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Cardboard nappies?

(9 Posts)
lljkk Thu 03-Jul-08 20:02:45

Whatever I do, my cloth nappies are stiff & abrasive as all heck. Is it because we can only air or line dry?

We have fairly hard water, about 5th of the 7 categories my dishwasher details.

I have tried a little, a medium amount or a huge amount of vinegar in the fabric conditioner drawer.
I have tried (after a proper wash) rinsing with vinegar poured over nappies inside the washing machine.
I have tried some of the freebie baby fabric conditioners.
I have tried soaking nappies (again, after a proper wash) overnight in either vinegar or coca cola (someone told me it's as good as vinegar for softening nappies -- and then rinsing in washing machine.
I have tried only rinsing rather than using soap, soapnuts, different types of conventional powder detergents with or without soda crystals (usually I use soda crystals, is that the problem?).
I had the same results with knackered old washing machine (gone to the tip 4 years ago) as I do now with quality Siemens machine bought as new.
I use a variety of powder detergents, always bought in large boxes so I end up using the same sort over a long period (seems to make no difference to softness).

Radiator dried, line dried outside or air dried in the house -- result is the same. Cotton liners, terries, prefolds, hemp nappies -- no matter how soft they were when I first got them, they steadily turn into stiff cardboard after 10 or so washes.

Am I missing something obvious? I speak to people who say they do the exact same as me, and their cloth nappies are beautiful soft.

BigBadMousey Thu 03-Jul-08 20:42:12

Hmmmmm....a tricky one!

Firstly hemp + hard water is a recipe for disaster. I use hemp and have very soft water and still get cardboard nappies (although they are old). I think you may be fighting a losing battle with your hemp nappies tbh.

Did you use white vinegar - I'm sure you did as you seem to know your laundry detergents!

Soda crystals are only going to help your hard water situation as they have a softening effect on the water. There is a product called 'Aqua Softna' <yuk at spelling> that would go one step further - I'd say it is worth a try if you have very hard water.

The only other thing I can think of that you haven't tried is hanging them out in the rain (although I bet this has happened even though it wasn't planned).

Radiator drying will make them much stiffer than air drying so try to avoid that if possible.

If I were you I would take them to your local laundrette (or use a friends tumble drier) and give them a one off tumble to give them a start at getting soft. Then descale your washing machine and, from then on use something like the aqua softener with every wash.

With my hemp nappies I use a microfibre cloth as a booster (hemp + microfibre are a v good combination btw) and a large fleece liner. That means there are no rough bits near DDs bottom. I also scrunch them up and rub them together as soon as they are dry as that helps a fair bit with the stiffness.

have a look here for that aqua softna stuff. They also sell borax, soda crystals etc and have lots of tips for using such pro ducts all around the home and garden. I was impressed that they knew not to use fabric softeners on nappies so I guess they know what they are talking about.


aiden Thu 03-Jul-08 22:51:28

This is not realted, but do you know how i can whiten my nappies? they're cotton, from one life, and the poo stains are just getting worse. i haven't tried anything because i'm a little scared of harming babys' skin..



suwoo Fri 04-Jul-08 12:03:22

Aiden, use fleece liners inside the nappies then you can just throw them away if the stains are too bad. I use darkish ones and they haven't stained at all.
I have these

I have 10 and just about to buy another 5.

chipmonkey Fri 04-Jul-08 12:19:24

Drying in bright sunlight helps with stains but not always possible on these islands!

cheesesarnie Fri 04-Jul-08 12:21:20

i just used to put in dryer for few minutes occasionally.naughty im sure but was nicer than cardboard nappies!oh and a really good shake when they came of the line!

lljkk Fri 04-Jul-08 17:49:24

stained nappies not been a big problem, over time the sunlight gets them white again (ime). Although mine have mostly gone grey, from careless washing with other stuff (I guess that's why).

Hum, will try the washing machine descaling (nothing to lose, eh?!) Most the nappies are cotton, though, and ours is not very very hard water, actually.

accessorizequeen Fri 04-Jul-08 21:39:09

We have hard water here, and the only things that have helped (aside from what you've tried) are out in the rain, rubbing nappy together and using a drier for 30 mins before putting on airer. I've mainly given up and use pockets now because fed up of all 3 and never wanted to use drier anyway.

aiden Thu 10-Jul-08 23:05:41

thank you for all ur comments.

i have tried the drier (i live on the 2nd floor and no access to garden) and that seem to hepl a little (with the hardness). the stains are still there but don't seem to be getting worse.

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