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Washing cloth nappies

# Step 1 - Store soiled nappies

Once a nappy has been used, simply take the nappy apart and pop it into a nappy bucket or a waterproof bag until wash day. There is no need to soak modern cloth nappies.

# Step 2 - Load the machine

Put the laundry mesh or wet bag containing soiled nappies into the machine.

# Step 3 - Cold rinse cycle

Run a cold rinse cycle. This will rinse off most of the mess and helps eliminate stains and odours. Rinse cycles are not normally longer than 15 minutes.

# Step 4 - Wash cycle

Wash nappies at 40 or 60 °C depending on manufacturers' instructions.

Washing at 40°C will use less energy and prolong the life of the nappies. Washing at 60°C destroys more bacteria. A 40°C wash is adequate for the most part. You should choose the longest cycle you can find on your washing machine. Nappies are heavily soiled items and therefore need a long deep wash.

# Step 5 - Dry

The best way to dry cloth nappies is by hanging them outside in the sun and natural air. The sun will also help as it acts as a natural bleacher and will keep you nappies and inserts nice and white. If this is not possible, the next best thing is to dry them on a rack inside. Tumble drying on a low setting can also be an option if you are tight on space or time however always check manufacturers' instructions first.

Useful tips:

  • Use powdered detergent. Gel washing liquids can decrease absorbency.

  • Non-bio detergent is advised for washing nappies and babies' clothes in general. It is gentler on babies' sensitive skin.

  • Use around half to full dose of detergent for one wash.

  • Never use fabric softener as this can affect absorbency.

  • Dark or strong colours should be washed separately for the first few of washes.

  • Some washing machines have a baby and toddler setting which is an intensive wash program followed by several rinses to make sure that the majority of the detergent is removed following the wash.

  • New cloth nappies should be washed once or twice before first use as this will increase absorbency. Some materials, such as bamboo, can take up to six washes to reach their full absorbency. You can still use the nappies but might need to change them more often until they reach maximum absorbency.