The gDiapers Use Routine

Update: March 10, 2012: So I’ve been using gDiapers about a year now and it’s been six months since I wrote this post.  I’ve changed a few things in my routine so I thought it would be a good time to update my post.  Updates are in green below.

When I first started looking into cloth diapering and gDiapers in particular, the thing I found most confusing was how to care for them.  I found this blog and the gal did a fantastic job explaining what she did and I found it so so helpful.  I referred to it over and over again.  Since I’ve been cloth diapering my baby for six months now, I thought it might be helpful to explain my routine.

The setup

Everyone stores their g’s differently.  I keep my g’s in my daughter’s dresser.  Our drawers are quite large and are pretty deep so I bought two sets of these baskets from Ikea for about $7 to keep my stash corralled.  Each set comes with one long basket that fits in the drawer perfectly and two smaller baskets that line up nicely too.  I use the old two pack gPants packaging to organize all the little stuff that little people need.  I keep the pants, liners, and pouches each in their own basket.  I fold the cloths in half and line them up (right now the basket is not completely full):


On top of the dresser, I have her changing pad and wipes.  I store the gRefills and some emergency disposables in the diaper stacker.  I bought a case of disposables back in March and haven’t needed to restock (it’s now end of September) because I use g’s most of the time.  How awesome.  Before I started g’s, we would have blown through a case of diapers in like two weeks.

Once I’ve changed Miss K, I drop any baby wipes I used into a step top garbage can to the right of the dresser that seals (keeps the stink out when I use the wipes with dirty diapers) and take wet inserts into the bathroom.  They get dropped in my dry diaper pail, no rinsing or drying before dropping them inAfter a quick rinse in the sink, I drop them into my dry diaper pail.  My dry pail is a $7 swing top garbage can that I bought from Wal-Mart lined with a planet wise pail liner.

The pail liner has a nylon-type waterproof inside (I think it’s made out of PUL) to keep the moisture of the wet liners in.  A lot of people buy two so that you have a second one while the first is being washed but I just have one.  I temporarily throw wet inserts in the sink if the pail liner is in the washer/dryer.I filled an empty spice bottle with baking soda, and I periodically sprinkle some into both the can and the liner to keep the stinkies at bay.  You can get prettier shakers but sometimes frugality trumps aesthetics for me.  I also occassionally drop a few drops of tea tree oil into the pail liner.

If it’s a dirty diaper, I unsnap the pouch from the pant and bring it, with the cloth inside, to the bathroom.  I spray the mess into the toilet with a diaper sprayer that my husband installed.  We have this one and it works great for us.  Now that Miss K is on solids, the clean up for dirty diapers is a lot easier.  Just spray and flush.  If I didn’t have a diaper sprayer, I would shake the mess into the toilet and then dunk and swish the insert in the water to clean it off a little.  If your baby is exclusively breast fed, you can toss the cloth inserts directly into the wash, no rinsing off required because EBF poo is water soluble.  Although when Miss K was EBF, I still washed them off – it just didn’t seem right to me not to.  Once the insert is cleaned up a little, I just toss it into the pail with its wet comrades.

So that’s what happens with the inserts while they anxiously await washing (do you like how I personify diapers?).  What about the little gPants?  I usually alternate between two little gPants each day because they do get a little moist due to the liquid that the pants and the pouches wick away from baby’s bum.  At the end of the day, I fasten the laundry tabs on the pants and turn them inside out and toss them into a mesh lingerie bag in the dirty laundry pile (I use a basket but I won’t post a picture because really do you need to see a basket of dirty laundry?  If it makes you feel better, the basket is a white rectangle).  I do what’s on the left, others just fold in the laundry tabs and wash, as seen on the right.

Like little gPants, pouches can be reused throughout the day.  If it’s a wet diaper, I just use a baby wipe to wipe out the inside of the pouch and lay the gpant and pouch to air out a little until the next change.  This is why I rotate between two pants.  If it’s a dirty diaper, there will likely be some mess in the pouch (it’s doing its job – it’s supposed to catch all the mess).  I take that with me to the bathroom and spray that with the cloth liner.  Then the pouch gets put into a mesh lingerie bag and is tossed in the dirty laundry basket as well.

I love that the one I bought happens to match gDiapers branding.  Tee hee.  I fasten a new pouch into the gPant and it’s ready to go for the next change.

That’s how the diapers are stored for wash day.  I usually wash the inserts every 2.5-3 days and they are washed independently of the other parts.  All I do is pull the pail liner out of the can and turn it inside out into the washing machine.  We have a very low-tech washing machine and everything still works great!

