Cloth Nappy Washing Guide

Step 1 remove solids:

  • Hold your nappy or liner over the toilet and shake to remove solids.
  • You may need to spray with a shower head if the deposits are very stubborn. 
  • Top tip! Pre-weaned baby poo is water soluble and doesn't require removing prior to washing.

Step 2 store nappies for washing:

  • Store your used nappies in a dry pail until you're ready to wash a load. You can use a bucket with a lid, a laundry basket with airflow holes or a wet bag.
  • Remove nappy fasteners from flat terry squares.
  • Seal any velcro closures on the widest setting and undo any poppers.
  • You should not wet pail or pre-soak your nappies as this can damage the elastics and waterproof fabrics.
  • Your nappies can stay in the dry pail for up to three days, any longer can damage the fabrics from ammonia build up.

Step 3 rinse:

  • When you have a full load (roughly 3/4 of your washing machine drum) put your nappies onto a 'cold rinse' or 'quick wash' cycle in the washing machine.
  • Do not use detergent at this stage.
  • This stage removes any remaining solids and ensures your main wash isn't a 'poop soup'.
  • Don't choose a prewash cycle as they often hold and reuse the water.

Step 4 wash:

  • Run a 2 hour 40° wash, this is normally your cotton cycle, do not use any eco settings on your machine for this cycle.
  • Add a heavy soiling dose of powder detergent based on your machine size and how full it is. For example if your machine is half full use half a dose of powder, this is to avoid excessive suds.
  • Do not use fabric softener as this reduces the absorbency of the nappies.
  • If your machine was underfilled you can add extra items for example cloth wipes, muslins and bibs to balance the drum. 

Step 5 dry:

  • Ideally dry your nappies outdoors on the washing line in direct sunshine.
  • Alternatively dry indoors on an airer with plenty of airflow. You can stand the airer near a radiator, but do not put the nappies directly onto the radiator.
  • Do not tumble dry your cloth nappies.