Diaper in the Washing Machine

Getting ready for a Closing the other day,  I thought I’d be proactive and get some laundry going before it was time to leave. I grabbed the baby’s hamper, tossed everything in the washer without hesitation and went about my merry way.

34 minutes and delicate cycle later, the familiar sound of Schubert’s “Die Forelle” signifies its time to switch the clothes to the dryer.


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I start taking a few things out and felt something fall on my foot. Thinking it was a bug I quickly jumped back and searched the floor…nothing….

Odd…but whatever. I continue to pass the items along and it happens again. That’s when I look down and realize its worse than a stray bug- I’ve accidentally washed a disposable diaper (insert facepalm and exasperated sigh)!


Diaper gel beads in washing machine after washing diaper
Diaper gel beads all over washing machine


Man oh man. Agitated, I tried to drum up from memory my next moves. (Bonus points if you caught that)

Proud to say I’ve only done this once before, and knew there was no need to panic. My precious washer was not going to be ruined, nor were the clothes, and the fix (although time consuming) is not difficult.


diaper gel beads on clothes after washing diaper in washing machine
Diaper gel beads all over clothes



First things first, wipe out the gel beads. Try to get as much as you can out. My washing machine is a front loader, so despite being dressed to the nines I was still able to squeeze in there and get the majority of the gel out. It’s going to spread like butter on a nooks and crannies English muffin but try your best. Take caution if you have a top loader, as trying to reach all the way to the bottom can obviously be slightly more dangerous.


washed a diaper in the washing machine diaper gel
Diaper gel in the nooks and crannies of the dryer.


Next, you’ll need to individually shake out each item. I’d highly suggest doing this outside unless you’d like to continue stepping on gel beads in your laundry room for the next several days. Make sure to toss out the culprit once it has been located as well.


After that, you can load everything back into the washer , and let it go through another full cycle.


Once that is completed, you see that the load has been fully cleaned, and your drum is sparkling clean again! Any leftover beads that may remain will get filtered through the dryer.


—On that note—


Make sure you clean your washer and dryer filters after the cycles have completed! Here is a video post of how I clean mine.


Quick recap when you’ve washed a diaper in the washing machine:
  1. *Carefully* wipe the gel beads out of the washer drum.
  2. Shake each item outside to get rid of the lingering beads.
  3. Wash everything again.


No need to panic. You’ve got this!

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