Nappy cleaning can seem the most daunting task when starting out with reusable cloth nappies but you learn what to do very quickly. There is nothing more satisfying than a lovely line full of beautiful clean nappies!
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Firstly you always need to follow the manufacturer instructions on the nappy label otherwise you may void your warranty.
It is so important to wash your nappies properly to ensure they last and stay absorbant, especially if you plan on using them for another child.
Soiled nappies do not need to be steeped in any kind of solution. The best way to keep them until wash day is to put them in a “dry pail”. This is essentially a bucket with a lid or a wet nappy bag.
Top Tip Ensure any aplix/velcro tabs on nappies are stuck down as they can get caught and stick to fibres or stitching and damage the nappies.
Babies who are not yet weaned have water soluble stools so these nappies can go into your machine without any extra rinsing. Using a fleece or disposable liner can help to protect poo from getting stuck on the nappy if your baby is on solids. Simply flush the poo and dispose of the liner in the bin or put it in your bucket/wet bag. If you have any solid stool stuck on your nappy it is a good idea to rinse it as you don’t want it in your machine.
Load your machine up with your nappies, if you don’t have enough nappies for a full load add some extra items in, such as hand towels or muslins. Ideally you want the machine 3/4 full when wet. Avoid bed sheets or big towels as nappies may get wadded up and not clean properly.
- Do a short pre-wash or rinse and spin before doing your main wash. If doing a pre-wash ensure the water drains away and fresh water is used for the main wash
- Use an non-bio powder and absolutely NO fabric softner. Softner coats your nappy fibres which will reduce absorbancy.
- Follow the instructions on your detergent for your type of water and heavy soiled loads.
- Choose a setting that uses as much water as possible and is a 2-3 hours cycle eg. cottons. Wash at 60 and no more than 1000rpm (unless otherwise stated on your nappy label!).
- To ensure all the detergent is well washed out do another 1 or 2 rinse and spin cycles, you dont want any detergent bubbles remaining.
Line drying is the best for nappies, other options are indoors on a airer, in an airing cupboard and some nappies can be tumble dried on low heat (not recommended for regular drying as it may damage elastics and PUL).
Do not place nappies directly onto heat sources as the delicate natural fibres may become damaged. If you find nappies have got a bit hard after drying just give them a rub together and that helps to soften them.
As soon as baby pee’s on them they will soften up again anyway. Ideally you don’t want to leave nappies any longer than 3 days without being washed as ammonia can build up.
So that’s it, some tweaking here and there may be required but once you get into the swing of things it’s really simple. I personally love washing nappies!