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Stripwashing your cloth nappies

Over time, the fibres in the fabrics of cloth nappies can get clogged up with detergent. This can mean that they don’t work as well as the fabrics are not working as well as they should. It also means bacteria can get trapped in the fibres and this is what causes the smell, usually the smell of ammonia. This bacteria is not good for babies bums either and can cause nappy rash.

It is possible to get your nappies back to full strength so to speak and also smelling fresh in a process called strip washing. Following the process below should rid the nappies of build up.

  • You can start with your nappies clean or dirty. If they are dirty, start off by giving them a cold rinse.
  • Instead of using a small dose of detergent as we usually recommend, for a strip wash, use a full/large dose of your usual detergent and on a long cycle and ideally at 60° cycle.
  • Once that cycle is finished, it is all about rinsing. Keep putting the washing machine on a rinse cycle until you see no suds in your washing machine.

This may seem like a long process and there is no getting round it, it is a long process, but it is very much worth the effort. At the end of it, you will have fresh, happy nappies again.

There are other strip-washing methods that mums have told us about such as using washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets and using vinegar. We prefer to advise to use the above method because we know it is the safest method for the PUL and elastic in the nappies.


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