How to wash and dry the nappies:

Nappies on a washing line

New nappies

Pre-Washing a new nappy is important. Brand new, they repel moisture rather than absorb it. This is due to a residue from the production process that can remain on the fabric - to cause leakage. Washing a nappy 3-4 times before their first use is recommended. Reduce the amount of detergent to 1/4 of your normal amount as detergent must be completely dissolved for the best results (this also applies to the everyday washing of the nappies).

As with normal washing, seperate dark designs from lighter ones to avoid colour transference.

Basic Washing.

Remove the inserts from the pocket and flush away the soil. Rinse thoroughly to avoid stains and odor developing. Put the cover and the inserts together in the washer. You do not need to wash your covers after every use if the inserts have retained most of the waste. Simply rinse it thoroughly with warm water, hang dry and reuse it for a few more times before putting in the washer. Inserts can be pre-soaked in cold water for half an hour, then a hot wash. If possible, a thorough wash of the nappy cover every 1-2 days will help prevent bacteria build up.


Water temperature is important in getting your nappies clean whilst also preserving their material function of absorbancy and retention. Outer Shells/Nappy Covers - 95 degree F, 35 degree C. Inserts - any water temperature. Temperatures exceeding this will begin to denature the material and increase chances of leaking; temperatures below this recommendation will not thoroughly sanitise the nappies. Tumble drying on a low heat is also advisable.
Hook-Loop Type Outer Shells/Covers.

Make sure to close the Hook-Loop fastener before washing. Do not open the fastener when the nappy is wet as this will reduce the fastening strength.

Do not

  • Use fabric softener or dry sheet; it will reduce the absorbency of your nappy.
  • Use bleach, it can ruin the elastic and damage the water-proofing of your outer shells or covers. Also avoid borax, whitening additives, detergents with chlorine bleach, liquid concentrates and stain removers.
  • Rub detergent directly on the outer shell or cover. It will damage the water-proof of the nappy.

How to disinfect and care for your nappies


  • Use a basin of hot water (95 degree F, 35 degree C), add a little baking soda and soak the nappies in the basin until the water has cooled, line dry under sunlight. Sunlight is the best natural disinfectant.
  • Or use a washing machine with the same steps of process.
    Lemon Juice can soften your nappies. Use 20g of lemon juice add to hot water, soak the inserts for an hour before your normal wash cycle.

Why do nappies leak and how do I prevent it?

Cloth nappies will always be more prone to leaks than disposables as they do not contain dangerous liquid-solidifying chemicals. But there are solutions to help.

Leaking is often a result of repelling; build up from detergent, ointments, soap or hard water can build up on the nappies to make them less absorbent. We recommend you to do the stripping of nappies. First run a cold rinse with no detergent, run a warm/hot cycle (little detergent if necessary but no bleach). Run another cold rinse cycle. Continue washing on warm/hot and rinsing on cold until all the suds run clear.

Newborns wet their nappies often because they have very tiny bladders, so you will require nappy change in every 1-2 hour to prevent leaking. This prevents dampness spreading across the outer cover. Change the nappy often and don't wait until they are too wet.

Incorrect placement of a nappy insert is a common, but easy to solve cause.

Fabric sticking outside of the cover can cause a surprising amount of urine to escape quickly. Make sure the inserts are probably stuffed in place when you put it on your baby.

As mentioned at the top of the page, new nappies repel moisture. If the water droplets bead up on the surface then your nappies need a few more washes in warm water using mild detergent.

There is also the consideration of appropriately placing inserts to accomodate the differences between boys and girls.

For a baby boy it is recommended to have a thicker padding in the front as fluid will tend to flow upward.

For a baby girl you will need extra padding at the back. This can slow down the urine stream so that the nappy has a chance to absorb.

Nappy Rash Creams clog up the fabric of the nappies and prevent them absorbing. Correct placing of a liner when you are using any sort of cream will help prevent this.

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