Cloth Diapers – Line Drying VS Drying in the Dryer

Hello everyone. I hope you are all well. M is doing much better with the medicine they prescribed him at the ER.

As I have been spending my day (and night now too) rewashing diapers with a bit of bleach(I hate bleach) to kill the infection my son has (why we were in the ER and he is on medication) it got me thinking of a subject I seem to see pop up often on cloth diaper groups or in general when I bring up that we cloth diaper M. “Why dry the diapers on the line versus dry the diapers in the dryer”

So I figure I would put my hat in the ring and voice my opinion for why I prefer to air dry my son, M’s, diapers on the line or drying rack instead of drying them in the dryer.  I mean they both get the job done but there are some specific pros and cons to both processes.

Cloth Diapers - Line Drying Versus Drying in the dryer



  • Prolong the  life of diaper’s elastics-

The excessive heat from the dryer will slowly ruin the elastics in the diaper and line drying avoids said heat and thus will help your elastics last longer. The reason this is important is because the elastics help keep the areas around your baby’s legs and waist snug without being too tight or too loose thus preventing the dreaded POOPSPLOSIONS. Dun-dun-dun. And trust me if you haven’t experienced one yet you do not want to. 

  • Prolong the life of PUL-

This is very similar to the issues with elastics and heat. The PUL can slowly crack or delaminate (process in which the waterproof layer separates from the outer fabric) over time when you dry them in the dryer. This is especially true with the cheaper diapers. So line drying them really helps prolong the water resistancey (is that a word? I don’t think it is. Oh well. ) of the diapers. 

  • Line Dry  smell-

Maybe this is just me but I absolutely love the smell of clothes that were hung out to dry on the clothes line. I think it smells great, and diapers are just the same I love that freshly line-dried smell when stuffing and folding diapers.

  • Removes stains-

This is an amazing plus to line drying diapers. It can remove stains. I know it may sound like magic but it isn’t . The rays from the sun bleach out any stains when you hang wet diapers out to dry. I was skeptical until I tried it. Sadly I haven’t taken any pictures but I will have to do that the next time I have stains (it doesn’t happen often).

  • It is fun to look at-

I know this may sound stupid but I love watching the diapers dry on the line. They look awesome  all hung up in a line. You can see all the different types and colours, and patterns. It is just very pleasing to look at. I know I am not the only one with this though. I am a member of many cloth diaper groups and I have seen my share of people showing off their line drying diapers.


  • The occasional bug-

This doesn’t bother me and very rarely happens but sometimes when you bringing the diapers you once in a while bring in a little bug friend. I normally just take them back outside.

  • Takes longer-

This is one downfall and the biggest reason I sometimes dry my son, M’s, diapers in the dryer instead of on the line. Sometimes he just needs clean dry diapers sooner than they would be dry. In that case I dry them in the dryer just to have them done in time.



  • Faster-

There may be more Pros, but at this point I can’t think of any others at this point. As I said above this is normally the only reason I do dry diapers in the dryer on the rare occasion that I do.


  • Wears out elastics faster-

Not only does the dryer dry the diapers faster it also wears the elastics down faster. The elastic fibers break apart and they relax. This can cause the diapers not to fit properly and to leak terribly. And I am sure no one wants that. Another reason you want to save your elastics as long as possible is they are normally really annoying to replace yourself or to find someone to replace and in that case it is also more expensive.

  • Wears out the PUL faster-

The same as the heat damaging the elastics it can also cause the PUL (Polyurathane Laminate) fabric to delaminate. This is where the water resistance layer separates from the outer fabric. This can cause leaking. The heat can also cause cracking sometimes as well which also can lead to leaky diapers, and no one wants that. Now, this is more common in cheaper diapers but has been known to happen in the brand name diapers here and there.

  • Doesn’t remove stains-

Going off from the Pro list for line drying, drying in the dryer is the complete opposite. It can often set stains where as line drying can remove stains. And let’s face it most f us wouldn’t want to have our kids wear stained up diapers.

  • You have to wait to stuff the diapers until they cool-

This is not a huge deal but for those with young kids in diapers sometimes you only have a small window of time to get all the things done you need to get done for the day. So having to take the diapers out of the dryer and just let them sit until they cool to stuff them can get a bit annoying and you may have to wait even longer if your little one suddenly needs you again before they cool.

Now, there may be more pros and cons for each of these but these are my pros and cons. I just love the process of hanging up the diapers outside on the line. It is nice to get out in the sunlight too, which can also help with PPD a tiny bit.

I  also love the way they look on the line. I sometimes order them a certain way just to give it a little more pattern. This may be weird but I don’t care I love it. Heheh. It may just be my background in art.  I also have very fond memories of helping my Grandmother hang the clothes out on the line as a child so that might factor in as well.

I even line dry inside during the winter. I use this folding drying rack, and point this fan towards to help speed up the process a bit. When I do that I just dry the inserts, flour sack towels, and prefolds in the dryer because they take so long. I also turn the AIO diapers inside out to dry because the inside takes longer than the outside to dry.

Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.


Thank you,

The Momnipresent Mother

2 thoughts on “Cloth Diapers – Line Drying VS Drying in the Dryer”

  1. Idk why it would be a deal breaker for stains in diapers💁 I mean they do happen and even if they were line dried they don’t always come out. I have some diapers that are stained and this doesn’t really bother me at all. Poop happens and doesn’t always come out. As far as the diapers in the dryer I have pockets that have lasted me almost 2 years in the dryer with no delamination or bad elastic I had the opposite issue of a diaper that was line dried only amd it delaminated terribly. So probably what it breaks down to is personal preference on how you do the diaper laundry and either way is fine.

    1. Stains don’t really bother me but I know some people who are really weird about the diapers not being perfectly white. They do look nice all white and bright though. 🙂 Especially hanging on the line. I tend to dry mine in the dryer more now than I used to but some of my cheaper brand diapers I try not too but they have the cheaper but still usable PUL and are more prone to delamination. Also I have had some diapers the same brand and washed and dried the same and one delaminated very quickly and the other is still going strong. Sometimes you also can just get a bad batch of PUL. Most of the time the company you bought it from will replace it or give you some sort of compensation if you contact them. I like how crisp my Flour sack towels are right off the line though. They fold so nicely, otherwise I tend to leave them in the dryer too long and they are all wrinkled, which won’t affect the usability just doesn’t lie as flat in the diapers.

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