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"From Soiled to Spotless: Your Cloth Nappy Cleaning Questions Answered"

Reusable cloth nappies are a great eco-friendly alternative to disposable ones. They are not only better for the environment, but also for your baby's delicate skin. However, one of the biggest concerns when it comes to using cloth nappies is cleaning them properly. No one wants to deal with the mess that comes with dirty nappies, but with the right knowledge and techniques, cleaning cloth nappies can be a breeze. In this guide, we'll answer some of the most common questions and cover everything you need to know about cleaning cloth nappies, from prepping them for the wash to tackling tough stains. Get ready to say goodbye to dirty nappies and hello to a fresh and clean diaper stash!

What do I do with poo in cloth nappies? 

When dealing with poo in cloth nappies, the first step is to remove as much of it as possible. You could do this by using an attachable bidet sprayer or by holding the nappy under the toilet's flush. Some people chose to spray them down in a bucket or the toilet bowl using their shower's hose. Others prefer to use a dedicated utensil such as a plastic knife to scrape solids into the toilet. Once most of the poo has been removed, you can then rinse the nappy under cold running water to get rid of any remaining traces of poo. After rinsing, you can store the nappy in a designated nappy bucket, laundry basket or wetbag until you're ready to wash them. It's important to note that you should never leave soiled nappies for too long, as this can lead to stains and odours.

What if my baby is breastfed? 

If your baby is exclusively breastfed, their poo is completely water soluble! That means that it can be put straight into the washing machine and it will be washed away. Some people still prefer to remove as much as possible before putting their cloth nappies in the wash, especially if they are washing multiple children's nappies at once, however this is a personal choice. 

How do I prepare my cloth nappies for the wash? 

The first step is to remove any solids. This should always be done into the toilet and never into the normal rubbish bin! Even disposable nappies should never be thrown away with poo inside them. 
Next, you want to do a pre wash. These should be done every 1-2 days to ensure your nappies are not sitting around dirty for too long, as this may damage the material.¬†This needs to be separate from your main wash as it will rinse away any wee or poo, making sure that your main wash is done with clean water. This should be a full wash cycle, not a ‚Äėprewash‚Äô setting, as this will ensure that any dirty water in the machine is fully drained away. Wash your dirty nappies up to 40 degrees for at least 45 minutes. Some people choose to use up to half a dose of powder, especially if they have multiple children in cloth or extra dirty nappies.

After this, your cloth nappies are ready to be washed. 

How do I clean a reusable cloth nappy? 

Your main wash should be every 2-3 days, at 40-60 degrees on your machine's longest wash cycle. This cycle should be at least 2 hours. If your machine does not have a 2 hour cycle, you may need to run two cycles back to back. We recommend using a 40 degree main wash as continuous washing at 60 may reduce the lifespan of your nappies, however newborn nappies should always be washed at 60 degrees.

Make sure to load your machine to around 3 quarters full when dry. This will give the nappies enough room to rub and agitate, and will result in a better clean. If you do not have enough nappies to fill your machine, you can bulk out your wash with pieces of baby clothing, or small hand towels. 

Where should I store dirty nappies? 

There are many options available when it comes to storing dirty cloth nappies. 

The most popular method is using a designated nappy pail or wet bag. These are specially designed containers that can be lined with a waterproof liner to prevent leaks and odours. Simply place the soiled nappies inside and secure the lid or drawstring closure to keep odours contained. 

Another option is using a dry pail, which is a lidded container that does not have a waterproof liner. With this method, you can simply store the soiled nappies in the container until you're ready to wash them. Make sure you choose a basket with holes around the sides to allow airflow. It may seem counterintuitive but this will actually help with odours! There should be no holes at the bottom of the container as this may lead to leaking. 

Ultimately, the choice of storage method comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. Whichever method you choose, it's important to keep the nappy pail or wet bag out of reach of children and pets, and to wash it regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.

Which is the best laundry detergent for washing cloth nappies? 

This is up to personal choice, however you should choose a powder based detergent that is free from harsh chemicals, fragrances and dyes. It is important to use a powder as this gives a better clean, is more efficient at removing stains and odours, and washes out of fabric more easily, leading to less product buildup.
It's important to make sure that you use the right amount of washing powder for your machine drum size, load size, and for heavily soiled items. Check the side of the box to make sure you are using the correct amount. During the wash, there should not be enough suds building up that your machine is completely white inside. If this ever happens, make sure you run another wash cycle with no detergent to rinse it all away. Keep washing until you see no suds in the machine. If you use too much detergent, it can cause a buildup which may reduce the lifespan of your nappies, cause leaks and smells. 

What if I have stains after washing? 

Some materials, such as athletic wicking jersey, are more prone to stains than others. There are also some reasons that stains may be more difficult to remove, such as if your baby is sick or has had some medicines like calpol. As long as you have a good wash routine, and no other issues such as smells, there are ways to reduce or remove stains. One natural method you could try is to hang your nappies in the sun, or sit them in a windowsill with the stained side up, as the sun is an effective natural stain remover. 

Check out our nappy washing guide for step-by-step instructions, and a printable pdf. If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch! 

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