Keep it simple, no bleach, no fabric softners!
Choose a cloth diaper safe detergent. We carry Eco's Free and Clear and Little Green Tree's Jack's Laundry Detergent, both of which is extremely affordable. "Baby" detergents, like Dreft, and other detergents with additives, optical whiteners or optical brighteners are not safe for your cloth diapers. Our detergents can be used for all your laundering needs with all types of water and machines, safe for the environment and your family.
Wash and dry new cloth diapers/inserts 6-8 times to remove chemicals and increase the absorbancy. Do not worry if you notice that your cloth diapers "quilt up" during this process. This is normal.
To extend the life of covers, hang them dry to ensure waterproofing ability and elastic.
Store dirty diapers in a dry pail (a trash can with a foot press works great) or hanging wet bag. A wet pail can be dangerous, messy, and a breeding ground for bacteria.
Remove inserts from pocket diapers and use aplix laundry tabs.
Knock any solids off into the toilet, for ease use a diaper sprayer. No need to remove breastfed poop.
Run a cold rinse on a high water level or large load setting with no detergent.
Run a hot wash with detergent followed by a cold rinse. For HE machines you may need to "trick" the cycle into thinking you need extra water by adding a soaked bath towel to the load.
Hang or lay dry all covers and wet bags, everything else can go in the dryer. AIOs, prefolds and hemp inserts may require extra drying time.
If you have problems with staining you can put the diapers in the sun for a natural bleaching even if it is through a window.