All nappies should come with thier own recommended washing instructions.
It is important you follow these properly as not doing so may void the warrant of the nappy.
Below are some general guidelines...
Wash nappy covers and inserts prior to use. This helps to soften the fabrics, enhance absorbency, and to remove any possible residues left from manufacturing. We recommend a warm wash (<60 degrees) with no detergent for this first wash. Do not use a hot wash.
The more often inserts are washed the more absorbent they become. Some people prefer to soak inserts in water only for 24hours and then begin washing them (as above) and using them. This is usually the only time you will soak inserts.
Store your nappies until they are ready to be washed in a 'dry pail' any bucket or container will do but a lid helps to contain smells. Do not soak them while you wait. If you find odour is a problem, try putting a couple of drops of teatree oil in the bottom of the container. Tea tree oil masks odour and it is a good sanitiser as well.
• Remove all solids from the nappy. Flush down the toilet before washing. Liners can help make this task a little easier
• Separate the insert(s) from the nappy. In a pocket nappy remove the inserts. Doing this when you change baby is a good idea.
• If you want to, rinse the outer and the insert in cold water. Squeeze out excess water and store in a dry bucket. Do not soak. If nappies are just wet you dont always need to rinse, popping them into a dry pail will be fine.
• Wash on a normal cycle (<60 degrees) using half of the recommended washing powder. We do not recommend enzyme powders. Good brands for cloth nappies are ecostore, earthwise, naturally oliver or briars mix.
• If your machine allows, do a double cold rinse at the end of the cycle. A rinse at the beginning of a cycle can also help remove any excess soiling but isnt necessary.
• NEVER use bleach, napisan or fabric softeners. This is because they will break down the PUL lamination and significantly shorten the expected life span of your nappy. These types of chemicals, particularly fabric softener, will effect the absorbency of the nappy.
• Line dry where possible, or dry on low to medium heat in the dryer. Try using a sock/delciates peg hanger that you can move between indoors and out if necessary.
• NEVER iron or dry clean nappies
• Soaking your hemp inserts a bucket of cold water for 24 hours before use will really help boost their absorbency. Soaking other inserts (microfibre, charcoal and bamboo is a good idea too - this is usually the only time you will need to soak your inserts)
• Always put the microfibre insert on top (closest to baby’s bottom) of the hemp/Bamboo/Charcoal insert when placing them in a pocket of the nappy.
For Front Loading Machines - Follow the instructions as above. However, we recommend you don't use some low suds powders such as Persil Low Suds which contains oil to keep the bubbles down. This can affect the absorbency of the nappy.
What makes nappies smell bad?
Usually the cause of ‘stinky nappies’ is simple – too much washing powder (or possibly an unsuitable brand). It is important to use half the recommended amount of commercial washing powder to wash your nappies. Some mixes such as Naturally Oliver may not need to be halved. If you’re concerned about bacteria – add a few drops of tea tree oil, or some Canestan laundry liquid to the rinse cycle. Occasionally you should re-wash your nappies (after the wash with powder) on a hot wash up to 60 degrees with no powder.
Another good recommendation is rinse your inserts with cold water as soon as you remove the soiled nappy from your baby. This can help to prevent the smell setting in. It is generally recommended you don’t soak nappies. Simply rinse the nappy and pop it in a bucket.
More information about Strip washing can be found on our Washing Tips n Tricks page.