Real Nappy Washing Guidelines

  • Store your used nappies in a nappy bucket or wet bag. No need to soak them.
  • Once you are ready to wash put all of your used nappies in the washing machine. If you don’t quite have a full load you may wish to add one or two towels and or your CSP if using.
  • Add a powdered detergent of your choice. Use the full dose! Non Bio or Bio, but please be aware that some nappy manufactures do not recommend Bio as it is believed that the enzymes can eat away at natural fibres, there for reducing the life of your nappies. It could also void any manufactures warranty.
  • Never add a fabric softener, this coats the fabric and reduces absorbency. Nappy sanitiser is unnecessary, but you can add some to the wash if you wish.
  • Wash the nappies on a long cotton cycle (or your machines alternative) at 60 degrees C. Some parents find lower temperatures sufficient.
  • If your machine has a “water plus” or “aqua plus” setting, we would recommend using it.
  • If you notice lots of bubbles towards the end of the wash cycle you may wish to do an extra rinse.
  • In good weather, hang your washed nappies outside to dry if possible. The UV rays will help bleach out any stains too.
  • If hanging outside isn’t possible, hang on a clothes horse indoors. Sock hangers can be useful for saving space when drying nappies.
  • If you wish to tumble dry, please refer to the manufactures instructions.



Stinky Nappies

Your nappies should not smell after washing them. If they do, you may need to adjust your wash routine.

  • If you are washing at a temperature lower than 60 degrees C, try upping the temperature to 60.
  • If you are not using the full dose of detergent for heavily soiled cloths, as recommended by the detergent manufacturer, up the amount of detergent you are using to the recommended dose. You will find this on the packaging.
  • If your machine has the option to add extra water to the wash, make sure you are using this option.
  • You may want to do a strip wash.
  • Make sure your washing machine is clean.



Strip Washing

You should never need to strip wash your nappies. However, if your nappies are stinky, if they have lost absorbency from a mineral build up or nappy cream build up or if your baby has had a fungal or persistent nappy rash, you may wish too.

  • Wash your nappies on the longest wash setting your machine has at 60 degrees C with a full dose of powdered detergent (check the detergent packaging for this). Use the water plus setting if your machine has one.
  • Once this cycle has finished, without drying your nappies wash again on a cool wash (30 degrees C, or cooler if your machine will allow) and repeat until you see no bubbles at all in the wash cycle.
  • Dry and use as normal.


Keep your Washing Machine Clean

Whether your washing nappies or not, it is really important to keep your washing machine clean too. This will help it run to its full efficiency.

  • Make sure there is NO laundry in your machine.
  • Add a cup of soda crystals to the detergent draw of your machine.
  • If you live in a hard water area add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the drum (this helps to dissolve lime scale)
  • Wash at 95 degrees C on the longest cycle your machine will do.
  • Wash with no, detergent, soda crystals or vinegar at 30 degrees C or cooler. Repeat until you see no bubbles in the wash cycle.
  • Repeat every few months.

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