & Diaper Rash)


  1. So I ran across your blog on Pinterest some months ago when I was new to cloth diapering. I kept thinking to myself, “Wow, this all sounds like A LOT of work. All of these rinses and the boiling water, and the dish soap, and stripping….” I’ve since come to realize that your posts on cloth diapering are, unfortunately, FULL of misinformation. Please don’t take this the wrong way, because I am not trying to be rude, I just think that your posts about cloth diapers may scare off some poor momma out there who actually thinks that all of this is necessary. You are making this way too complicated, and in fact, following your way of cleaning diapers, could actually ruin someone’s diapers out there (and we all know that cloth diapers can be an expensive investment upfront.) Instead, you should probably consider checking out “Fluff Love and Cloth Diaper Science,” on facebook. Their methods are, in fact, based on laundry science and they really know how to get diapers clean, and turns out, it’s actually not complicated or extremely time consuming. If your diaper washing routine is on point, you should never have to strip your diapers. Stripping is only for bad washing routines. Again, I’m not trying to insult you, I just think that readers out there deserve to know that there are better and more effective ways to get their fluff clean. Being a mom is hard enough. Let’s not go adding more things to our to do lists? 😉 Beautiful blog, btw. Love your pics.

  2. I apply extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil to my baby bums before put his cloth diaper.. He rarely get rashes..

  3. Thank you for this post, I just found it by googling how to deal with mold on cloth diapers. I have a six-week old, and we’re using a combo of bum genius and charlie banana diapers. I just started noticing mold on some of the inserts, and of course, freaked out. I’ll be trying your suggestions for sure!

  4. Hi Molly, sorry if you’ve answered this elsewhere, but are you putting the bleach and dawn directly into the tub or into the bleach try or liquid detergent tray? I had no issues with my front loader and I’m not liking my HE washer yet 🙁

  5. Hi Molly, Im having a huge problem w/ mold/mildew. I live in SC so its very humid outside especially in the summer. Once I figured out the black specks were mold/mildew I started drying everything in the dryer once then taking out the covers to hang in the house and keeping the inserts in the dryer until very dry. I keep the lid off my pail, I wash every other day, I don’t use a wipe warmer w/ pre-wet wipes, I do spray off very dirty diapers but I squeeze out excess liquid. I use bum genius detergent and I’ve bleached my diapers/ wipes several times but Im still seeing new mold! Why is this happening?? What am I doing wrong and what can I do differently? Im so frustrated and heartbroken because its attacking my covers (even the Flip covers), my fleece liners and my organic cotton/ hemp and bamboo inserts; basically all the expensive ones! The only thing I don’t see it in is the microfiber inserts. Last night I put a hemp insert on my baby and when I removed it this morning it was covered in black specks! How is it growing mold in urine!?! Please help me! Thanks!

    1. Oh man I know how frustrating that is, Stefanie!

      A couple things:

      1st. The mold is only going to continue to grow until you kill it. You HAVE to bleach and strip the diapers. It sucks. I know. But it is the only way to kill it. Then, rinse rinse rinse rinse and rinse more.
      2nd. Once you’ve bleached and stripped the diapers, you just need to make sure that you’re rinsing, rinsing, rinsing.
      3rd. I would highly suggest switching to Tide Original Powder. I never had luck with any of the “cloth diaper specific” detergents… they never got my diapers really clean and that’s, ultimately, how diapers get moldy… it means they aren’t getting clean enough.

      Make sure you’re using enough water when you wash. Make sure your water is on the HOTTEST setting during the detergent cycle.

      What kind of W/D do you have? What is your wash cycle like now?

      1. Thank you! I’ve bleached already but I think I need to start doing it monthly like you were saying and I do not like the Bumgenius detergent either, I have been wanting to switch but wasn’t sure what to switch to, so thanks I will try Tide! I have a samsung HE front loader. My wash cycle now is rinse on cold, then heavy duty wash on hot with extra rinse at the end and then into the dryer. When I have bleached I added 1/4 cup into wash with the Bumgenius detergent then I do a ton of rinses or sometimes I even rewash with the Bumgenius detergent. I didn’t mention this before but I also wash the pail liner bag with every diaper wash. You said the only way to kill the mold is to bleach and strip, how do you strip? Thank you!

        1. I would DEFINITELY make the switch to the Tide Original Powder.

          Here is how I strip my diapers:

          1. I start with CLEAN diapers (so if they are dirty, I run them through their normal wash routine all the way up until I’d dry them).

          2. Then, I run a HOT wash with 1 tsp (I have a front loader, if you have a top loader, use 1 tbsp) of original BLUE Dawn dish detergent. Yes, it has to be BLUE and it has to be Dawn. It can’t be ANYTHING other than ORIGINAL Blue Dawn dish detergent. This is a de-greaser than will help to break up and get rid of all the buildup and gunk on your diapers.

          2. Then, I run a heavy, HOT wash with 1/4 cup of bleach (just plain Clorox).

          3. I add a boiling pot of water / pitcher of water to the bleach cycle.

          4. I then rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, and rinse some more until I don’t see anymore suds.

          Yes, this is a full day process…

          I might also suggest adding some boiling water to the cycle as well… as in like boil a pot of water on the stove and pour that in, too.

              1. This is great thank you so much for the tips I am going to try this tomorrow! One last thing, if the mold is dead is it still ok to put on baby? I just bought some new fleece liners to put on top so she’s not touching the dead mold just in case its bad for her skin.

  6. molly can i trow them in the dryer after bleaching them i just discovered mold on some of my prefolds i live in nc so is very humid outside right now

      1. thanks and sorry for the many questions is it better if i just trow all my diapers in the washer even do not all if them have mold

  7. Hi Molly! I have a 3 month old and I just discovered mold specks on all of our prefolds and inserts–I found a PW wet bag as the clear culprit =( I had to come say THANK YOU for writing this, because I was about to have a meltdown when I remembered that you dealt with this and had a step-by-step for dealing with the problem. Meltdown averted! Good thing I have an entire day to launder… every-other-day diaper wash isn’t bad, but washing/bleaching/rinse-rinse-rinsing the entire stash is going to take hourrrrrrrrs. Anywho, thank you!! =)

  8. Hey Molly- I love reading your cloth 101 and did not know about the bleach- I was always taught no bleach for cloth diapers. I use Drybees so I hope it still applies 🙂 In the future I am doing a blogger who inspires me or has taught me something new- may I link up this post- giving you and #fundaymonday credit?
    Rachel of

  9. Hey Molly! I’m due in August and was just starting my cloth diapering research when you started this series….I’m SO GLAD!! This has been wonderful!!! Would you mind also sharing some of your other resources/forums you have mentioned?? (P.S. CNU Captain’s 4L–I graduated in ’09!)

  10. GREAT SERIES!! I just found your blog through your banner on Mama in Heels and I’m glad I did. I’ve been cloth diapering for 22 months now and I am so happy doing it. It IS more work but I feel good doing it. I actually haven’t encountered mold issues or diaper rash issues, but I’m pretty religious about washing the diapers often. I have 40 All in Ones, which I’ve divided into two groups of 20, so As soon as 20 have been used I put them right in the wash and then air dry. I find that as long as i change my toddlers diaper often he doesn’t get diaper rash.

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