Cloth Nappy Washing & Care
Prewash before Use: All nappies, wraps and boosters should be washed before use, firstly to remove any residues remaining after the manufacturing process and secondly to make the nappies and boosters absorbent (wraps don’t need this!). Most nappies need to be washed at least three times to achieve absorbency. Bamboo nappies can take at least 10 washes to be at maximum absorbency.
What Temperature?: Nappies do not have to be washed at 90 degrees and in fact washing at this temperature can ruin some nappies and destroy the waterproofing in the wraps.
Many people now wash their nappies at 40 or 30 degrees. A 60-degree wash or adding a nappy sanitiser to a 40-degree wash makes your nappies hygienically clean. Nappies should be sanitised if your baby is under three months of age, your baby is ill, the nappies are particularly soiled or if you are using the nappies on more than one baby. You can also use Rockin' Green which contains a sanitiser and works when washing at low temperatures or add a sanitiser such as MioFresh to your wash.
Washing Routine: Many people put the nappies through a pre-wash cycle to remove any soiling (this takes the place of wet pailing); make sure the pre-wash is at 60 degrees or less. At this stage, some people add more clothes to the wash, before running a normal cycle at 60 degrees or less. Some people also run an extra rinse cycle to make sure the nappies are detergent-free. If you reduce the amount of detergetnt you use, then you shouldn't have to do this.
Soaking Wraps: Wraps should not be soaked and can be washed with your nappies.
Fabric Softener: Never use fabric softener when washing your nappies as this coats the nappies and decreases their absorbency.
Drying: Line dry where possible. Nappies and wraps can be tumble-dried on low (higher for cotton nappies) but please remember that this weakens the fibres of the fabric and can reduce the life of all nappies and wraps.
Manufacturers' Instructions: Please always refer to the manufacturers’ advice for washing and caring for your nappies.
If you’d like more detailed information then have a look at Bummis Very Simple Washing Instructions.
For care of your bumGenius nappies, refer to their website.
For care of your TotsBots nappies, refer to their website
Use a non-bio detergent which does not contain enzymes, bleach and other harsh stain removers: see our list of recommended detergents below. Use a half to a third of the recommended amount when using a general non-bio detergent.
We recommend the following detergents as they do not contain additives that can build up in the nappies and wraps:
- Rockin' Green – specially formulated to wash nappies; use 1TB per wash
- Ecoballs/Aquaballs – do not use with bamboo nappies
- Bio-D Washing Powder
- Tots Bots Potion
- Faith in Nature Clear Spring Laundry Liquid
We also recommend the following nappy sanitisers:
- Bio-D Nappy Fresh
- Bambino Mio MioFresh – use sparingly
- OneLife Pure – use sparingly
If you have any problems with leaking or detergent build-up, then please refer to our Tips & Troubleshooting Guide or the Residues Information. Funk Rock is especially formulated to clean stinky nappies.
In hard water areas some natural fabric nappies can become hard and ‘crunchy’. To soften your nappies, rub them together to reactivate the fibres. Alternatively put them in the tumble dryer for 10 minutes before hanging them out to line dry. One other unusual but effective way is to collect some rain water and soak your nappies in the rain water before putting them through a final spin in your washing machine.
If you need any more advice, then please call or email us or drop by and see us.