No one wants a complicated wash routine and you don’t have to have one. Just about every diaper manufacture recommends the same wash instructions… cold rinse, hot wash (with a good detergent), and an extra rinse at the end.
The biggest mistake I see new parents making is not actually rinsing the diapers before washing. A presoak is not the same as pre rinse. Rinse means that it adds water, agitates and spins. This gets the bulk of yuk out prior to washing your diapers. If you don’t do this, you are basically washing your diapers with poop and pee, and they will not come out clean.
Second step is a hot wash. Follow instructions people. This doesn’t mean a sanitize cycle. A lot of new machines have sanitize or allergen cycles which is far too hot for most modern cloth diapers. This could potentially shorten the life of your elastic and waterproofing. Another note on the hot wash… Cloth diapers are NOT delicate and washing them as such won’t get them clean enough. Instead, choose options like heavy duty, bulky load and very soiled.
Ever heard that you should wash on the largest setting available? This is untrue. In order to insure the proper amount of agitation, diapers need to rub together, and this won’t happen if they are swimming in too much water. If load size is an option on your machine then choose a small load for a small load and large load for a large load.
The end spin matters. Some machines have a spin speed that you can choose. Diapers are super absorbent so use an extra high spin and you will notice your diapers dry much faster. If you are unable to choose then just ignore this step.
Adding an extra towel is silly. The only reason to do this is if you are washing a load of diapers that is too small to agitate on its own to get clean. The towel will give them something more to agitate on. Adding it so your machine will add more water is not necessary.
Remember: cold rinse, hot wash (with a good detergent), and an extra rinse at the end and keep it simple!
If you are still having trouble, consult a diaper expert. Call your manufacture or your local diaper store for troubleshooting. There are lots of variables including water type, washing machine brands and styles, diaper styles, fabrics and more. Be careful of consulting the internet because some information comes from inexperienced people. What might have worked for them might not work for you.