You won’t be able to sleep if you think about the environmental impact of disposable diapers. Your child will do this on their own.
In a single minute, more than 300.000 disposable diapers are thrown out. Diapers are the third most common consumer product found in landfills, where they can sit for up to 500 years before degrading.
When you potty trains your child, they will have used 4000-6000.
Reusable diapers, also known as cloth nappies, are the most eco-friendly diapers a parent trying to raise a no-waste baby could buy.
They’re not nearly as frightening as they seem.
You’ll be able to wash diapers quickly and easily with some knowledge about nappy care.
We want to thank the Clean Cloth Nappies experts who helped us reach the issue’s core. However, we’ve also added the tips and tricks that we’ve learned along the way.
You can learn how to clean reusable nappies by following five easy steps.
Which detergent to use for modern cloth nappies
You want to choose a detergent that is strong enough to get the job done but gentle enough for your child’s skin. It’s also ideal to use something more peaceful for the environment.
Your favorite Zero Waste Laundry Detergent is likely to do the trick.
Eco detergents are free of additives that can accumulate on nappy fabrics, reduce their absorbency and make them harder to clean.
Avoid fabric softeners for the same reason, not to mention chemicals that their baby’s skin will absorb.
Finding the right detergent for cloth diapers can be tricky, especially if your goal is to use a more environmentally friendly solution.
Clean Cloth Nappies offers a comprehensive index for UK, AU, and NZ subscribers.
How do you remove stains from cloth diapers
Sunshine is your best friend when it comes to stain removal.
Let it sit in the sunlight with lemon juice and some salt. Even if the stain is not removed immediately, letting it sit in sunlight can also help.
You can also add an eco-friendly stain remover (or something as simple as vinegar for colored clothes or peroxide for whites) along with your regular detergent.
In Australia, zeroCo’s detergent and simply clean’s stains remover work well together (both tested by the CCN).
How to store reusable nappies
The best way to care for dirty nappies is to store them properly between washings.
The “dry pail method” is the way to go.
It is best to avoid soaking nappies in water as this can cause damage to the PUL and elastics.
As tempting as covering dirty nappies with a lid is, it’s better to use a basket or a wet bag that can breathe rather than a sealed container. Aerated baskets are better than sealed bins or wet bags for preventing the growth of bacteria in nappies.
Repurpose an old plastic basket for laundry or something similar.
Check the nappy’s contents before throwing it into the washing basket.
Put it in the basket if you only have a few wet poos. You can put that straight into the basket if your child hasn’t moved on to solids and only has milky poop.
If your child is ready for solids, you must take additional steps.
How do you clean poop off cloth nappies
Before using dry-pailing diapers, you need to remove any solid poop.
Use toilet paper or a scraper to remove it. Use a dedicated spatula, butter knife, or repurposed one. Store it in the bathroom.
Parents on board with zero-waste toilet paper use a handheld bidet to remove the excess poop. The removable shower nozzle also works.
Put your poop-free nappies in your aerated laundry basket to be prewashed.
Pro parenting tip: Close velcro tabs so they don’t attach to other nappies and create a ball of nappies. Snap-buttoned nappies closed to prevent them from getting damaged.
How to prewash cloth diapers
Pre-washing regularly prevents all sorts of problems from mold, stains, and perpetual smell. This step removes the poop.
Pre-washing nappies should be done every day. Some nappies can be pre-washed every two days, but it is recommended that you do so daily if your nappies have multi-layered inserts.
It’s not necessary to dry nappies in between pre-washes. Please put them in a basket with aeration, and when you have enough to do a full load of washing, transfer them into the main washer.
It may seem extreme, but washing reusable diapers quickly becomes a part of daily life.
How do you prewash cloth diapers
Pre-washing should be hot but short. The longer wash will come later.
Use half the amount you would typically use to clean a heavily-soiled load.
To Reduce our Carbon Footprint, we are used to lowering the washing machine’s temperature to cold. But nappy-washing is one case where turning up the heat is safe.
Remember a guppy bag when washing nappies and covers made of PUL (polyurethane-laminated). This will prevent microplastics from entering waterways.
First time washing cloth nappies
If you have bought your nappies new or used, the way you wash them for the first is different.
You can wash new nappies once with laundry detergent and then throw them into your regular laundry. You don’t need to use fabric softeners (not even eco-friendly fabric softeners). If you still can’t stand the smell, try using one of the alternative fabric softeners.
How to wash cloth nappies
Preloved nappies should be washed on the hottest wash possible. They may also need to be ” stripped” depending on how well cared for they have been.
Strip washing is a deeper wash that uses baking soda, vinegar, or bleach. This can remove ammonia or detergent buildup, but it doesn’t have to be done every time.