1. Pre-Wash: Pre-wash cold or warm to ensure you are not trying to clean in soiled water. Some people use the pre-rinse setting and spin out the water prior to the main wash. If you live in an area with hard water (most of Reno and Surrounding areas) should consider using a pre-wash or quick wash with line 1+ of detergent.
2. Wash: Heavy Duty wash with full amount of detergent (what the manufacturer suggests). Use from Line 2 to the full scoop of detergent in the main wash, and add any water softeners or boosters as necessary at this time. (You can find out if you need water softeners by testing your water, homedepot carries strips to test your water) Select the wash cycle that will give you the hardest agitation for the longest time.
3. Rinse: Follow with 1-2 extra rinses
4. Dry. Dry in the dryer or hang dry.
It's perfectly safe for the PUL to dry in the dryer. WARNING: Do not to stretch elastic while it's hot as it will relax it. Let your diapers cool before stuffing them. Wool Dryerballs will help keep them soft and dry them faster too!
If you hang dry, do so in a way that puts less stress on the elastics, as the weight of a heavy wet diaper pulling them down can prematurely relax them (especially if drying in the heat.) Hanging by the middle or by the sides will help relieve the elastics from the full weight of the wet diaper. If your diapers feel stiff after hanging to dry, you can throw them in the dryer for 10-15 minutes to fluff them (wool dryer balls will help with this process).
DO NOT USE fabric softeners: This can cause repelling among other issues with your diapers. However, if a dryer sheet accidentally makes its way into a load of diapers, don't be alarmed. A single exposure to synthetic fabric softener or a dryer sheet will not ruin your diapers. Test an insert to see if it will properly absorb (if it's synthetic, just press your hand down on it and let the water run through.) If there is repelling, simply wash the diapers again with a hot wash and detergent.
Properly cleaning your cloth diapers is very simple and easy. You should not be using too little detergent in too much water. Properly cleaned diapers will never smell after washing, will not repel liquids, and will not cause rashes or burns on your baby. If you find yourself needing to strip or bleach your diapers due to any of these issues, it is an indicator that they are not properly cleaned and you need to change your wash routine. Properly cleaned diapers will not require stripping or bleaching.