Welcome to the world of cloth nappy care! Proper washing techniques are essential to keeping your cloth nappies clean, fresh and in optimal condition. Our below guidelines will help provide you with the knowledge and tools to understand the best practices for washing to ensure the longevity and performance of your cloth nappies.
1. Remove soiling
- Knock any solids into the toilet, remove inserts and then give the nappy a rinse under the laundry tap if required.
- If your baby is exclusively breast fed or for nappies that are not soiled, there is no need to rinse the nappy, just simply remove the inserts from the shell.
2. Dry pail
- Place nappies into a dry pail (essentially an open and airy basket) for up to 2 days.
3. Pre wash
- Every 1-2 days, pre wash nappies at 40 - 60 degrees on a quick 30-60 minute cycle with a half dose of good quality detergent.
- If you use night nappies, you will need to run a pre wash daily - ideally in the morning once you've taken the night nappy off.
- After the pre wash has finished, pop those nappies back into a different dry pail awaiting the main wash (see below).
- The pre wash serves a vital purpose: to eliminate the majority of soiling from the nappies, ensuring they are primed and mostly clean for the main wash cycle. It means when it comes to doing the main wash, they're being washed in cleaner water and not a 'nappy soup'.
4. Main wash
- Every 2-3 days, wash nappies that have accumulated in the pre washed pail.
- Wash at 40 - 60 degrees on the longest cycle your machine will allow* with a full dose of good quality detergent.
- *Usually 2 - 3 hours for a front loader and 1 - 1.5 hours for a top loader
- Line or tumble dry inserts (on low setting)
- Line dry shells/covers in shade
- While it is possible to tumble-dry shells and inserts on a low heat setting, it's important to note that relying on a dryer may accelerate the natural wear and tear of your nappies.
Frequently Asked Questions
No need for any extra effort here! Simply run them through a cycle before using your cloth nappies to eliminate any manufacturing residue. While the absorbency of the inserts will improve after approximately 6 to 8 washes, there is no requirement for multiple washes or soaking prior to use. Rest assured that even though they may not reach their maximum absorbency right away, they are still ready for use.
You may find it hard to believe, but no it doesn't! If you do encounter any unpleasant smells, it may indicate an issue with your washing routine so please feel free to contact us for assistance in reviewing it if this occurs.
Bacteria buildup, which can lead to odors, occurs when there is insufficient airflow. By using an open and airy basket, you stop the buildup of bacteria ensuring a fresh and odor-free cloth nappy experience.
The pre wash stage plays a crucial role by effectively removing the majority of soiling from the nappies, ensuring they are prepared and mostly clean for the main wash cycle. By incorporating this separate pre-wash step, you can optimize the cleanliness and effectiveness of the subsequent main wash, resulting in fresh and thoroughly cleaned cloth nappies for your little one.
The "pre-wash" is not a dedicated cycle on your washing machine but rather a regular shorter cycle that precedes the main wash, which is a longer and more thorough cleaning cycle.
Soaking nappies is no longer necessary and can actually create an environment conducive to bacterial growth. This practice also poses risks to the PUL (polyurethane laminate) of the outer nappy and the elastics that are enclosed within the shell. Soaking can compromise the integrity and lifespan of these components, leading to potential issues with leakage and durability. It is recommended to avoid soaking nappies to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the outer shell and elastics.
Summary of Washing Guidelines
Enhance your cloth nappy care routine with our convenient downloadable summary of washing guidelines. This resource provides you with a quick reference to keep your cloth nappies spotless and fresh.
Click on the link below to download your copy!