Care and use of cloth nappies and pads
Prior to the first use, it’s recommended to pre-wash to ensure any manufacturing residue is removed. There is no need to pre soak absorbent inserts to reach maximum absorbency due to the dyeing process.
Dirty nappies and pads can be stored in a dry nappy bucket for up to two days. There’s no need to soak; nappies and pads can be placed straight in the bucket, although a quick rinse will help your nappies last longer by diluting the acidic wee which can cause deterioration. For poo-ey nappies, tip any solids into the toilet and rinse the nappy well before placing in the nappy bucket.
When washing, use the recommended amount of detergent as per detergent instructions, and only use detergents without enzymes, softeners or bleach; eco-friendly detergents are usually safe. Cold water is fine – washing at 60c is recommend for best results – regular washing at higher temperatures can deteriorate elastics. In particularly hard water areas, warm washes may be necessary on a regular basis. The recommended cycle is: pre-rinse -> wash -> rinse -> extra rinse -> spin. A lower spin speed is also recommended for nappies to prevent overstretching the elastics. Nappies and inserts should be fully unsnapped before washing to prevent breakage.
Do not use bleach, fabric softeners, vinegar, whitening products/detergents which contain these additives, or undiluted harsh chemicals. These products can seriously damage your products and use of them will void your warranty.
To dry, drape nappies over a clothes airer or hang sideways over the washing line (the line should run front to back) to avoid stretching the elastics. Straighten and smooth pads and inserts flat before hanging. Drying in the sun will remove any lingering smells or stains, however products should only be left in direct sunlight for a few hours at a time to prevent fading and deterioration of fabric and snaps. Nappies and pads may be dried in a clothes drier on occasion, providing a low heat is used.
If you experience persistent smells or reduced absorbency, a strip wash may be done as per the following instructions – if washed properly as per the above instructions, there should be no need to regularly use this procedure. As a general guide, nappies and pads should not be strip washed any more than every few months.
In a bucket or tub, run enough luke-warm water (NOT hot) to cover the items, and add a small amount of normal washing detergent (most have a recommended amount to use for soaking). Soak for at least two hours, but up to overnight is ok if done infrequently. Drain water, then rinse thoroughly, by hand or machine is fine. Wash as per the normal wash cycle instructions above, but in place of normal detergent use a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid which does not contain softeners or fragrances*. The cheap nasty ones are good for this purpose. Use a hotter temperature, 60 degrees celsius is recommended for best results (no hotter). If any suds remain at the end of the wash cycle, continue rinsing until they are all gone. Dry as per normal instructions.
*Some washing machines cannot handle dishwashing detergents designed to remove heavy grease and oil. Check your machine’s instructions prior to using these. If your machine cannot handle dishwashing detergent use a small amount of normal detergent or a product specifically designed for strip washing nappies.