We LOVE our cloth nappies, but it can be pretty frustrating if they aren’t getting cleaned properly! If you're noticing lingering odours, stains, or signs of ammonia damage, don’t feel deterred! Let’s review your washing routine so that you can confidently continue using cloth nappies issue free. In this blog post, we'll explore some key factors to check if your cloth nappies are not being sufficiently cleaned.

Pre-wash and Main wash:

Are you doing a pre-wash? Nappies should each go through 2 wash cycles, a pre-wash, and a main wash. The pre-wash removes the bulk of the soiling while the main wash then ensures they are sanitary for use.

Washing Machine Cycle selection:

Choosing the right machine cycle is important. Things to consider are the duration, spin speed, and agitation achieved. Using more gentle cycles or lower spin speeds will negatively impact cleanliness.

Prewash – Generally this should be around 30-60 minutes but should be increased if unable to select a longer main wash. Depending on your machine, some commonly used cycles include quick wash, daily wash, quick cotton cycle, or synthetic cycle.

Main wash – Generally this should be around 2-3 hours. Common cycles include the cotton cycle or intensive cycle.

Water Temperature:

We recommend using water temperature 40-60 degrees Celsius. This range is ideal for effective cleaning without damaging the waterproof fabric. If you are using a plant-based detergent or using night nappies, we recommend using 60 degrees.

Detergent Quantity:

Detergent amount will depend on your machine size and water hardness. For a pre-wash you can usually use a half dose of detergent. For a main wash use the amount recommended for a heavily soiled load. Check the detergent label to find out what machine size the recommended dose is based on and adjust it to suit your machine.

Hard water areas may require more detergent to compensate for mineral content. Soft water locations may experience too many suds which can also cause inadequate cleaning. Typically, too many suds may mean there is too much detergent and too few suds may mean there is too little detergent. (Note that suds may also be a sign loading is incorrect).

Choose a detergent that does not have fabric softeners.

Washing Machine Loading

To ensure there is optimal agitation during the main wash cycle, the machine should not be overloaded or underloaded as either will result in inadequate cleaning. The machine should be loosely full when dry or 2/3rds full when wet. Items should be able to freely move while still achieving adequate agitation.

Dirty Nappy Storage

Nappies should be stored in an airy basket (dry pail) that is well-ventilated. This prevents bacteria and ammonia and reduces the chance of smells accumulating.

If you are still having trouble figuring out where you are going wrong, reach out for further assistance.






June 06, 2023 — Adelle Heard