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Cloth Diapers: Infection Control Considerations

Requirements for Child Care Centres

It is strongly recommended that used diapers and diaper pail/bag be sent home with each family on a daily basis for cleaning/washing at home.


  • Provide adequate storage space for used cloth diapers awaiting pick-up by parents.
  • Used diapers must be stored in a diaper pail with a childproof lid or leak-proof bag, and away from food storage/preparation/service areas and play areas and must not be accessible to children.
  • Label the parent supplied diaper pail/bag (one per child) designated for storage of used diapers. Cloth diapers should not be laundered at the child care centre.
  • Used cloth diapers (outer covering and liner) must be handled as little as possible to limit and prevent exposure to body fluids. Do not shake, scrape, or rinse the cloth diapers.
  • Store clean cloth diapers in a sanitary manner and separately from used diapers.

Hand Hygiene:

  • Staff must wash hands using liquid soap and warm running water before and after assisting with toileting/diapering. Alcohol based hand rub should not be used as hands may be soiled.
  • Single use disposable gloves must be worn when handling used diapers. Staff must wash their hands before and after putting on disposable gloves.

Requirements for Parents:

  • Parents should supply a diaper pail/bag with a tight fitting lid or one that is able to be covered/closed to prevent access.
  • Diaper pails must be:
    • Childproof (e.g., have a locking lid, stored out of reach of children)
    • Able to be cleaned and disinfected – items that are porous or absorbent are not acceptable
    • leak-proof to prevent exposure of body fluids and minimize contamination of the environment
  • Diaper bags (“wet bags”) must be:
    • Able to be stored out of reach of children
    • Able to be laundered. Items that are porous or absorbent are not acceptable
    • Water/leak-proof – made of nylon or laminated (polyurethane laminate (PU) waterproof fabric with laminate applied to the back to prevent contents from leaking)
    • Intended for the purpose of holding used cloth diapers (plastic grocery or non-waterproof bags are not acceptable)
  • Parents should clean and disinfect the diaper pail/bag at least daily once the used diapers have been removed and laundered.