How to Boil Diaper Inserts

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Before we even get started with how to do this there are some things that need to be said up front.

  1. NOTHING with SNAPS or PUL/TPU fabric can be prepped by boiling.
  2. DO NOT boil synthetic fibers
  3. This method is for NATURAL fibers that do not have snaps or PUL/TPU such pre-folds, flats, inserts, boosters, etc.

Why do natural fiber diapers need to be prepped anyway? Well, if not they will repel water like pictured below with these brand new Smart Bottoms Too Smart Inserts. The natural fibers have natural oils that need to be washed out before they can become absorbent. In a way, it reminds me of how a duck’s feathers repel water. DSC_0007.JPG

What you need: For boiling diapers/inserts you need a gigantic pot (similar to that of a witches cauldron), a drop of dawn dish soap, some natural fiber diapers/inserts, and water.  DSC_0050.JPG

What you need to do:

  1. Fill up your pot with water. Turn the heat on to your stove and wait a million minutes for it to begin to boil. DSC_0010.JPG

2. Once the water is boiling, add a small squirt, more like a drop or two, of Dawn, and your inserts/diapers. (best done in small batches, this is 3 inserts)

3. Reduce the heat slightly and boil for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. It is just like boiling lasagna noodles. 15 minutes should give you perfect “al dante” diapers…only they won’t really be al dante, they will just be prepped.

4. Rinse and wring to get out the dish soap.

5. Wash with a normal cycle of diapers or regular laundry.

6. They should be good to go!


This shows how the water immediately soaked into the insert after it was boiled for 15 minutes and washed once. This was my first time boiling inserts and I was shocked! I am a lazy diaper prepper and usually this would have taken me a month to get done by washing multiple times.


Since I knew the inserts were prepped, I grabbed a dry one and put it in a Smart Bottoms Too Smart Cover and put it on my baby. I was impressed by how trim it was.




If you are interested in purchasing similar inserts, covers, or exploring other cloth diapers check out Kelly’s Closet.

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