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Caring For Your Cloth Nappies

Cloth Nappies do have some specific care requirements, the following is intended as a guide to help you get the most out of your cloth nappies. It is important to follow the manufactures care and wash instruction as this will help maintain the quality of your cloth nappies.

Cloth Nappy Prep

You can soak any new nappies in cold water 24 hours before the initial wash to help build their absorbency. Many fabrics in particular Bamboo and Hemp will need multiple washes before they reach their full absorbency.


We recommend dry pailing Cloth Nappies as no soaking is needed. Soaking cloth nappies in product like napisan can damage the covers and fabric of your nappy shortening their lifespan. If the nappy is soiled and you have a liner in remover the liner. If the liner is disposable then we suggest putting it in the bin. If you don’t have a flushable liner or are using a washable liner you will need to scrape or rinse off any solids before putting them in the pail.  You can do this by either sluicing (holding them in the bowl and letting the flush rinse over them), spraying with a nappy sprayer or rinsing off in the laundry sink.  Pop your nappy in your pail with a lid over the top, it is recommended to let a little air flow in the pail.

Once you have enough for a wash you can put the nappies on a pre wash rinse without any detergent or a small amount of detergent.  After this put your cloth nappies on a wash cycle.  You can use your normal washing detergent but it is best to have one without phosphates, ammonia etc. Fabric softeners are also not recommended as they can cause residue build up and hamper the effectiveness of cloth nappies.

We recommend washing your cloth nappies on a warm or hot temperature setting, this will help clean them better than cold water washes.

After the nappies are washed hanging them on the line in the sun is the best way to dry, sanitise and bleach cloth nappies. You can occasionally put your cloth nappies in the dryer on a low heat setting. It is not recommended to put covers/wraps in the dryer.

Strip Washing

Occasionally creams, lotions and detergents can build up in cloth nappies causing them to smell a little more than usual or impeding their absorbency. When this happens it is time for a strip wash. To strip wash your cloth nappies we recommend putting them through a wash cycle with a squirt of dish detergent. Once the wash cycle is complete put the nappies through a rinse cycle and repeat until there are no more suds in the water. Dry your nappies as per usual.  If this type of strip wash fails you may need to invest in a specific strip washing detergent, you can usually pick this up from your cloth nappy supplier.

Strip washing can be harsh on Cloth Nappies and is not recommended too often.  If you are having problems with absorbency or smelly nappies it would be better to look at your washing routing first and change this before attempting a strip wash.