My Green Nappy Discovering Modern Cloth Nappies and Eco-Friendly Disposable Nappies

August 10, 2010

How Do I Wash My Cloth Nappies?

The Sponsors of the first Green Promise Nappies are your Nappy Doulas for this series of ‘Congo Questions’.

The Winter Sponsors of the 100 Green Promise Nappies Initiative were invited to contribute to this series of Congo Questions. Each donated a special cloth nappy to go out as a giveaway prize to become an ambassador for ‘Nappy Change’ as it stopped a disposable heading to landfill each time it is worn. This seasonal giveaway strives to reach 100 donated nappies in a future round, and you can register at any time to either play in the current giveaway (they go for 6 weeks at the start of each season) or register to be notified when the next round is set to begin! You can enter into the draw for one nappy, or all of them!

Winter Green Promise Nappy Sponsors – Congo Advice #10

“How do I wash my cloth nappies?”

You’ll see a wonderful range of responses, and no doubt will gain a perspective on the question that relates well to your situation and needs. No-one sees what anyone else contributes until it is published here. This is what your Nappy Doula’s have to say:

Amanda from Sweet Bubba Eco Store:

Wash cloth nappies in warm water about 40 degrees. Don’t put too many nappies in one cycle and make sure the water level is set to high. Use 1/3 to 1/2 the usual amount of detergent and give them a rinse cycle at the end to make sure there isn’t any residue. For best results hang in the sun until they are completely dry.

Janine from Ninky Bear:

If they haven’t been rinsed before putting in the bucket, give them a rinse, wash them with a quarter of the amount of detergent than you would normally use, on cold or warm, whtaever you prefer. Try to use an eco friendly detergent, or something that is good for sensitive skin. (because other detergents may damage your nappies) Then hang them up to dry!

Emma from Brindabella Baby:

When changing nappies, I tip any solid waste in the toilet.
I do a pre-wash rinse to get rid of any solid waste left behind. Then wash with your normal laundry detergent (in cold water if the detergent is suitable), no fabric softener as it leaves a water- resistant coating on fabrics, and line dry.
I pull the inserts out of pocket nappies after the nappies are washed, when I’m hanging them out.
On a wet winter day, I hang nappies on a drying rack inside. If there’s not enough room or time, I tumble dry just the inserts and fitted nappies, and dry pocket outers and covers on a rack.
Line drying is worth the extra five minutes, as it fades light stains and helps give nappies a fresh scent. It also gives the kids an excuse for a little more fresh air, and they’re often happy to help.

Cassandra from New Age Nappies:

I dry pail then straight into the machine (I have a front loader) with 1/4 the amount of detergent required – try to get one without oil based products.

Kyra from E-Weez:

We recommend dry-pailing. Simply remove any solids into the toilet and put the dirty nappy into a bucket until you do a wash, make sure you don’t leave dirty nappies for more than two days.

You can wash your nappies on a normal cold, warm or hot wash, use a third of the recommended amount of detergent and don’t use any fabric softener, bleach, enzyme-based or ‘soap’ products. An extra rinse at the end of the wash will help ensure all the detergent is removed. Stains can be removed by hanging your nappies in the sun – sunshine is a natural bleacher and sanitiser!

Cindy from Ticklefish Tots:

Washing Modern Nappies is easy. Simply dispose of any solid waste, give the nappy and booster a quick rinse, then dry pail your nappies (place them in a dry bucket) until you have enough to make up a load of washing. Put them into the washing machine, using about a quarter of the washing powder or detergent that you would use for a regular load and wash! Be sure not to use any fabric softeners of bleaches (including stain removers) as these can build up residue on your nappies, making them less absorbent and therefore less effective.

Kyra from Bubbalooba:

Washing is so easy – just throw in the washing machine with some half-strength washing detergent (you can buy many environmentally friendly washing “ingredients” such as soapnuts, soon to be available in our store) and hang on the line to dry.

The sun will get rid of any stains or odours! Try not to use fabric softener, vinegar, or Napisan, as these products can damage the nappy fabrics.

Nicole from Krap Katchers:

Gone are the days of using harsh chemicals and soaking for days with cloth nappies. If anyone tries to tell you different Pfft to them, times change! The process is really simple:

1. After use, remove any chunky bits and flush down the toilet.

2. Take stuffing out of the pockets and stick them both in a dry nappy bucket. Soaking of MCN is not advised nor necessary.

3. Cold/Warm wash the nappies with 1/4 to 1/2 the detergent you would normally use.

4. Dry out in the sun, with the lining facing towards the sun. The sun is great at removing any stains!

A few extra tips 🙂

  • Do not use bleach, vinegar or other soakers as with continued use it can cause the nappy materials to weaken, as can dryer use.
  • To keep your nappies in beautiful show off condition, before you wash, do up the side straps and then turn the lining to face outwards.

Jacquie from Cheeky Cherubs:

Washing your nappies shouldn’t be hard at all. If you have rinsed them, placed them into a dry bucket, then all you need to do at wash time is tip the bucket into the washing machine, add a little washing powder or soapnuts and press start!

I highly recommend using Flushable Bioliners to make cleaning poo nappies so much easier. All you need to do is place the whole flushable liner along with the poo into the toilet. It is a good idea to give your nappies a ‘double rinse’ occasionally too.

A simple explanation is on my blog here: How should I wash the nappies? Is it hard?

To wash, simply:

Drypail – clean/wash off solid matter first into the toilet before storing in a dry pail

Cold pre-rinse – dilutes urine

Machine wash between 40º-60ºC

Line dry (recommended) or use dryer on low setting

Pre-stuff pockets, match boosters to nappies and they’re ready to use again

Thank you to all our nappy doula’s for their contributions,

I am sure you have gained new insights from their experience.

– Your Nappy Doulas –

This is part of a regular series of articles that offer you an insight into the beliefs, concerns, knowledge and wisdom of Mums making and selling modern cloth nappies in Australia and New Zealand.

Discover More from Your Nappy Doulas…

P.S There is a question at the bottom of each of these features. Join in the conversation and share your own experiences and stories with us…

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A question to you about your cloth nappy washing routine:

What do you do? Do you have any extra tips or ideas to share?

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