strucket mini grey straining water

How to Clean Cloth Nappies


Not all washing methods are created equal. When you compare washing cloth nappies to washing your t-shirts there is a big difference in the level of cleaning required. Reusable nappies are clearly a lot dirtier than t-shirts so to thoroughly clean your nappies, you need a few extra steps. We have been washing reusable nappies for over 10 years with our family, and have tried many methods over the years.

Luckily the washing goddesses at Clean Cloth Nappies know their stuff, so backed by science, testing and evidence we know this method works. This is an adaptation of from their washing advice guidelines, however if you have any questions then please get in touch with our friendly customer service team and we can assist. 

Step 1. Choose a good detergent

Luckily our SOFT & BABY detergents are offically endorsed by Clean Cloth Nappies so we have got you covered. Our plant based detergents are fully loaded with deep cleaning enzymes for a great, natural clean.  

You can certainly use other detergents either mainstream or plant based are fine, but the big thing you need to ensure if that contain enzymes to do a proper job. Weaker plant based detergents are typically not effective. 

Step 2. Remove & Rinse

Remove solids from nappy by removing nappy liner or scraping poo into toilet. If nappy has poo, quick rinse in laundry tub before adding to dry pail.

If nappy is just wet, no need to rinse just pop in dry pail until you’re ready to pre-wash. 

laundry machine and cloth nappies hanging
b clean co soft eco detergent

Step 3. Daily Pre-Rinse

Within 1-2 days, pop your soiled nappies into your machine and run through a quick cycle or pre-wash cycle with ½ scoop SOFT or BABY detergent.

Ensure the cycle you choose rinses & drains the water.

Add pre-washed nappies to nappy pail, ready for the main wash.

The idea of a pre-wash cycle is to remove excess soiling, so your main wash is gets more effective results. Highly recommended for optimum results.

Night Nappies do need a pre-rinse either in the morning or at the end of the day as they hold excess amounts of urine, so this helps to prevent smells & ammonia build up.

Step 4. Main Wash

Every 2-4 days or when you have enough nappies for a full load, place your pre-rinsed nappies into your machine for the main wash.

For best results ensure temperature of 40-60 degrees, use a 1-2 scoops of SOFT or BABY. Use a long cycle, min 2 hours.

Check your machine instruction manual to check the best cycle choice.  

Check our tips below for the ultimate main wash advice

clean cloth nappies endorsed logo

Step 5. Line Dry

Line Dry or tumble dry on LOW temperature. Please check your brands washing guidelines for their recommendations. 

Top Tips for Washing Cloth Nappies

  • Ensure your machine is ¾ full when wet for the best agitation, so if you are using cloth nappies part time, then you will need to bulk up your load with clothes, or small items to ensure you get adequate agitation. 
  • The larger your machine, the more detergent you will need to be effective so try 1 scoop for smaller machines, and 2 scoops for larger machines
  • You can add in-wash booster like Vanish 
  • Not all cloth nappies are created equal in terms of quality. Cheaper brands or ‘China Cheapies” that use a cheaper PUL fabric may not be suitable for regular washing at high temperatures (over 60 degrees). Please check with your nappy brands for their washing temperature advice.