How to clean cloth nappies

When you're making the decision to use or switch to cloth nappies, the wash routine can seem daunting - we know, we've been there to. To make your life easier, and using cloth a no-brainer, we've simplified the process for getting sparklingly clean cloth nappies.

step 1 - dry pail

Remove nappy from baby's bottom. For wee only nappies, put straight into a dry pail (aka an open air basket). We recommend having two dry pails.

For poop nappies, tip into the toilet, rinse under hot water (definitely wear gloves for this), wring out as much water as possible and put in the dry pail.

Handy tip: Before your baby starts solids, you don't need to rinse off the poop as it is water soluble.

step 2 - pre wash

Every 1 or 2 days, put all nappies from your dry pail into the washing machine. We recommend running the washing machine on 40-60 degrees Celsius for 30-60 minutes, with half the recommended dose of detergent for heavily soiled laundry. Make sure you check the size of your washing machine and compare it to the detergent dosing recommendations provided on the back of the packet. If your machine is bigger than the recommended machine size, you'll need to adjust the dose.

Do not skip this step as it is designed to remove all of the grime before the main wash, and to keep that nasty ammonia at the hair salon, and not in your nappies. You wouldn't bathe in poop soup, so keep your nappies out of it too.

Once the pre-wash is finished, store the nappies in a second dry pail. You do not need to hang them out to dry.

Illustration of a washing machine with a half load of washing
Illustration of a washing machine with a full load of australian made cloth nappies
step 3 - main wash

Every 2 to 3 days, put all nappies which have been pre-washed into the washing machine. We recommend running the washing machine at 60 degrees Celsius for 2.5 to 3 hours, with the recommended full dose of detergent for heavily soiled laundry. Be sure to check the size of your machine and increase the detergent dose if it is greater than the machine size used to calculate the dosing guidelines by the manufacturer.

Yes, this may sound long, but you'll be left with brilliantly clean nappies, which will last for multiple children.

To achieve best results, fill the washing machine so that it is loosely full when dry. This will ensure adequate agitation without overloading. We recommend adding any other household laundry which is no bigger than the size of a tea towel. If you notice that your machine is filled with soap suds during the main wash, you may need less detergent. An excessive amount of suds can prevent adequate agitation.

step 4 - time to dry

Dry your cloth nappies by either hanging on the clothes line with a Loomey in the shade, or put in the tumble dryer on low heat.

For best results, we line dry all of our cloth nappies where possible. During the cooler months, consider using an indoor drying rack which you can move to an area around your home that catches the sun.

If your inserts are taking more than 24 hours to dry, we recommend adding extra inserts to your stash to avoid being caught short as the outer shell will always dry faster.

Hot tip: When your little one is old enough, let them help you hang them out. Not only do toddlers love to help, but it's a great way to incorproate some colour sorting and number learning acitivities. For us, we use it as an opportunity to actually drink a coffee that hasn't been re-heated 12 times and has gone stone cold.