With rising costs of living, you may be left wondering whether cloth nappies are actually going to save you money after you add the costs of laundry.

The short answer is yes!

We have calculated that you can save thousands of dollars over the few years that your child will be in nappies! Here is what we found.

These numbers are based on a child using 8 nappies a day, pre-washing and main washing every second day at 40 degrees, and line drying the nappies. The washing machine we are using is an 8.5kg front-loader washing machine that consumes 65L of water and 0.76 kWh of electricity per wash.


Washing Costs


Water is currently $2.4431 per kL meaning we spend approximately $1.11 per week on washing nappies.


Electricity is currently $0.2893 per kWh meaning we spend $1.54 per week on washing nappies.


Currently, we are spending approximately $1.75 on detergent. We use a mix of different detergents depending on what is on sale (there is always something on sale!)


This comes to a total of $4.40 a week to wash nappies or $686.40 over three years of washing nappies from birth to toilet training.


So how do the costs compare?

24 cloth nappies are enough for full-time cloth nappy use if using this wash routine. This would cost you $604.80. This brings the total cost of nappies and washing is $1291.20.

If you use disposable nappies for 3 years that cost 50c each, this will cost you $4380.00.

That is a difference of over $3000 over 3 years!

If you use cloth nappies for just 5 months, they will pay themselves off. After this, you will simply be paying $4.40 a week for laundry costs rather than $28.00 a week for disposables!


The cost can be quite variable depending on factors such as water and energy pricing, detergent choice, your washing machine, and whether you buy on sale. The cost of disposable nappies can also vary, with some eco-friendly nappies costing as much as $1.00 per nappy!

Other considerations that will influence how cost-effective your cloth nappies are include buying quality durable nappies that can be passed down through children in the family to multiply your savings further. There is also a huge second-hand cloth nappy market where nappies can be sold to the next person. Often other clothes can be washed along with nappies as well, saving separate washing loads. 

All-in-all, there is potential to save A LOT of money by choosing to use cloth nappies!





February 27, 2023 — Adelle Heard