How to Strip Cloth Diapers

How to Strip Cloth Diapers

Krystal Keller
5 minute read

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Stripping is a term used to refer to the process of removing mineral, detergent or bacteria buildup from modern cloth diapers. Mineral, detergent or bacteria build up in the fibers of cloth diapers can lead to odor and reduced absorbency. Stripping is typically done when regular washing routines are not enough to remove residues. Continue reading to learn more about when and how to strip cloth diapers effectively. 

It is important to understand what causes buildup on cloth diapers. Buildup can result from washing diapers in untreated hard water, using too much detergent, or from diaper rash creams that are not cloth diaper safe. The stripping process involves using a stripping solution and agitating the water to ensure it penetrates the fabric. It's important to note that stripping should not be a regular part of the washing routine, as it can be hard on the fabrics. Instead, it should be done under specific circumstances, such as when switching detergents, buying used diapers, or experiencing persistent odor or absorbency issues.

Time Required: 1-2 hours

Reasons for Stripping Cloth Diapers

The need to strip cloth diapers may arise due to the following reasons:

  • Washing diapers in untreated hard water

  • Using excessive detergent or fabric softeners

  • Residues from diaper creams that contain petroleum

  • Second Hand cloth diapers with unknown washing history 

Note: At Kinder Cloth Diapers, we recommend sanitizing all preloved diapers to ensure the cleanliness of the diapers before use. Learn more about how to effectively sanitize second hand diapers here »  

Common Products for Stripping Cloth Diapers

Several products can be used to strip cloth diapers, including:

  • Mighty Bubbles

  • RLR

  • DIY: Washing soda, Borax & Calgon

These products are designed to help remove mineral and bacteria buildup from the fabric, improving the absorbency and overall performance of the diapers. At Kinder, we recommend Mighty Bubbles, a product specifically formulated by GroVia for use with cloth diapers. You can purchase Mighty Bubbles here on the Kinder Cloth Diaper Co. website. 

GroVia Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment

GroVia Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment


This uniquely formulated powder treatment is used to remove buildup of urine and minerals from cloth diapers and garments. This is not a detergent.  Updated Value Pouch: 20 pacs per pouch. Dissolves completely. Not tested on animals. Made in the U.S.A.… read more

How to Strip Cloth Diapers Using Mighty Bubbles 

The Mighty Bubbles by GroVia is a laundry treatment specifically designed for deep cleaning cloth diapers. The manufacturer's instructions recommend the following steps for using Mighty Bubbles:

  1. Place one pod in the washing machine with clean diapers. No other detergent is needed.

  2. Run a regular HOT wash with one extra rinse. 

  3. If buildup is severe, it may take up to three back to back consecutive treatments to get your diapers clean. No need to dry in between multiple treatments.

  4. After stripping, return to a simple wash routine that uses enough detergent.

GroVia states that Mighty Bubbles may be used in addition to a normal wash routine every 6-8 weeks to keep the diapers clean and buildup-free. 

It's important to note that Mighty Bubbles is not a true stripping method, but rather a deep-cleaning treatment for cloth diapers. The product is intended to penetrate fabrics better than regular detergent. Additionally, it's recommended to follow the directions on the packaging and to avoid soaking the diapers using Mighty Bubbles.

How to Strip Cloth Diapers Using RLR

RLR is another laundry treatment used for stripping cloth diapers. RLR works by removing mineral deposits in the water, dirt and soil sediments, and residual matter from detergents that accumulate in the fabrics, causing them to lose absorbency and develop odor. The process of using RLR involves adding it to a hot wash and rinsing the diapers until no suds are visible. 

 It is recommended to follow the instructions provided on the RLR packaging for best results.

  1. Open package and empty directly on dry or wet laundry in the washing machine. 

  2. Wash as usual, with or without detergent as desired. 

RLR can also be used for hand washing one or two small pieces of clothing — just use a smaller amount of RLR in a basin of water. When soaking water resistant fabrics like PUL, soak for 15-30 minutes, but no longer than one hour. 

RLR Natural Laundry Stripping Powder – Whitens, Brightens, Refreshes Cloth Diapers

RLR Natural Laundry Stripping Powder – Whitens, Brightens, Refreshes Cloth Diapers


WORKS LIKE MAGIC: Introduce RLR baby laundry detergent to your laundry treatment routine and prepared to be wowed as tough blots such as grease, blood, tea, coffee, pee and poop stains disappear; RLR can be used as in the presoak,… read more

How to Strip Cloth Diapers Using DIY Stripping Solution with Washing Soda, Borax and Calgon 

To strip cloth diapers with a DIY Stripping Solution that uses washing soda, you can follow the general process of creating a stripping solution and soaking the diapers. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Create a stripping solution using equal parts washing soda, borax and calgon. (3 tablespoons of each for about 30 diapers. Adjust the amount for a smaller load.) 

  2. Fill a container or bathtub with hot water and stir in stripping solution

  3. Place the clean cloth diapers into the container with the stripping solution

  4. Agitate the water and allow the diapers to soak for at least 15 minutes, but no longer than one hour. 

  5. After soaking, rinse thoroughly and dry the diapers. 

It's important to note that extended soaking of diapers is not recommended, as it can be hard on the fabric. Do not soak cloth diapers that include PUL or TPU water resistant layers overnight. 

In summary, stripping cloth diapers is a process used to remove mineral or bacteria buildup that can lead to odor and reduced absorbency. It should be done under specific circumstances and not as a regular part of the washing routine. Several products can be used to strip cloth diapers, and it's important to follow the recommended steps to ensure the process is effective without being harsh on the fabric.

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