Friday, 26 December 2014

Washing and drying

Worries about how to wash and dry cloth nappies are probably one of the things that keep more people from using them. If your parents or grandparents used them you'll have heard tales of soaking, boil washing, bleaching etc that are enough to put anyone off. The good news is that things are MUCH simpler and easier these days.

There's a great guide to washing and drying real nappies from Go Real here, but I'll give you a quick summary.

All you need to do is keep your dirty nappies in a lidded bucket (no soaking!). Any poo goes in the loo when you change the nappies, particularly easy to do if you use flushable paper liners. So there's no poo standing around in a bin (a major advantage over disposables) and virtually no smell.
When you have a load of nappies to wash, throw them in the machine at 60 with a non-bio detergent and dry them on the line or indoors.

60C is enough to sanitise the nappies, but some parents are happy to wash them at lower temperatures. If you're worried about drying times, you can buy fast-drying nappies such as micro fibre, which are practically dry when they come out of the machine.

Is it loads of work? I don't think so. We find we need to do a nappy wash every 2 days and our daytime nappies are micro fibre so they dry quickly, even on a rack indoors on a rainy summer's day when the heating is off. Our cloth wipes are fast-drying fleece and go in with the nappies. There's so much washing with a baby anyway that the nappies don't seem to add much.

Putting a regular nappy wash on is helpful for other soiled baby items which need sanitising, like burp cloths or bedding. Friends who are potty-training an older child find it convenient as they can simply throw their toddler's clothes into the nappy bucket if they have an accident.

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