Part time cloth and washing them

Using cloth nappies part of the time is often how we all start and finish our cloth journey. To begin with you may only have a handful of nappies as you gradually build up your stash, at the end you may only be using cloth nappies at night. And we have all had times when life gets a bit too much and are only able to use one nappy here or one there.

The question frequently asked is, is it worth it?

I can honestly say yes, it is ABSOLUTELY worth it! Just 1 cloth nappy a day reduces landfill waste by 360 disposables in a year, but even if its one nappy a week, that's still a fantastic 52 disposables avoided. We wouldn't be critical of saving £52, eating 52 less chocolate bars or reading an extra 52 books with our child, so we shouldn't be so critical of our selves with how often we use cloth nappies.

Cloth does not need to be all or nothing!

The most common hire kit I offer is the mini kit of 5 nappies, and for good reason too. Often because people only need night nappies or only want to try pull ups, but sometimes a hirer knows exactly what 4 or 5 nappy brands they want to try and it serves as the perfect way to try them out without the hassle of buying them and then selling the ones they don't like after.

My top tips to wash them

Washing nappies is a common concern, only having a few nappies to wash causes even more anxiety. So how are you supposed to wash a few nappies when prewashing 1 or 2 nappies seems like a waste of resources and there isn't enough nappies to fill the washing machine without leaving them a week or more, risking stinks, stains and ammonia formation?

You will be very pleased to know that though slightly different to a normal nappy wash routine, it is not difficult to maintain those beautiful nappies clean, white, stink and stain free. These are my top tips for washing under 5 nappies:

  1. Do a thorough hot handwash of each nappy with a little detergent each day. If there are poo stains give them a good scrub with soap.

  2. Squeeze out the excess water or put them through a spin cycle in the washing machine.

  3. Add them to a light coloured (unless you want blue, grey or pink nappies!) family laundry wash within 2-3 days of use*

  4. Use a long, 2 hour+ wash, at 40-60c with a full dose of detergent for water hardness, machine size and heavy soiling.

  5. Dry however you wish!

Once you have more than 5 nappies to wash you are better off sticking to a regular wash routine (see links below) to prevent problems developing over time!

*Aim for a loosely full wash, you might need to be more relaxed over size of laundry washed with only a handful of nappies, so add t shirts, shirts, underwear, pillow cases, sleep sacks, teatowels, hand towels etc I would still avoid bath sheets, fitted sheets, trousers and duvet covers as they will likely wrap around the nappies preventing good agitation.

Guide based on Clean Cloth Nappies

Click here for my full wash guide


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