How to wash reusable nappies can seem understandably daunting - this is a brand new skill you're learning after all - and with over 1.6 million results on google for this topic you can be forgiven for not knowing where to start. I was lucky and had a friend to guide me through, so let us be that friend for you and get you up to expert level in no time.
Here is our simple guide to washing reusable nappies:
1. Remove boosters/liners before washing and put the whole lot in the machine (disposable liners should be removed and disposed of first).
2. Use the same non-bio detergent you wash your baby's clothes in.
3. Don't use fabric softener as it can coat the fleece of the nappy making it liquid repellent rather than absorbent - not ideal!
4. Consider using a pre-wash or rinse cycle if you've got remnants of poo to get off. Whether or not you do this will come down to trial and error and how dirty the nappies are. You can also hose the poo off with a shower or by hand too.
5. Wash at either 40° or 60° on a long wash. I find that 40° is usually fine, but for heavy soiling you might need 60°.
6. To dry nappies air-drying is the best or heated airers. You can occasionally tumble-dry on a low heat but avoid doing this too much as it reduces the life-span of the reusable nappies.
7. Once dry, stuff and use again, and again, and again...
- Don't soak your nappies. In-between washes keep them in a bucket or wet bag.
- Make sure any barrier cream you're using is water-soluble. If it's not it can coat the fleece layer of the nappy making it liquid-repellent and not absorbent.
- You can wash reusable nappies with other clothes, and your reusable wipes.
PhD-Level Super-User Tips:
- In-between washes store your reusable nappies in a mesh bag that sits inside your nappy bucket. Remove the boosters/liners before putting in the bag and on wash day put the whole thing in the machine. Open the bag first.
- To prevent ammonia build-up and that eye-watering smell that can happen with reusables you can give your nappies a quick rinse before putting them into the bucket or wet bag.
- If your nappies are smelly have a read of our Stinks and Smells Troubleshooter blog
Need a little help?
Whilst easy, we know that you have to learn how to use reusable nappies and there's an element of trial and error, so please don't hesitate to get in touch. No question is too small.