Washing Cloth Nappies

Firstly … We build our products made to last. For years. Nothing but the best fabrics & materials on your babies bum but not all nappies are made to the same quality. After 20+ years of washing nappies, listening to scientific experts and our customers these guidelines will keep your nappies smell free, stain free & the most hygienic they can be. These guidelines are an adaption of Clean Cloth Nappies who are the washing gurus and are tried and tested for to wash your cloth nappies like a pro! 

This washing advice is for your cloth nappies NOT wool covers. Wool Covers need a different wash routine so see our Wool Cover Washing Page for more info. 

To keep your nappies clean, stain free and smell free, and prolong the life of your nappies we recommend a two step washing routine. The prewash cycle is designed to remove the majority of the surface soiling, and the main wash is designed to penetrate deeper into the fabrics to fully remove all the bacteria which is what causes all the problems. 
We recommend having two dry pails – one for your PreWash Items (the soiled nappies ready for their prewash) & the other a “Main Wash” Pail, which is for the nappies that have been through the prewash cycle, that are waiting for the main wash. Something like the Strucket Mini & Strucket 19L are perfect for this, but any open aired plastic basket is fine. 

Step 1. Remove Soiling

Remove solids from nappy by removing nappy liner or scraping poo into toilet.  

Add these soiled nappies to your first dry pail ready for the first wash cycle. 

Read more about what a ‘dry pail is’ here 

Step 2. First Wash Cycle

Every 24-48 hours, take your soiled nappies and run them through your first wash cycle. 

This cycle can be 40-60 degrees, and a short 30 minute cycle or prewash cycle is fine to use for this stage. Add your detergent of choice. 

This step removes the majority of surface soiling, making your main wash much more effective. 

After this first wash is complete, move these nappies into your second dry pail until you have enough nappies for a main wash cycle. 

Note on Night Nappies: Night Nappies do need a pre-rinse either in the morning or at the end of the day as they hold excess amounts of urine, so to prevent smells & ammonia build up. We recommend a 60 degree wash cycle for anything with Night Nappies. 

Step 3. Main Wash

When you have enough items for a larger main wash cycle, place your pre-rinsed nappies into your machine for the main wash. 

For best results, ensure temperature of 40-60 degrees, use a full dose of detergent & aim for your machine to be 3/4 full when wet for best agitation.

You can bulk up your main wash load with clothing items for this main wash as the majority of soiling has already been removed. 


Step 4. Dry.

Line Dry all items or inserts can be tumble dried on low temp. 

LOW temperature in the dryer is ok to use occasionally for inserts, fitted and night nappies. 

Avoid direct sunlight on hot days as this can delaminate PUL fabrics.

Extra Recommendations

Detergent Choice:
We recommend finding a detergent with enzymes as this is what does the heavy lifting to keep stains and smells at bay. We recommmend BABY or SOFT by B Clean Co which are both specifically designed for cloth nappies and include an inbuilt laundry booster. They are all natural and non toxic and also great for every day laundry. Other great options are Biozet Attack 3D, Dynamo Professional, Kin Kin Naturals. 

– Pre-treat with a stain remover product like Sard Soap or Sard Spray or try our  Stain Removing Sticks which are all natural. 

What Not to Do

  • Do NOT soak/wet pail any modern cloth nappy products 
  • Do NOT use chlorine based bleach or fabric softener on your nappies
  • Do NOT let sit in the nappy bucket for longer than 3 days
  • Do NOT dry in a HOT dryer or leave in extreme summer heat
  • Do NOT wash nappies with towels, bedding or sheets
  • Do NOT use a short cycle for your main wash

Shop Washing products

SPORT Laundry Detergent – Trio Pack Original price was: $68.85.Current price is: $61.95. Add to cart
SOFT DETERGENT – Bulk 10kg Original price was: $229.50.Current price is: $160.65. Add to cart
BABY Detergent – Bulk 10kg Original price was: $229.50.Current price is: $160.65. Add to cart
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