Wash & Care Instructions for your Cloth Nappies
All cloth nappies should be washed at least once prior to first time use, they do come straight out of a factory after all! Keep in mind that the absorbency of bamboo and especially hemp fabrics generally increases after a few washes, in the case of hemp it can actually take up to 8 washes for the hemp to reach maximum absorbency. Also note that hemp fleece can release quite a bit of loose fluff during the first few washes - this is normal but can leave a lot of fluff around!
Remove and dispose of the bamboo liner if used - or rinse off fleece liner
Remove inserts from pocket nappy (sleeve nappy will self-agitate in machine):
- If nappy is just wet - simply put nappy and inserts into a dry bucket.
- If nappy is soiled (solids) - flush the solids down the toilet, then place nappy and inserts into dry bucket.
Note: The nappies must be stored in a dry bucket, NOT soaked in water – this could damage the waterproofing layer and/or the elastic bands.
TIP: A Pail Liner may be used inside the dry bucket - essentially a pail liner is a large PUL lined (ie waterproof) clothing bag. The items are emptied into the machine on wash day and then the pail liner is dropped in to the washing machine too. Two pail liners are usually enough.
Washing day! Move nappies & inserts from dry bucket into your washing machine. Do NOT soak the nappies. Run a cold rinse cycle followed by a spin cycle to flush the nappies of urine (as a water saving tip: consider rinsing the nappies in bath water before draining the bath).
Add your detergent - use the recommended amount as per the manufacturer instructions. You can use your regular detergent, just avoid using detergent with added softeners - so no 2-in-1's ! And don't add softener. Run a long cold wash cycle with the detergent. Some information available online notes that you can safely wash cloth nappies in hot water of up to 60 degrees – but heat will damage the waterproof lining and potentially the elastics - also the sides of the machine drum may be a lot hotter than the water – so rather be safe and just do a cold wash as part of your regular routine. The care label on BiddyKins nappies specifically identifies 30 degrees. This is not because the nappies have inferior PUL or more sensitive elastics - we want your nappies to last as long as reasonably possible!
Dry your nappies and inserts.
(TIP: If you have hemp flats - gently pulling them straighter whilst still wet can make quite a difference to the shape when they are dry.)
The nappy shells will dry quite quickly as they don't really absorb much water. The inserts will take much longer to dry as they are designed to act like sponges. Inserts can be dried in a tumble dryer but as is the case with most fabrics - tumble drying shortens the lifespan of clothing. Interestingly bamboo fabrics are more sensitive to tumble drying than microfiber & hemp in the long run. The nappy shell / outer lining (with the sensitive outer waterproof layer and elastics) should NEVER be tumble dried - in the case of pockets and all-in-two's and covers - the shell is not absorbent and will dry very quickly anyway - unlike the inserts.
Take care not to leave nappy covers in direct sunlight as this will damage the sensitive PUL waterproofing. Covers (which don't have any lining or inserts attached) have exposed laminating and are more sensitive to direct sunlight. Pockets and All-in-One nappies are different and can be left in sunlight to remove stains - but lay them with the colour/printed side away from the direct sunlight.
Line drying All-in-One Nappies Correctly:
Important note on using deep cleaning nappy detergents or additives.
Since cleaning nappies is such an integral part of any cloth nappy journey we are always looking at new products that come to market, and are often asked which detergent to use. Our answer is usually quite simple – Which ever store bought/main stream/regular detergent you would like to use, or normally use – as long as it has no added fabric softener.
If ever you are in doubt as to whether your detergent is safe to use or are experiencing difficulties with your washing routine – please do not hesitate to simply ask us – just drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.