MCN Safe Detergents … The Good, The Bad, The Ugly



Which detergent should I use? How much should I use? Can I make my own detergent? .…. Detergent is one of the most talked about topics when it comes to MCNs and we get hundreds of questions here at HQ. So we thought we would clear things up for you. Firstly, not all detergents are safe to use on MCNs. Why? Some chemicals used in most supermarket brands will make your clothes & nappies look super white & clean (great for clothes) but they leave behind a residue which basically coats the fibres of your inserts & stay dry layers, making it almost impossible for the inserts to do their job and absorb liquid. The old school method of soaking in bleach or napisan does more harm than good to the materials used in modern doth nappies like PUL, TPU and elastics.


What to AVOID in detergents.  Avoid any detergent that contains fabric softeners, bleach, enzyme cleaners (specifically cellulase), phosphates, optical brighteners or artificial scents. So common supermarket detergents like OMO, Dynamo, Cold Power, Napisan are NOT recommended for MCNs.


RECOMMENDED DETERGENTS   (to get you started) 

Rockin Green – Classic or Hard Rock

Biozet Attack (Liquid Only)

Cushie Tushie Laundry Liquid

Tri Nature Laundry Liquid

Planet Ark Sensitive

Bostitos Eucalyptus Wash – Liquid

EcoStore Laundry Liquid & Powder, Lemon Laundry Powder.

Tri Nature 



Obviously different people will get different results from the same detergent, so don’t be afraid to try different brands until you find the one that suits you and your baby. Factors such as washing machine type, water quality (hard or soft), cold V warm water etc may give you different results. If your baby is getting a rash, or your nappies aren’t smelling clean then perhaps your wash routine may need some tweaking .. That where we can help. Simply pop us an email or give us a call and we will trouble shoot together to get your routine right for you.


What about vinegar, bi-carb, soap flakes & home made detergent? Unfortunately none of the ingredients for DIY detergents are beneficial for the fabrics & fibres used in MCNS. Vinegar might be great for making your towels nice and fluffy, but it will damage the delicate PUL fibres and elastics in your nappies. Using these types of ingredients will void your product warranty & will potentially do more damage than good.


Remember the key to getting nice clean nappies is to find a detergent that works for you, find a wash routine that works for you and your machine and¬†stick to it. Google can be a confusing world and¬†information overload on this topic, so if¬†you’re not sure ask BBH HQ! ¬†

Long Term Storage of Cloth Nappies
Stinky Nappies ….

Comments (38)

  1. Jade Franklin

    Is earth choice for wool and delicates ok to use on your nappies (it does contain eucalyptus oil)? Also I have a front loader – would you recommend a cycle with a pre wash setting or doing a quick cycle followed by a long 60 degree cycle? Thanks

    • AZSXDC@123

      HI! We don’t recommend using Earths Choice on our products – the formula generally is quite weak and doesn’t give you a good deep clean that you need to remove the nasties. Formualas for wool/delicates are even more gentler than their standard detergent. Their wool wash is fine to use on wool products like our wool covers, but we dont recommend any of their products for washing nappies. If youre looking for en ecofriendly detegent then Dirt is really good, otherwise EcoStore Liquid is pretty good – with any eco detergent make sure you double the dose, and wash on 60 degrees for best results. (and a long cycle)

  2. Naomi


    Just wondering if EUCA laundry powder is safe for MCN please? They are available online not at supermarkets.

    • admin

      Hi Naomi, Yes EUCA is fine!

  3. Jodie

    Hi there. I have been using Biozet Liquid (the regular one) to wash my nappies and finding it to be excellent, though I do use more than the recommended amount. They also have Biozet Rapid Liquid and would like to know if this one is safe for my cloth nappies as I’ve looked at the ingredients and it contains enzymes. Was going to try using this one as I may not need to use as much detergent but wanted to check first!!! Would appreciate your feedback.


    • admin

      Hi Jodie, Yes Biozet Rapid is safety use even with Enzymes.

      • Caroline

        Just curious- why only the liquid form (not powder) of biozet attack is recommended. Is it because the powder contains enzymes? Or is there another reason?

  4. Angela Phillips

    Is Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder safe?
    I need something for use with hard water.

    • admin

      Hi Ange, We don’t recommend Charlies soap .. For hard Water I would recommend Rockin Green Hard Rock which is specifically made for Hard Water.

  5. Kate

    Hi there,
    I make a washing powder out of washing soda, bicarb, salt and goats milk soap – do you think this would be ok to wash the nappies in?
    I also have a few with newborn poo stains on them, was wondering if a soak in the ecostore laundry soaker and stain remover would be ok?
    Thanks! :-)

    • admin

      Hi Kate,
      Im afraid we don’t recommend home made detergents as some of those ingredients will deteriorate PUL fabrics & elastics quick (and it will also void your warranty). For newborn stains yes you could make a paste out of the ecostore with hot water & let sit on the stains then wash in warm 4–60 degree wash.

