If you think of what a cloth nappy goes through – it works hard. It is used to catch wees and poos then tucked away until wash day. To get the most out of your cloth nappies - treat them well.
Be realistic about what you think your nappies will look like over time. They will start to wear and may have stains, or start to “grey” . This doesn’t mean they are “dirty” or a manufacturer fault, they just work hard. Have realistic expectations of how long your nappies should last.
- Before you use your nappies, soak them in cold water for 24 hours and then wash or wash three times. This will make them more absorbent.
- If you have purchased prefolds, they will arrive looking like stiff linen, nothing like the soft, quilted cotton nappies you will be expecting. Wash on their own three times and they will shrink to size, fluff up and become wonderfully soft and absorbent
- Whenever you can – line dry your nappies. Sunlight sanitizes and bleaches stains out naturally.
- Always follow the wash care instructions on the care label because the manufacturer will have tested different washing scenarios.
- Put the dirty nappy in a pail (we recommend a Snazzipants Nappy Pail. A waterproof bag with a large handle to hang on your laundry door. Saves having buckets on the laundry floor. If you wish you can add a little baking soda to keep your pail fresh or a little tea tree oil on a piece of cloth or a clean, flushable liner and pop into your pail.
- Be careful with barrier creams as they can coat the nappy fibres and reduce their absorbency. If you do use a barrier cream, always use a liner.
- If your nappies have hook and loop laundry tabs, make sure you fold these over as this will stop them damaging other nappies in the wash.
- Shake off any solids into the toilet. Toddler and older baby poo usually falls right off the nappy. Younger babies' nappies may need a swish in water to get most of it off. (You can hold them under the flush). This is a lot easier of you use a liner. They help keep your babies bottom dry, protect your nappy from staining and makes it’s so easy to get rid of the poo from your nappy. If the liner is just wet, pop it into your rubbish bin as it is one less thing to flush.
- Use about half the recommended amount of detergent. Avoid products that are called 'soap' as these will cause build up on your nappies making them water resistant. Too much detergent is a common cause of rashes. An extra rinse at the end of the cycle will remove excess detergent. Be careful with eco-friendly powders as they often contain oils which can damage waterproofing on nappies.
- Make sure you wash every two days otherwise you increase the chance of your nappies becoming stained.
- Do not use fabric softeners
- Do not soak in harsh stain removers. Remember sunlight is great at natural bleaching.
- Don't use bleach
- Do not soak