How to properly wash and take care of your reusable cloth nappies

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I am currently 37 weeks pregnant with baby number 3. My eldest is 10, my youngest is a couple of weeks off 7.

Modern cloth nappies were around when I had both kids but I was really freaked out by them. I didn't really know anyone else that had a baby when I had my first, and those that I did know, all used disposables. When my second came along, I knew more people that were having or had had babies, but again, reusables weren't something that were in my circle, and getting used to having 2 kids instead of just 1 consumed me.

I aimed to buy a box of nappies a month that were better for the environment but that's as far as I got.

Being quite a bit older this time, and having had a hell of alot of exposure to modern cloth nappies over the last couple of years, I am ready to give them a red hot go and my partner is in a space where he feels he can try them too. Definitely not going to work if only one of us is on the reusable train!

Saying that, we have some disposable nappies from both Ecoriginals and Haleco on hand for bubs while she's a newborn so we can work our way slowly into getting used to reusable nappies, plus I don't want to put too much pressure on us at the start, the easier we make it for ourselves, the more we're likely to keep up with it!

As i'm reading up on how to wash and look after the nappies, I thought it would be helpful to share this information with you all too! We currently have some newborn size reusable cloth nappies from Norah's Treasures and some one-size-fits-most reusable cloth nappies from Evia Nappies as we're not sure how little our bub will be. Evia nappies are designed so they can be made small enough to fit a newborn and then let out as bubs grows but we wanted to have some smaller ones on hand just in case.

How to wash and store nappies when soiled

(These instructions have come from the Evia Nappies Product Care page on their website)

Before using your new nappies for the first time, make sure to wash the nappy by removing the liner located in the nappy cover and wash in a standard wash, no need to use hot water or a certain length of wash for this first wash.

To help with washing and storing of soiled nappies, you'll need a few tools:

  • a tub big enough to hold a few nappies and that has holes to air the nappies (this is what's called dry pailing), such as a laundry basket;
  • a dish brush with silicone bristles to help scrub off any poo on the nappy before you wash it;
  • laundry liquid strong enough to wash the nappies properly such as Omo. You can use more natural detergents such as Kin Kin Laundry Liquid, you will just need to double the amount that you would usually use for a normal load

1. Once baby has soiled a nappy, you'll need to do one of two things:

Urine - separate the liner from the nappy cover and put in your dry pail tub;

Faeces - empty solids into the toilet, then separate the liner from the nappy cover and rinse the nappy cover to remove any excess bits, use your dish brush to help with this, then put in your dry pail tub.

Dry pailing (using a tub with holes) allows for proper ventilation and reduces smell and mould developing.

2. It is best to prewash nappies and inserts daily to remove stuck on bits and remove the bulk of wee and poo before you do your main wash. Put on a warm wash (around 60C but no no hotter) with about half of the laundry liquid you would use for a normal wash. It is also ideal to add a laundry booster at this stage too. This helps to reduce the formation of stains as well as reduce smell. No need to hang out to dry once the wash has finished, just pop back in your dry pail, ready for when you do your normal wash in 2/3 days time.

3. After prewashing a load on day 2/3, add the other prewashed nappies and inserts from your dry pail to the washing machine, aim for 3/4 full. Put on a longer/intensive cycle, use warm water (around 60C but no hotter), and use the recommended amount of laundry liquid for a normal wash.

4. It's best to then line dry your nappies as this helps ensure the nappies maintain their condition longer, however they can be tumble dried where necessary.

Clean Cloth Nappies is a wealth of information, check out their website or find them on Facebook should you have further or more specific questions.

I hope this information has helped and has reduced your reservations around modern cloth nappies, I know we're certainly more confident with using them now we know how to wash and store them.


Erin  X



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