Way back in August, I took my family on a killer road trip of Northern BC with some friends, and we were gone long enough that I needed to do something with my cloth diapers. So, I embraced my knowledge of handwashing cloth diapers and did some hotel laundry during my stay.
I was unsure if I would even have access to the laundry so I prepared to handwash my cloth diapers by bringing my Mother-ease diaper pail (which doubles as a great plunging bucket) and my plunger to do a good ol‘ camp style cloth diaper technique.
There was laundry, but I didn’t find it until the last day and truthfully, I had thought I’d be camping but we got rained out.
Looking for tips on how to travel with cloth diapers? Check out this post instead.
What do you need?
- If you’re using a washing machine, you’ll need detergent.
- If you’re hand washing, you’ll need a gentler detergent.
- Maybe you’re plunger?
- Dirty Cloth Diapers.
How to Wash Cloth Diapers in a Hotel Room?
There’s a few different strategies you could take from hand washing to just using the hotel machines. What you choose depends on you and your resources, time, and passion for the cause.
- Use Hotel Laundry machines – You might find it helpful and cheaper to hand rinse your cloth diapers in the hotel tub, and then do a long, hot, white cycle wash in the hotel washing machine, and then use the dryer for all your absorbencies. one bad wash will not ruin your cloth diapers, you can just wash them as normal at home, and they should return to normal.
- Hand wash them in the sink – bring some gentle detergent or soap and just scrub the living out of each diaper in the sink using a combo of warm and hot water. Ring them out and shake them in the tub.
- Wash them in the tub – you could put them all in the tub and agitate them really really well using your feet, hands, or a plunger, or some other stir stick. You’ll want to do like a rinse cycle, drain, and then another cycle with lots of agitation.
- Bucker & Plunger – sure, it’s weird to bring your plunger with you, but it works. I just did it in the tub because it can get messy.
- Use a fancy gizmo, like this wash bag I tried last year for the hand washing challenge.
Couple Things to Know
- Hotel Rooms tend to be very humid and cloth diapers or any clothing can take forever to dry. I wish I had just tossed my diapers in the hotel dryer.
- You’ll want to really use simple cloth diapers, ideally flat cloth diapers. Other forms of diapers will require more agitation and may not come out as clean with simple handwashing.
- Do small batches because it’s less daunting and then you’re not waiting forever for your cloth diapers to dry.
- If you bring your collapsible octupus from Ikea to hang your flats it’s way easier than trying to find a million surfaces to hang up cloth diapers – that’s probably one of the biggest challenges is finding space to dry cloth diapers.
- Cloth diaper laundry means a lot more laundry.
- Detergent is really hard on your skin, so opt for a soap bar or a gentle natural detergent. I find these options are more effective when handwashing compared to using your washing machine.
- It was pretty easy to find the time to make it happen because the kids slept, watched TV or just chilled and I was able to get it done.
Or skip it and just use disposables
There are some more eco-friendly disposable diapers on the market that might be better suited to your personal choices. You can also check out and try different types of disposable inserts. I really like the GroVia & Flip disposable inserts, but other brands also include Charlie Banana.