How to Wash Cloth Nappies – Step by Step Guide

Updated: Feb 10

Washing cloth nappies are a lot different than the way you wash your standard clothes. It is not necessarily complicated but different in the sense that there is a specific routine that you have to go through to do it effectively. Don’t worry if you find it a bit difficult. Once you get the hang of it, it will be much easier.

In this article, we are going to give you a complete guide for washing cloth nappies. We’ll tell you all you need to do, to wash the cloth nappies for your baby, in the most effective way.

So, let’s get straight to it;

Step 1: Tip the Solid Contents of Nappy in the Toilet

This is straightforward. If the poo is solid, tip it into the toilet. And if it is not flushable, then you may need to rinse it with water. There are some nappy sprayers also available that you can use for rinsing or holding it under the water stream as you flush the toilet can also work.

Step 2: Keep Storing the Nappies in a Bucket

Take a separate dry pail which is a bucket with a lid and keep storing the nappies in it. You can’t wash each one as they get dirty as there would be a million of them (or so it would seem). So, keep storing them in a bucket with a lid or large wet bag and wash them all together.

Step 3: Soaking is Not Necessary

Although most modern cloth nappies are made to be washed easily they do not like to be soaked before washing as it can break down the natural fibers of the material. But make sure to read the washing instructions we provide you for the brand. Bleach and added laundry whiteners can invalidate your warranties and also damage the natural fibers of your nappies.

Step 4: Wash the Nappies with Detergent

You should use fragrance-free and powdered detergent for washing the nappies. Don’t use fabric softeners as they reduce the absorption capabilities of cloth nappies. Similarly, it is important to ensure all the detergent has been removed from the nappies. While you will use a full dose of Detergent (use the heavily soiled amount) if your nappies still smell of washing powder you may need to do any extra rinse.

Step 5: Fill the Machine

Even though you may have a day or two worth of nappies to wash this is likely to only fill around a quarter to half of your washing machine. It is important there is enough in the machine to cause friction between the materials as they wash and get them clean. Overfull will mean your nappies don’t have enough space to move and the water won’t reach them well. We recommend filling your machine about three-quarters full by adding in baby clothes, muslins, and hand towels.

Step 6: Dry the Nappies

You can line dry or low tumble dry most nappies but avoid tumble drying waterproof wraps where they can be separated. Check the manufacturer's guidelines before tumble drying. Stains can be removed by drying your nappies on the line outside in the sunshine. Be aware not to leave them in the sun on extremely hot days for too long.

Wrapping Up

There you go! This is the most standard routine you need to get used to when washing cloth nappies. Sounds simple enough, right? And it really is. No matter how daunting it seems at first. You will get used to it so, don’t worry about it, especially if you are a new parent.

And if you have any more questions about How to Wash Cloth Nappies, let us know in the comments. We’d be happy to help you out.

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Norwich, Norfolk, England.