Washing cloth diapers is really and truly EASY. You will find all sorts of complicated procedures on the web. They are not necessary. I repeat, washing diapers is EASY!
I am completely and utterly laundry deficient. Laundry piles up around here. But the diapers are so easy to wash, I never end up running out. They require so very little effort. Here's what we do:
When a diaper is pee-ed in, we take it off and throw it in the diaper pail. When a diaper is pooped in, we shake the poop off into the toilet and then toss the diaper into the diaper pail. What happens when the poop refuses to shake off? Well, if it is a poop from a baby who is exclusively taking in breastmilk, just toss it in the pail as is. If it is a poop from a formula fed baby or a baby who has started solids, just grab a piece of toilet paper and scrape it off into the toilet. Sounds gross, and being that it is poop you are dealing with, it really is kind of gross. I won't lie about it. But it is no more ucky than wiping your baby's tushy. Honest.
So what about rinsing and flushing the diaper in the toilet and wringing out, etc., etc. and all of those other fun things you hear about? Forget about it! We are not big fans of touching poop in this house, and we can only guess that you are probably not big fans either. There is no need to mess with poopy diapers. Just shake the poop and toss them in the pail! Then wash your hands. :)
When your diaper pail is full, empty it into your machine. Use your regular laundry detergent (do not use soap or fabric softener, as they cause your diapers to be less absorbant). Run through a full wash on cold. Run through a full wash on hot. Toss them in the drier or hang them on the line. That's it, that's all!
If you have a diaper that is stained, please do not use bleach. Bleach will eat away at your diapers. When you take a clean, but stained, diaper out of the washer hang it out to dry in the bright sun. Sunlight is a wonderful stain remover. For a super pesky stain, spot clean it with lemon juice and then hang it in the sun to dry.
2-3 loads of laundry a week is all it takes to wash your baby's diapers. That's about 25 minutes of effort a week to keep your baby in soft stretchy breathable cotton, instead of plastic and paper. It is do-able!