Cloth Nappy Cleaning

How To Clean Your Cloth Nappies

Many people shy away from cloth nappies, believing them to be difficult to clean, but with the right techniques and guidelines, they are not only an environmentally-friendly choice but also very user-friendly.

We’ve come a long way from the washing techniques your parents may have used for you. There’s no soaking in buckets or scrubbing in sight, just a simple routine, and you’re all set!

If you have any other questions about caring for your Green Things products, contact us and we will be more than happy to help.

Before you begin cleaning your nappies

Wash your nappies before first use. Cloth nappy inserts should be washed several times before use to ensure improved absorbency. As they are not soiled, they can be washed with clothes.

*Absorbency will continue to improve over the first ten or so washes.

You will need:

  • 2 x dry pails (baskets or containers with lots of holes for airflow)
  • One dry pail is for storing your daily soiled nappies. The other is for storing nappies that have been pre-washed and are awaiting their main wash.

Cloth Nappy Wash Guide

Nappies With Dirty Solids

  • Remove inserts
  • Flush solids down the toilet and hand rinse (this is not necessary for breastfed or formula only babies as their waste is water soluble)
  • Add to dry pail

Nappies With Wee Only

  • Add straight to dry pail

Pre-Wash

  • Removes excess soiling/urine
    Every 1-2 days (daily is preferential)
  • Short cycle – 30-60 mins
  • Temperature - 40 - 60
  • Detergent: Use ½ the amount your detergent recommends for heavy soiling (refer to quantities on box/packet).
  • Load: Any quantity is fine
    Add pre-washed nappies into the second dry pail bucket

Main Wash To Clean Cloth Nappies

To ensure your nappies are deeply cleaned

  • Every 2-3 days
  • Add all pre-washed nappies from the past few days
  • Long cycle – minimum 2 hours
  • Temperature - 40 - 60
  • Detergent: Use the amount your detergent recommends for heavy soiling (refer to quantities on box/packet).
  • Load: Ensure load is at least ¾ full, but also don't overload machine. You can use cloth wipes, tea towels, socks and underwear to help bulk up the load if required.

Drying Clean Cloth Nappies

  • Air dry is recommended.
  • Inserts can be tumble dried, although this will increase wear on the fabric (e.g. pilling).
  • Take care not to expose nappy shells or wet bags to high heat (from the hot sun or in a dryer on high heat setting), as this can damage elastics & the waterproof layer over time.

What detergent should I use?

What detergent should I use?

You'll find most mainstream detergents perfectly suitable for the task.

Here at Green Things, we use Omo and Biozet – and always keep an eye out for half-price specials at your local supermarket for a budget-friendly option!

Keep in mind that not all 'eco' detergents are up to the challenge of cleaning cloth nappies. However, brands like Dirt, Ecostore, and B Clean offer powders that are up to the task (they often get the best results when used at 60).

Can I leave my nappies for longer without washing them?

It's best not to leave your pre-wash any longer than two days and main wash any longer than four days to protect your nappies' longevity and prevent stains and ammonia build-up.

Following our guidelines will set you up for your best chance of success and save you from having to troubleshoot issues in the future.

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