Caring for your cloth nappies
Ensuring that you are washing and caring for your cloth nappies correctly will help you keep them in great condition and ensure that they last you and your little one and provide enjoyment to you both.
Whilst we do always recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s guidance on washing your precious nappies, we have found that the following steps provide amazing results every time and have helped us keep our nappies in excellent condition.
Firstly, we always wash our nappies every other day – this avoids too large a load which can damage your washing machine and mean that your nappies have not been washed effectively. It is most effective to have your washing machine 1/2-3/4 full, this means the nappies get washed thoroughly and makes the washing more cost-effective. You can always add muslins/baby clothes/small towels to help bulk out the load if you don't have enough nappies on that wash day.
Ensure that nappies from overnight use are rinsed thoroughly in the morning, this is especially important when your little one is teething. We do this before placing the nappy in the nappy bucket/bag.
If your child has reached the wonderful stage of solid poo these will need to be scraped off the cloth and rinsed before being put in the washing machine. After a few weeks of this you’ll be actively encouraging them to poo on a potty to save this delightful job.
Always ensure that if your nappies have Velcro fixings on them that these are safely closed to avoid any damage in the wash.
We use a washing net in our nappy bucket which then gets placed in the washing machine machine. This is an open ended net, which allows the nappies freedom of movement to make sure they agitate enough to be washed thoroughly.
Our nappies are run through a rinse program in the machine firstly, always with the spin speed no higher than 1000rpm as anything higher can damage leg and waist elastics.
For washing we use a nonbio powder which we place direct in the drum with the nappies. We then run the longest wash on our machine at 60degrees with extra rinse cycles run at the end to ensure that there is no washing powder residue left in the nappies. You do not need to do extra rinse cycles, we do this due to sensitive skin. Again always spinning at 1000rpm or lower. Due to the length of the cycle we have found it useful to run this overnight, this also maximises potential outside drying time.
To dry the nappies we always try to line dry outside. This saves money and electricity as we are then not running the tumble dryer constantly, it also saves the nappies as some fibres can be removed from the nappies by the dryer. The other benefit of drying in the sunshine is the bleaching effect that sunlight has on the fabric which helps remove any remaining stains.
The final part of the washing, which our toddler loves is to help fold the nappies and put them away ready for his next use.