Pre-washing reusable nappies(19 Posts)
I’ve decided to give reusable nappies a go and just see how I get on.
I know I’m suppose to wash them a few times before hand but I’m a bit confused... when it says wash them a few times does that mean shove them in the washing machine and just keep turning the wash back on after it’s finished or am I suppose to wash them, dry them, then wash them again. Also, is that just the nappies themselves or the inserts as well? Am I suppose to wash all of those multiple times too? And do I use detergent? Just my normal non-bio detergent? Will a 30 degree wash do or should it be higher?
Thanks very much in advance ☺️
I did a pre wash without detergent followed by a regular cotton wash at 60 with detergent both on 1000 spins max. It's the wash routine nappy lady recommends as regular wash (Reduce main to 40 degrees when baby over 3 months) it took something like 10 washes for bamboo ones to be fully absorbent but had no issues washing just once before use. I did inserts and wraps too. Her website has lots of info on washing so worth looking at
Check max temp yours can be washed at as wool may not be as forgiving as my bamboo ones!
Bamboo nappies need the pre washes to reach full absorbancy. No need to dry in between. I usually do detergent in the first pre wash and do at 40 - the fabric is treated to make it easier to sew so you want that removed. Subsequent washes don't bother with detergent, as you just need the water really. Alternatively, just soak in the bath for an overnight. I do.
Better to use powder rather than liquid for washing nappies. It's more effective. The jury is out on bio or non bio, but a lot of people recommend Ariel original. I use it and have no problems with stinks or stains, even with night nappies.
No fabric softener on nappies though - it reduces absorbancy.
If you tumble dry - only use a low setting.
Inserts get the same treatment as nappies (i.e. the absorbant bit), wraps just need one pre wash to remove manufacturing treatments.
Check you don't have wool wraps I.e. disana ones as I suspect they'd need different washing, but have never used them and out nappy library doesn't use them so can't advise I'm afraid.
Seeing as they're new nappies, a good wash routine from the off will be helpful in avoiding build up of smells etc.
Cold rinse (or several if it's a few days worth or there have been many 💩'y nappies.
Long wash with Ariel (you need a setting of approx 2 hours for a good nappy wash - mine has a baby care setting with extra rinses at the end to get rid of any extra detergent). I often wash them at 40, because you can with bio, with a 60 wash every now and then (say once every 2 weeks) or if DC is poorly.
Cold rinse if the wash cycle doesn't add any on - get rid of any extra powder that's been retained.
I've never had to strip wash nappies using this routine.
Good luck op! If you have any cloth nappy questions, I'm happy to answer.
P.s. if you're using non bio, wash dirty nappies on 60 routinely. I only drop down to 40 as I use bio for nappies.
P.p.s. if you're new to cloth nappies, it's a misconception that you need to soak them in a nappy bucket while waiting for the wash. Modern washing machines are efficient and don't need them soaked.
Just throw them in a bucket ('dry pailing'). Also avoid nappy San and the like. There's no need nowadays and you will void your manufacturers warranty. This is what people who used Terry squares may suggest ;) the elastics in modern cloth nappies can be affected like this.
How do you get on washing nappies in bio rather than non-bio? I tried bio and think the residue was too hard on my babies bum as she got irritated from it. But worried the non-bio doesn’t quite properly clean!
@Browniee I'm sure that over the short term, it won't have harmed your nappies
We've got on fine with bio to be honest. We've not had any issues with rashes. He gets a bit red after a few days at nursery (in disposables) but nothing that a layer of sudocrem at night doesn't fix.
My washing machine does do about 3 rinses at the end of each 'baby care' cycle though, so maybe it's the powder residue left over?
I had the same issues with non bio for nappies where they didn't always seem as clean as I would like. I tested a few brands of powder over time and found I much preferred Ariel. I also have a baby on the way so hopefully bio won't affect newborn skin 🤞 or I'll need to switch back for nappies.
Re the rashes, do your nappies have a build up of smells at all? Like amonia from the wee? No experience personally, but have heard that rashes can come hand in hand with build up on the nappies. Might be worth a strip wash of them to see if it's the issue? What nappies do you use and how long have you had them in rotation?
I have been pre-washing ours ready for new arrival. They are tots bots. Following advice online and tots bots own, I have done:
1) normal 40 degree wash with bio powder (they only sell bio here - Persil I think) - 2 hr cycle
2) 2 extra rinse cycles after. They are 12 min rinses.
I'm hoping thats enough to start with, and will just change more frequent the first few changes until full absorbency.
Depends if they're brand new or not. Brand new will need a few washes to get them to full absorbency. Alternatively you can just change them more often the first few times you use them. If they're preloved then you'll just need to prewash once as they'll already be at maximum absorption. Good luck with cloth!
I use non-bio powder as bio affects all of our skin! But Bio-D do an antibac nappy powder - you add one tablespoon in with your regular non-bio powder. It doesn't seem to irritate baby's skin.
What nappies have you bought? I tend to buy second hand, but if I get any new, then I wash them once and then put them on DS. I just change them more frequently until they've had 3-4 washes.
Thank you for all your replies. They’re really helpful.
I have bought new and Littles and bloomz to start me off. Baby isn’t actually here yet so I think it’ll be a while before she’ll fit into them anyway, I just want to get ready... nesting has begun it would seem.
Get second-hand ones in future and save yourself the bother! And much better for the environment.
I use littles and bloomz too. Instead of prewashing the inserts I left them to soak overnight in the nappy bucket. They've worked perfectly!
@jackparlabane isn’t it amazing how you try to do something good for the environment and there’s always someone ready to point out that you could have done better still 😑
@sweetpea2811 Thank you, that’s a useful tip, I shall do that ☺️
I don't think jack meant it as a dig, we bought used as it was cheaper and
laziness less chance of leaks etc with low absorbancy in the early days but there's no denying it is better for the environment.
It might be worth noting for the future if these particular ones don't work out for you (we went through quite a few before finding the right ones for us as my DD has stupidly sensitive skin so elastic and fleece lining was a no go - fleece soakers are amazing though btw!) that there may be a nappy library in your area for you to try before you buy and there is/was a thriving pre-loved cloth nappy page on FB where I picked up some fab bargains!
However, I understand that not everyone is happy to use second hand and every little helps in the long run so it really doesn't matter now.
I'm not familiar with this brand (my youngest is 7 now so I'm out of the loop) but they look like PUL pocket nappies? If so you only really need to worry about washing/soaking the inserts as the outers aren't absorbanct in any way.
Someone has to buy new in order to have a second hand market. If you use them on more than one baby and/or pass to someone else then they're even better for the environment
Sorry @Toastytoes1, that really was meant as a statement of fact, not as a dig! And means you can more easily try different types.
Nappies I know about have managed an average of six or seven babies before being downgraded to inserts and eventually cleaning cloths/textile bin - so many people will appreciate yours in due course!
Some nappies need lots of prewash to reach full absorbency, some don't need a lot. I wash every new nappy once on 30 no detergent short 30 min wash and then use it as normal..maybe change sooner as the absorbency is not fully there yet..
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