How long will my nappies last?

How long will my cloth nappies last?” We would love to say they will last forever! We regular have emails from parents who say their original BBH nappies are onto their 5th or 6th baby and are still just as absorbent as they were in the first year, or how impressed they are their nappies have lasted so long! If you look after your nappies, then there is no reason they can’t last you 5 + years across lots to little bums! Sometimes they might need a little refresh of elastics after 4-5 years for example, but if you look after your nappies well (no need to be delicate with them though), they will last!


A few important factors to remember when it comes to long lasting cloth nappies.

  • You really do pay for what you get. The better the quality fabric, elastics, PUL, velcro or snaps in the nappy, the longer it will last. Invest in premium quality brands and you will get plenty of longevity out of them! You know you are getting the best available of everything when you buy BBH!
  • The higher number of nappies you have in rotation, the longer they will all last. If you have a small stash (under 12), that get used, washed & dried every two days they will wear out quicker than a larger stash. We recommend 24 – 30 nappies to use cloth full time (or more) so each nappy gets good use & rotated into wears. Thats where our bulk pack discounts come into play where you get up to 30% off!
  • Acidic wee in babies, comes and goes but can degrade natural fibres like bamboo quickly. When bub is teething (typically when acidic wee is present in some babies), give nappies a quick rinse before dry pailing to remove excess wee & prevent the acid eating away the fibres.
  • A good wash routine is essential (see below) for maintaining the performance & longevity of your nappies
  • Elastics are usually one of the first elements to go, but can easily be replaced. Prevent elastics failing by hanging sideways when drying, not washing in hotter than 60 degrees & using a dryer (on low) sparingly.
  • Storing nappies in between babies, is also important. Make sure they are given a good deep clean (or strip wash) prior to storing and are totally 100% dry. Store in a cool dark place, with the inserts separate to shells. Bring them out, every 6 months for a quick wash/dry & store again.
  • Sized nappies will get less wear over all than OSFM styles, so you will generally get a longer life span out of them.


Washing Advice for long lasting nappies~ Keep it simple! 

1. Wash every 2nd day! Remember your nappies are filled with wee & poo, the quicker you wash them, the quicker those things are gone eliminating the possibility of bacteria, mould & other nasties hanging around!

2. Follow the recommended amount of detergent on the detergent packaging. Previously we had recommended using half the recommended dose. If that is working for you, great then don’t change it! However we now recommend washing with the full dose of detergent & tweaking if required.

3. Simple Wash Process .. should be PRE-RINSE, WARM LONG/HEAVY CYCLE, DRY. Never wash or dry over 60 degrees as this will delaminate the waterproof layer and damage elastics.

4. Use a good detergent – avoid fabric softeners, enzymes (specifically cellulase), optical brighteners, bleaches. Biozet Liquid, Ecostore, Rockin Green,  Aware Sensitive, Purity are all fine to use. Rockin Green & Biozet Liquid are probably two of the most popular choices for a good clean every time.


Just remember your nappies are probably the most used & washed items in your house. They hold wee & poo every day and they aren’t designed to last forever. If you take care of them, have a large stash (good excuse!) to rotate on your babies, and invest in quality products to begin with, then there is no reason why they wont last you over multiple little bums!


Any questions, please get in touch with BBH HQ.


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