Washing Cloth Diapers :: A Case for Line Drying

Whether you use a chic, modern drying rack or an old-fashioned strung-up clothesline, drying your cloth diapers outside is an excellent way to save money, keep your diapers in tip-top shape, and remove stains all at once. Not only that, but your diapers will smell wonderfully fresh when you bring them back inside.

Sixty percent of your energy usage and cost related to cloth diapering comes from using the dryer. By using a clothesline, you not only save money but you reduce your environmental footprint.

Line-drying is a great way to keep your diapers in great shape, too, especially if you have diapers with elastic or waterproof outers. These diapers are certainly designed to be dried in the dryer, but years of dryer use can degrade the synthetic fabrics. By line drying your fabrics, you will prolong their life and keep them working and looking their best.

Sunlight is also great for your diapers.
Not only will the UV rays in sunlight bleach out your toughest stains, but they will also brighten your diapers and disinfect them. (Diapers don’t need to be disinfected after being washed, but every once in a while it’s just nice to have the peace of mind knowing they are absolutely clean.) This is also another way to save a few bucks – by utilizing the sunlight, you won’t have to buy laundry additives to remove stains.

And best of all, your diapers will smell wonderfully fresh after a day in the sun. There’s a reason various laundry product manufacturers have given their detergents names reminiscent of fresh air and sunshine – it makes laundry smell great!

So, with all these great reasons to line dry, here are a few tips:

*For the best stain removal, lay the diapers in a place where they’ll have the most sun all day.  We’ve found the most effective method for stain removal is to hang your diapers out when they’re wet out of the washer.

*Prefolds can sometimes feel stiff if they’re left out for long periods of time. To prevent this, either take them off the line right when they’ve finished drying or toss them in the dryer on a no-heat setting for ten minutes when you bring them inside.

So, consider hanging out your next few loads of laundry – you’ll brighten your diapers, remove stains, and save money, completely naturally and without any chemicals!

If you have more questions about diaper laundry, post a comment here or consider attending one of our popular Cloth Diaper 101 workshops where you can have your questions answered in person by one of our diapering experts.

NEWS:  For families in BC, you can earn $75 from BC hydro by reducing your energy consumption.  So beyond the actual savings of line drying, here is your bonus!  More details here.

5 comments on “Washing Cloth Diapers :: A Case for Line Drying

  1. During the summer, we always line dry our diapers. With the current heat they dry in no time, and it is great for stains. Plus they look really cute hanging on the line.

    • Agreed on all fronts. I find it particularly satisfying to look at them on the line while they are drying. It feels like I’ve done a good thing!

  2. I no longer have diapers to dry. But once I got in the habit of air drying them it was a natural transition to drying all of our laundry on a laundry drying rack. I am proud to say I have not had a dryer for 4 years. Best money and energy savings I ever did.

  3. I do line-dry my diapers occasionally, but the hemp ones get so hard and crunchy, they can’t be too comfortable like that?? I usually have to add a stay-dry liner to keep the crunchy/rough part away from the babies’ bums.

    • Yes, hemp can get crunchy. After taking them off the line, putting them in the dryer on “fluff” or no heat with a damp cloth can loosen up the fibers making them more pliable and soft.

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