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How to wash your cloth nappies in 5 steps

One of the most common questions when changing to cloth nappies is how to deal with dirty nappies. As mums, we are also worried about adding more housework to our daily routine. Rafa went through those same concerns when preparing to become a mum. She decided to start with disposable bamboo nappies and then try cloth nappies. But when she started using cloth nappies, she got surprised how easy it was to add nappies into her baby’s pile of dirty clothes.

Australian Nappy Association designed an easy 5 steps guide to help you deal with cloth nappies. So, we are going to use it as a guide and add our experience to each of those steps.


1. Flush
Flush solids into the toilet.
Well, a newborn has a water-soluble poo if breastfed or formula fed. That means it is easy to handle as you don’t need to flush a solid or runny poo into the toilet.
When your baby starts to do a pasty or more solid poo, there are few tips on how to flush the poo into the toilet. You can use a nappy spray to help you spray the poo off literally. You can also shake it off using a spatula to help you.
The most convenient and popular solution is to use liners. You can place the liner sheet on top of the nappy insert as it will keep most of the poo out of the insert. Then you can quickly drop the poo into the toilet and discard the liner into your toilet bin. We do not recommend flushing the liner, even if you use the “flushable” claimed liners. Depending on the region you live in, you can get a clogged pipe or help the formation of a giant fatberg (as we’ve seen in the news).

2. Store
It is recommended to give your nappy a quick rinse to dilute wee and avoid any damage from acidic wee and cut down on the smell. After that, you pop it in a dry pail. You can dry pail in your nappy bucket or wet bag. We highly recommend an open bucket or a bucket lid with holes so the air can circulate - no, you are not turning the whole room into a smelly one.

3. Pre-rinse
It is recommended you wash the nappies every two days. When you are ready to wash them, remove boosters and inserts from covers, pop them into the washing machine and set up a warm pre-rinse cycle.

4. Wash
The recommended temperature is up to 60 degrees Celsius, following your preferred detergent manufacturer instructions for the detergent amount. We prefer natural detergents, but this is a personal choice. We don't recommend using detergents that contain bleach, fabric softeners, whiteners or vinegar pre-rinse, particularly when used on soiled nappies. These chemicals can reduce the lifespan of your nappies and reduce their absorbency.

5. Dry
For the inserts and boosters, we highly recommend you line dry, as the sun is a great bleacher and sanitiser. If you cannot line dry, use tumble-dry on delicate option.
For the covers, shade line dries only, ensuring patterned side faces upwards. This will help to keep your nappy print brand new for longer.

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