  6. Victoria Kelly

    Is Aldi green action laundry powder safe to use on MCNs?
    I’m unsure as no ingredients list just says it’s fully biodegradable

    • admin

      Hi Victoria, Im not sure without seeing the ingredients. Main things to avoid are fabric softeners & bleach.

  7. Katherine

    I am about to commence using MCNs and was just wondering if Bosisto’s laundry powder (not the liquid) will work well?

    • admin

      Hi Katherine, Yes Bositios is a good eco detergent. We recommend starting with the dose on the packaging & a warm 40 degree wash to get the best results. if you safe getting smelly nappies, then try adding a bit more detergent and see if that adjusts the problem.

  8. Eliza

    hi i used bosistos powder for my little one’s clothings can i also use it with the nappies? thanks

    • admin

      Yes absolutely!

  9. Nat

    Hi, after just a few months sone of the back elastics on my hemo nappies have gone. Im not sure what in doibg wrong because im following the wash directions. Please help.

    • admin

      Hi Tash,
      Please get in touch with us directly to trouble shoot.

  10. Helen riley

    I have some stains on liners and outers after blowouts can I use a stain remover spray- I have washed several times and been in sun for several days!

    • admin

      Hi Helen, You can try a bit of sunlight soap for removing stains, but only put on the direct area the stain is and make sure you wash it out properly in a hot wash. Napisane or sprays arent recommended. A soak in sodium percarbonate is also a good option.

  11. Nicole

    I’ve soaked my MCNs in nappysan before I knew it wasn’t good for them. How do I get detergent residue out of the nappies?

    • admin

      If its only a once off, then you should be ok. If its been a few times I would suggest a basic strip wash to remove any residue, then wash as per normal.

    • admin

      Hi Nicole, It should be ok if just a once off, to remove any extra residue simply take your clean dry nappies that were soaked & run through a 60 degree wash cycle with no detergent. This should remove any excess Napisan.

  12. Nicole

    Is Biozet safe to use on sensitive skin or newborns? Or is there a better type of detergent for young bubs?

    • admin

      Yes Biozet Attack Liquid is safe to use on all bubs & ages. All detergents are designed to be safe, but if you find your baby reacts to any detergent, then best to try something else.

    • admin

      Yes it’s fine for sensitive skin Nicole, an extra rinse at the end of the cycle would be ok aswell.

  13. Ally

    I’ve looked up the ingredients for Earth choice Laundry liquid, it seems to be safe but just wanted to check before I used it? It’s sold in Coles

    • admin

      Yes it is safe .. Some customers love it, some find they get smelly nappies after washing, so if you find its not cleaning deep enough, add extra detergent to see if that fixes it.

  14. Beth

    With my older kids I used terry cloth nappies…I always added a dash of water soluble lavender to the wash…can this be done with MCN??

    • admin

      Yes a touch of essential oils is fine to use occasionally.

    • admin

      HI Beth, Yes every now and again would be fine but I wouldnt recommend it in every wash.

  15. Cassie

    Hi, I do a rinse, then a pre wash and full cycle on 60 degrees which takes 3 hours. I use funk rock in the pre wash drawer and ecostore in the normal drawer every wash and my nappies are still stinky. The minute my boy wees the nappy gives of an awful odour. He does have ammonia wee, but just wondering what else I might be able to do? Thanks, Cassie

    • admin

      Hi Cassie, I would suggest giving them a good deep clean to start with. Fill your sink or machine with hot/warm water and 2-3 scoops of funk rock. Let soak for 1-2 hours then wash in warm/hot cycle (max 60), and do an extra rinse. Funk Rock shouldn’t be needed in your wash every day … its designed more for ad hoc, deep treatment. Failing that, then I would changer your detergent to something stronger like Biozet liquid. Some of the ‘eco’ detergents are fine to use, but dont give a deep clean every time. A change of detergent, a few washes in the new detergent will bring residue urine particles to the surface and should solve the problem. If not, please get in touch and we can trouble shoot from there.

    • admin

      Hi Cassie, Sounds ike they need a good deep clean .. Ecostore although eco friendly doesnt give the best of cleans sometimes especially on night nappies … Try adding some extra Ecostore to your wash, if that doenst work soak your night nappies in Fun Rock for a few hours in hot water, then run hem through a hot wash on your machine no detergent. This should remove any ammonia build up (which is the cause) and should be good to go… A soak in Funk Rock is often better than using in the prewash.

  16. Emily

    What about the brand Purity. It is a sensitivite laundry liquid made for use on baby cloths

    • admin

      Yes Purity is also ok to use. Its not the strongest of formulations, so if you find you get smelly nappies (after they are clean & dry), then try increasing the dose slightly, do an extra rinse but if smells it still persists change detergents. Some people love Purity with no issues, it depends on your water type, washing agitation. But yes essentially it is fine on MCNs.

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