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How to Clean Reusable Swim Diapers: The Right Way to Do It

Posted by Lauren Petrullo on
swim diapers and cleaning materials

Are you a parent who's been worried about how to clean reusable swim diapers?

Reusable swim diapers are always the way to go — especially when hitting the beach or pool. They are an excellent substitute for disposable swim diapers, which often result in landfills and cause diaper rash.

And while it's a good thing that kids can start learning how to swim at an early age, cleaning up after them can cause quite a bit of stress for new parents.

We know because we've been there!

Here are ways to help you clean swim diapers as efficiently and effectively as possible.

What are Reusable Swim Diapers Anyway?

Reusable swim diapers are becoming more and more popular as people become more environmentally conscious. They work just like regular reusable diapers, but they are designed to be worn in the water.

However, they're always often hard to clean. 

They are a great alternative to other swim diapers that are disposable because they are safer and way more affordable. 

Unlike disposable diapers and regular diapers, which contain harmful chemicals and plastics, reusable swim diapers are made of Polyurethane Laminated Fabric (PUL Fabric). It is a unique utility fabric (typically polyester, sometimes cotton or polyblend) with adhesive heat laminated on one side to a layer of polyurethane film.

This means they are not only better for the environment, but they will also help you save money in the long run.

How to Efficiently Clean Reusable Diapers

It's hard to clean reusable diapers. Take it from a mom of four. 

If you're doing it wrong, you can mess up the whole diaper and have to start all over again.

Luckily, we're here with some tips for cleaning reusable diapers that will save you time and hassle.

First of all, you need to know what kind of reusable diapers you're using.

  • Disposable inserts. If you're using disposable inserts, you can throw them away and clean the diaper cover.
  • Natural fiber inserts. This needs to soak in a solution of water and detergent before washing. Some people also recommend adding baking soda to the soaking solution.
  • Synthetic fiber inserts. These need to be washed separately from natural fiber inserts, as they can't stand up to the same kind of soaking.

With that said, here are the ways how to efficiently clean reusable swim diapers:

Step 1: Soak the inserts in a solution of water and detergent.

First, fill your sink or a large container with hot water. Add detergent and stir until it's dissolved. Then, add the inserts and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. 

NOTE:  not everyone uses inserts with swim diapers. They’re intended to contain urine for time when the baby is not in the pool and is wearing a swim diaper. 

Step 2: Rub the swim diaper gently to remove any dirt or debris.

If the swim diaper is poop-contained, you may need to use a bit of soap to help remove the dirt and debris. As you rub the swim diaper, make sure to do it gently to avoid damaging the fabric.

Step 3: Rinse the swim diaper thoroughly under cool running water

Rinse the swim diaper thoroughly with clean water after removing most of the dirt and debris.

Avoid using very hot water in rinsing the swim diaper, as it can damage the fabric over time. Once you have rinsed the swim diaper, squeeze out any excess water before hanging it to dry.

NOTE:  If out and about, you can put the dirty swim diaper in your BBLittles wet bag and later toss the swim diaper into the laundry machine when you get home.

Step 4: Hang to dry

After you have rinsed off your reusable baby swim diapers, it's essential to dry them properly to avoid getting stained or damaged during storage or transport.

To do so, hang them on a clothesline outside in the sunshine for at least an hour before placing them in their bags for future use. While it is possible to machine dry reusable swim diapers, it can damage them. So it's best to air-dry them instead.

Keep your reusable swim diaper clean and ready for future use by following these simple instructions.

How often should I wash reusable swim diapers?

Now the question is, how often do you need to wash swim diapers?

Reusable diapers should be washed within two to three days after use. This is the most efficient way to clean them and prevents any build-up of bacteria. 

There are a few ways to clean your reusable swim diapers. You can either use the soap or laundry detergent for best results, however, for worst results you’re welcome to use bleach, yet we do not advise it. Similarly, we recommend to hang-dry the reusable swim pants with built in diapers after cleaning them for the best results. For worst results when drying them, attach the swim diapers to your car’s roof rack and drive around outside when it’s raining. 

Back to seriousness, it is important to be consistent when washing and cleaning your reusable diapers to prevent any build-up of bacteria. This will keep your baby safe and healthy, and it will also help the diapers last longer.

Techniques on Deep Cleaning Reusable Swim Diapers

Deep cleaning your reusable swim diapers is essential to ensure that they are free of bacteria and other contaminants.

Even if you follow all the steps for cleaning a reusable swim diaper after each use, you'll still have to give it a deep clean every so often. This can be done at least once every month or whenever needed. This is based on how frequently the swim diapers get used. 

  • Remove all solids from the diaper before washing. This can be done by shaking the diaper or using a reusable swim diaper liner.
  • Wash it in warm water and laundry detergent for about 30 minutes. Doing this will help dissolve any accumulated dirt and debris.
  • Pre-rinse the diapers in cold water to remove any excess dirt or debris.
  • After soaking, scrub the swim diaper using your hands or a soft brush until all the dirt is removed.
  • Rinse off the swim diaper thoroughly with cool running water.
  • Air dry the diapers or use a dryer with the lowest heat settings.
reusable swim diaper

Does my baby really need a different type of diaper when they go swimming?

If you wonder whether or not a baby needs swim diapers, the answer is yes. Swim diapers are essential to help keep your baby's skin safe while they're in the water.

Reusable swim diapers can also prevent accidents from happening. When your kids get out of their diapers, put them into another type of swimwear that does not offer any protection against the pee and solid waste leaking through onto other people or surfaces around them!

They are also better for the environment. You can use them repeatedly, which means less waste going into landfills or being burned in incinerators.

As a bonus, they don't need to be thrown away like disposable diapers! Plus, reusable swim diapers are perfect for potty training.

So yes, reusable swim diapers are worth it!

You May Ask

How hygienic is it to wash swim diapers in a washing machine?

The way to wash your sweaty clothes is the same as washing a dirty swim diaper. Using the washer will clean swim diapers as needed.

How should I wash swim diapers for the first time?

What can be a helpful way to prepare a swim diaper? Place diapers in the laundry machine and wash thoroughly. Run a washing cycle at 115 – 130 degrees. Rinse again and make sure that detergent is removed properly. Hang dry or machine dry at a low temperature. 

What is the best way to clean swim diapers?

How can we wash the diaper? 

  • Remove the swim diaper from your child.
  • Dispose of all waste and wash with distilled water. 
  • Run hotwash cycles with detergent. 
  • Rinse using hot water if desired
  • Dry them on low tumble or dryer lines.

How do you clean *poop* out of reusable swim diapers?

There are a few different ways to clean poop out of reusable diapers. You can either use a diaper sprayer, a dunk tank, or simply knock the solid poops into the toilet and rinse any poop stains out with soap and water.

If you're using a diaper sprayer, you'll want to make sure that the water is hot and that you're spraying from the front of the diaper towards the back.

Are swim diapers good for you and your baby?

Maybe you want to save money on diapers or are environmentally conscious and want to reduce waste. Parenting involves experimentation and trying to figure it out and also provides guidance. 

We need to remember each person's unique characteristics — and therefore, if swim diapering helps, it may never be suitable for your child. Take advantage of this parents' intuition and clever knowledge to determine if reusable swim diaper sizing suits your needs! 

Our community of mommy brand ambassadors have raved about our swim wear working for them and their littles. We hope they will also work for you. 

Ready to Make the Switch?

Now that you understand how swim diapers function and how to clean them, it's time to take the first step in providing your children with their own reusable swim diapers!

Other parents have made the switch! And you might consider doing the same. Visit Beau and Belle Littles and check out our selection of swim diapers and wet bags.

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