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Washing (and Using) Real Nappies

Washing instructions:

  • Store nappies in a wet bag and/or bucket until wash day.
  • Wash day:
  1. First run a cold rinse or cold quick wash for around 30 minutes. This is with no detergent, and helps to remove protein based stains (poo).

  2. Next you can add other items of washing in the machine until it is roughly three quarters full. For example baby clothes, muslin cloths, or other small items.

  3. Add non-bio powder detergent and run a long cotton wash at 40 or 60 degrees, with a maximum spin of 1000 (800 is fine). This should last 2-3 hours.

  4. Finally you can run an extra rinse to ensure all detergent has been cleaned from the nappies. This is optional, but often useful in preventing problems associated with detergent build-up.

  • Use any non-bio powder for washing except Ecover, which experience shows us does not give a good enough clean.
  • Do not use any optical brighteners or harsh cleaning products (Vanish, Napisan, bleach etc.)
  • Do not use fabric conditioner
  • Eco eggs and soap nuts are not recommended as they do not effectively kill bacteria
  • Do not wash above 60 degrees
  • Nappies do not need to be soaked prior to washing
  • Stains are quite common, so don't worry. {If you are hiring a kit, please don't try anything outside of the normal washing instructions. I will remove any stains once they are returned to me}. 
  • Do a maintenance wash once a month – an empty wash at 90 degrees, and a wipe around the door, seals and filter. (Advised even if not washing cloth nappies)



  • The best thing is to dry outside on a line, but indoors on an airer is also fine. 
  • Do not place the nappies (especially not the wraps) directly on a radiator or anything hot as this will damage them.
  • To speed up drying indoors, you can point a dehumidifier at your airer. Although a small investment, these can halve your drying time.
  • Nappies (not waterproof outers or wraps) can be tumble dried on cool, but this will contribute to wear and tear.


General Guidance for use

  • Change your baby's nappy every 2 - 4 hours or immediately after a poo.
  • At night if your baby sleeps for longer periods, change them when they wake.
  • You may want to use a natural nappy cream such as lanolin or Weleda Calendula cream. If using any other cream, please protect the nappy with a fleece or disposable liner, as these creams can coat the fibres and be very tough to remove.
  • When changing your baby, always clean the whole bottom well.
  • Put used nappies and wipes in a wet bag or bucket and store until wash day.
  • Make sure you have folded back the Velcro tabs so that they don’t snag on each other or collect lint. If a wrap has Velcro but no tabs, fasten it loosely and wash inside out.
  • Try not to leave it more that two days between washes, as this will prevent damage to the nappies.
  • Before your baby is weaned, everything can go in the washing machine, poo and all – no need to flush anything. When your baby is eating food, all poo needs to be knocked off into the toilet. Liners can help with removal if not 'ploppable'.
  • Before washing, disassemble the nappy. Pull out any inserts and boosters to ensure a thorough clean, and secure any Velcro.
  • All in one and pocket nappies need to be washed after every change. For all in 2, shaped and flat nappies - wipe down the wrap and wash after roughly 3 uses (if poo gets on the wrap do not re-use). 
  • To avoid leaks, check your fit, and make sure all of the absorbent parts of the nappy are tucked inside the waterproof outer so no wet can escape