I do a cold rinse with no detergent, followed by a hot wash with  just a little bit (maybe a couple tablespoons) of All Free and Clear along with a quarter cup of Calgon water softener because we have hard water here in Southern California.  Just make sure that the detergent you use is cloth diaper safe (here’s a link that will help you find one).  You can use vinegar in the wash but no bleach or fabric softener.  Note: due to our hard water, I’ve found that vinegar isn’t a good thing to add to our wash.  Others use it with great success.  Some people add towels and other laundry to the wash after the initial rinse but I haven’t been comfortable with that.  Once the load is done, I put the inserts in the dryer with a large dry towel and some wool dryer balls to help speed up the drying.  I dry on high and then fold and put them away.  Just make sure you don’t use any dryer sheets in the dryer.

Little gPants and pouches are washed with all the other baby laundry.  When I first started out, I didn’t have too many pouches so I washed them more frequently with any load I was doing, like our regular laundry.  All the gPants’ laundry tabs are fastened and ready to go in one mesh laundry bag and the pouches are in their mesh lingerie bag.  I toss them, along with all of baby’s other laundry into the machine and wash on permanent press (medium agitation) with warm water, no extra rinse before or after.  You can use whatever laundry detergent you want for these parts.  The pouches should not be washed with hot water, it will eat away at the waterproof-y-ness (Yes, I use technical terms).  Once the load is done, I pull out the mesh lingerie bags and the little gPants and throw the rest into the dryer.  The mesh lingerie bags make it easy to quickly fish out the gPants and the pouches.  Little gPants can be dried in the dryer but in general, you want to keep the pouches out.

I dump the pouches out to air dry flat.  If I had a normal side-by-side laundry set up, I would just throw them on top but I don’t so I use the bathroom counter.  They don’t take too long to dry.

I unfasten the little gPants and hang them on this handy dandy little octopus I picked up from Ikea.  I don’t have a yard otherwise I’d hang them up outside.  We’re a little strapped for space so this guy works great.  I actually hang it on the curtain rod in my daughter’s room but it could easily just hang in the closet.  If the gPants feel crunchy, you can always throw them in the dryer for a few minutes.

And that’s it!  It seems complicated but it’s really not.  Hope it helps someone!  Here’s a quick summary of what I do.  What’s your wash routine?



Item Washed Setting Detergent Dried No-No’s
Cloth Inserts With pail liner Hot wash All Free & Clear On high with a dry towel Cloth Diaper Unsafe detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener, bleach
Little gPants With other laundry, inside out in a mesh lingerie bag Warm on Permanent Press Any detergent Hung dry or dried in dryer Bleach
Pouches With other laundry, in a mesh lingerie bag Warm on Permanent Press Any detergent Laid flat to dry Bleach, Dryer for more than a few minutes

Updated Version 2.0 of the gDiapers Wash Routine is posted here

19 thoughts on “The gDiapers Use Routine

  1. I love your post! This is quite helpful to me, I’m planning to start using gDiapers in June when my baby is born. Your tone in the post is awesome as well, you crack me up. Thank you again for posting this, and I will definitely be reading it a few more times in the upcoming months.

    • Congrats on the little one, Dawn Marie! So glad it was useful to you! It’s overwhelming til you just start doing it and then it makes sense. Best of luck and definitely let me know if there are any questions I can help answer!

  2. Have you ever heard of any one washing the plastic g-diaper pouches in the stuff that you can wash your hiking gear or rain jacket it to “re-water proof” it? The stuff I have is called Nikwax for soft shell proof, a wash in waterproofing for soft-shell clothing. It adds water repellency and breathability. I had NO IDEA that those things were only SUPPOSED to last 6 months. Where do the g folks say that on their site or in the packaging? I haven’t tried using this product yet bc I wanted to get some input. So what do you think?

    • I know I’ve heard of people sprucing up their pouches with something like that but I would be wary of doing that because the nylon pouches are breathable. They’re meant to hold in poop and pee but to wick away moisture from baby’s skin. So I have to wonder if you seal it with something, would it prevent the pouch from wicking away the moisture? I would email the gdiapers folks at and see what they have to say. They’re super helpful. They’ve said life expectancy on the pouch is about 100 washes so depending on how you care for them and how many you wash, yours might last longer or shorter. I’ve seen them mention it on facebook but I don’t recall seeing it anywhere else. Actually, if you’re on facebook, I’d recommend liking their page and posing your question there. There are a ton of super helpful moms who might be able to tell you their experience with this. I can tell you that ours have definitely lasted more than six months – we used them for about 18 months and I think I’ve only thrown out one liner because I thought it was leaking. Good Luck!

