How To Clean Cloth Nappies + Free Downloadable Cloth Nappy Washing Guide

Posted by Kyla Geen on

If you’re considering cloth nappies for your little one, or have just started your cloth nappy journey, you’ll probably be wondering about washing. Our most common questions include...
  • How will I clean my cloth nappies? 
  • Is it going to take more time?
  • Is washing cloth nappies hard?
We have good news, cleaning cloth nappies is way easier than you think - no soaking, scrubbing or special detergents required. This blog breaks it down to help you clean cloth nappies with ease. You can also find our EcoNaps Cloth nappy washing care guide here. Stick around to the end of the blog and grab our FREE cloth nappies washing guide download. This cheat sheet is perfect to put near your washing machine so everyone in the household can clean them with confidence. Every brand of cloth nappies will have slightly different instructions when it comes to washing (so please check the labels carefully), however, here are our recommendations to clean your EcoNaps brand cloth nappies. By following these instructions you will help preserve the quality, and extend the life of your EcoNaps cloth nappies.

Prepping Your Nappies

Before using cloth nappies for the first time, you need to wash them. Like any absorbent fabric, this first wash helps wear them in and prepare them for some thirsty work ahead. This doesn’t take long. See our simple 3 step process below. If you want to (or have time up your sleeve waiting for bubs) you can repeat these washing steps 2-3 times with your inserts to maximise absorption. 

  1. Soak your inserts overnight in warm water. 
  2. Wash both inserts & covers with mild detergent. 
  3. Completely (air) dry inserts and covers (in shade).

Washing Routine Basics  Here’s how to clean cloth nappies in 4 simple steps.

  1. Remove solids. Drop poo in the loo and store the used cloth nappy in a dry pail. 
  2. Pre-wash cycle. Run a pre-wash cycle 40-60 degrees with mild detergent daily, no bleach. This removes the majority of soiling and gets your nappies ready for the main-wash. Store nappies in a dry pail until the main wash.
  3. Main-wash cycle. Run a long main-wash cycle 40-60 degrees with mild detergent every 2-3 days. Do not use bleach, whiteners, boosters, softeners or oxidised bleach additives.
  4. Hang to dry. Air dry nappy shells in the shade by hanging the centre of the nappy crotch over the line to distribute weight evenly. Leave until they are completely dry. Air dry inserts and boosters until completely dry. If you want more drying tips, check out our 7 simple tips to help you dry cloth nappies, even in winter, here

A note on poo

Many first-time users of cloth nappies wonder what to do with poo, again, it’s not as bad as you might think - we have written a blog all about dealing with number twos here if you want a little extra guidance. For extra help making number two changes easier we recommend trying our Mess Free Compostable Liners.

Sample Washing Routine 

Families have a variety of washing routines to suit their lifestyle and preferences. You’ll soon develop your own rhythm that works best for you. But to demonstrate how easy it is, here’s an example washing routine that many families follow, especially if using cloth nappies overnight.

  • Every morning Run a pre-wash cycle containing yesterday's used nappies and last night’s night nappy. Do not add bleach to your pre-wash. Place pre-washed nappies into a dry pail once finished.
  • Every second night Run a main-wash cycle containing all pre-washed nappies from the dry pail. Make this a long wash at 40-60 degrees. Do not use bleach, whiteners, boosters, softeners or oxidised bleach additives. Hang to dry (centre of nappy crotch over the line) the following morning.

The Don'ts of Cloth Nappy Washing & Care

Although there are various opinions on cleaning cloth nappies, it's important to note that our washing guidelines are designed specifically for our eco-nappies. It's advisable to avoid following the care guidelines of other brands or organisations, as doing so can potentially shorten the lifespan of your nappies by causing degradation to the elastics and PUL lining. Please be mindful to exclude the following from your care routine:

  • Do not use bleach
  • Do not use fabric softener
  • Do not use whiteners, chlorine bleach, oxygen-based bleaching agent, dyes, perfumes, or essential oils.
  • Do not use detergent containing additives (whiteners, chlorine bleach, oxygen-based bleaching agent, fabric softeners, dyes, perfumes, essential oils) or natural soap
  • Do not tumble dry
  • Do not was in temperatures exceeding 60ºC
  • Do not soak
That’s it! See - washing cloth nappies doesn't have to be hard or complicated. Play around and find what works with your family’s daily rhythm. The more you have in your stash, the more relaxed your laundry routine will be. Check out our bundles to bulk up your cloth nappy supply here.  
If you would like more tips and tricks for clean cloth nappies, please visit our cloth nappy washing instructions page here where you will find more information about detergents, wash cycle lengths and temperatures.  

Cloth Nappy Washing Guide (Free Download)

Download our free washing guide to help make cleaning cloth nappies simple for everyone in the household. This free download is designed to be printed and placed near your washing machine for perfectly clean nappies, every time.   DOWNLOAD WASHING GUIDE HERE


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