FAQ: Poop In the Washing Machine

Posted by Becca on 11/16/2011 to Baby Wearing

Poop is definitely the thing that seems to gross people out most when it comes using cloth diapers. I think that a lot more people would look into using cloth diapers if they weren’t grossed out by the idea of washing poopy diapers in the same machine that launders the rest of their clothing.

Most of my large family—I’m the oldest of seven kids—accepts the fact that I use cloth diapers, but one of my sisters in particular, just can’t wrap her brain around the idea of putting poopy diapers in the washing machine. One day this summer, we were over her house to meet her boyfriend for the first time and she was eager to show him my daughter’s weird diapers.

“When you guys have kids, I’ll make sure you have plenty of cloth diapers,” I said, assuming she liked the idea.

“Oh, no, I could never use cloth,” she responded, sneering her nose. “I just can’t get over the idea of putting poop in my washing machine where I wash my other clothes.

I tried to explain to her how most of the poop never makes it into the washing machine because you’re supposed to knock the solids into the toilet or even just spray them off with a diaper sprayer.

I told her about the nifty disposable liners you can buy and flush so most of the poop doesn’t even come in contact with the inner layer of your diapers.

I made the case that washing machines are sturdy appliances made with disgusting things like poopy diapers in mind. They were created to remove germy and messy stains and leave your clothes fresh and clean.

And when that didn’t work, I mentioned the $1,500- $3,000 that she will save if she does decide to use cloth.

And the jury is still out. I’m not sure that she’ll make the switch to cloth. But if she did, I know she would love it. I certainly do. I wash diapers in my machine every two days between regular washes of our clothing and I’ve never found poop on one of my T shirts or had a pair of jeans smell like farts.

Yes, some poop ends up in the machine and is washed out of my diapers, but does it affect my fashion statements? Absolutely not. Our clothing is just as clean as it ever was!

Becca G is a guest blogger for the Cloth Diaper Blog. Becca is a part time Spanish Teacher, a part time Stay-at-home-mom, and the wife of the best husband imaginable. Becca’s absolute favorite thing to do is to spend time with her little family. She also enjoys doing anything crafty – from making jewelry, to writing, to sewing, to photography.

Looking for adorable handmade wool soakers and more? Visit Becca’s Etsy shop: clothdiapermommy .


Date 6/17/2012 4:19:31 PM
Allison Cartledge
So my 1st baby is due in October and I am interested in cloth diapering, but I have a HE front loading washer. I dont think it is meant to be used with the powdered detergents, which is what most of the cloth diaper friendly detergents are. Can I use All free and clear type in liquid or should i invest in a cheap top loading washer just for my diapers?
Date 7/10/2012 3:04:55 PM
Emily Smith
I have an HE top loader and we use powdered Charlie's Soap. It is great for diapers and has the HE on the container so it should be safe for any HE machine.
Date 10/19/2012
Jennifer Ireland
Thank you for sharing. This was almost a deal breaker for the hubs being on bored.
Date 10/22/2012
Milka Diaz-Reyes
Continued...I would also "hand wash" if necessary until there's no poop, but I have a very earthy approach to my kid's waste, meaning I'm not gross out by it. As you can see there is absolutely no reason for your WM to ever come in contact with poop.
Date 10/22/2012
Milka Diaz-Reyes
I just found this post so i know I'm a little late for the discussion. But I have to say I'm surprised at how misinformed most people are about cloth diapers. I cloth diaper and I am 100% positive that no poop ever gets in washing machine. When I get a poopy diaper I remove the fleece liner (always use one) and knock the solids in the toilet. If there's any residue then I run the liner under cold water and it peels right off leaving the liner poop free. I would also "hand wash" if necessary unti
Date 10/24/2013
Mary S
I have some friends that are making these arguments. My friend is wanting to use cloth, but her husband can't get over the poop. Hopefully she can convince him!
Date 2/28/2014
It's just poop! LOL
Date 6/11/2014
veronica carufel
If only I could make my friends understand and see past the "poop" being washed in the same place as our clothes, maybe they would also enjoy the benefits of cloth. Not to mention it's earth friendly and doesn't have all those toxins and chemicals like disposables that could harm your baby's skin. I've had to explain time and time again, even to my husband before he was even all for it about the difference in breast milk poo that can just be tossed in the washer and having the water dissolve all the particles and also the solid poo which needs to be flushed down the toilet. I think the change to cloth is a great thing. Not just to your wallet but also for your baby and the environment! plus, who wouldn't want all those cute prints. I know I do.

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