  3. So you put the gPants in a mesh lingerie bag and then the pouches in a mesh lingerie bag and then put both bags in the washer? If there is poo on the pouches did you ever feel like it would stain the gPants in the water? Or did you rinse then enough that you felt they would be ok? Also, when you are out and about do you use cloth or disposables? Could you write a post about what your routine is when you are on the go. I am a newbie and I have so many questions! I am sorry.

    • Hi Ashley! The pouch usually doesn’t have a lot of poo on it and in the 21 months that I’ve used gDiapers, I’ve never had the poop from the pouches stain the gPants in the wash. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, then the poop is water soluble and no need to worry. When my LO started solids and formula, I used my diaper sprayer to clean out the pouch so most of the mess ended up in the toilet instead of the washing machine.

      When out an about, I use both cloth and disposables, depending on what I have available and how long I’m going to be out. That’s a great suggestion on writing a post about using gDiapers outside the home. I will do that. Check back over the next week-I should have a post up for ya! And don’t apologize for asking. 🙂 It’s all confusing stuff until you’ve used them for a while!

  4. What will happen if the pouches are in the dryer for more than a few minutes. I accidentally put a few pouches in the dryer for 80 minutes with the inserts! They still look ok when they came out of the dryer. This is another reason why we should always use mesh laundry bag for the pouches.

    • Mine find their way to the dryer too – sneaky buggers. 🙂 From what I’ve found, there’s no instant or obvious damage. I think the dryer will just eat away at the pouch’s ability to be waterproof. So basically they won’t last as long as they would have otherwise.

  5. I have been using the gDiapers for about 2 weeks now. My daughter is BF so her poop is still yellow and runny. Sometimes when it is not all absorbed by the pad, it goes onto the pouch. What are the best ways to clean the pouch so that it is not yellow? I have rinsed it immediately after the dirty diaper but I did not find that it helped. Any advice?

    • The best (and luckily easiest, especially this time of year) is to put the pouches out in the sun for a while. They should be wet so if they dry before the stains are out, just re-wet them. Even if it’s a cloudy day, the sun will still do its thing and the stains will magically disappear. Good luck!

  6. Hi! great info!

    my baby is 7 months old, and I’m starting to get organized with the G diapers.
    The question that I have is how do you manage with pooped gdiaper when you are out home.
    Do you use disposables?
    what do you do with the Pooped pouches? do you keep them in a wet bag with the poop? because at the mall or at a friend’s house, you can not rinse them…or yes?
    May I ask you how many, cloth inserts, Pouches and pants do you have (need)?


    • Hi Maria, I wrote a post on what I do when I’m away from home – but to answer your question, when I’m out of the house and baby poops, I shake off as much as I can into the toilet (the more solids the baby eats, the easier it is to clean up) and then unsnap the pouch and roll the insert up into the pouch and put it in the wet bag. Then I deal with any remaining mess when I get home.

      I have more gdiapers pants than I need for sure but I would recommend 8 pants, 12 pouches, and 18 inserts. Hope that helps and good luck!

  7. Thank you so much for your post! It was a huge help! I’m new to Gdiapers. So far I love them but couldn’t figure out the best washing routine. Yours is by far the best I have found!

  8. This is so informative! Thank you! My only remaining question is how do you go about stripping the g diaper cloth inserts?? I bought most of mine used and want to make sure they’re in good shape for use!

    • So happy to hear it was useful. Personally, I would wash them and then boil them in a big pot of just water for at least 30 minutes. Then do a rinse in the washing machine and look to see if there are bubbles in the water. If so, repeat the rinse until there are very few to no bubbles. Between the boiling and the rinsing, the inserts should be nice and sanitized and clear of detergent build up if there is any. Good luck and sorry for the late reply – for some reason I didn’t get notified that you had left the comment!

  9. Hi, we are currently starting gdiapers and I was wondering if you are able to wash the covers in cold water? My brother almost always washes all of the clothes here on cold so I was wondering if that would harm them. Also I was so glad to hear that you actually don’t need tons of covers each day and that you can rotate a couple pairs because it seems like a lot of laundry to use 6-8 covers a day when you do laundry once a week. Your information has been so helpful!

    • Sorry for the late reply on this – my software didn’t alert me about your comment so I didn’t see it. So glad it was helpful! I LOVE hearing that. I don’t think the cold water would harm them but I don’t know if it would have an impact on how clean they are. I’ve always washed the inserts on hot, with the thought that they’d get cleaner and more sanitized. In general, hot does a better job with getting out stains…the pants and pouch can get washed on cold for sure. I did a quick google search and found this: It says “While most home laundry machines can’t get water hot enough for long enough to kill organisms, higher heat helps the other components do their parts.” so if you don’t wash on hot, you’ll probably have to compensate for it by using more (or a different) detergent or by washing for longer periods of time. Good luck!

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