Little Twidlets does not recommend any one particular way or any specific product to use to wash your nappies, it is important to remember that everyone's wash routine will be different depending on the age/type of washing machine you have, if you have any sensitivity to particular detergents and what your drying facilities are for example. We always suggest that you follow any manufacturing guidelines on any particular nappy and warn that any warranty that you have with the product may be void if you don't follow them.
We can, however, offer you advice and guidance, please be aware this is from our own experience of washing cloth nappies and we will not be held responsible for any damage to your nappies as a result of our advice.
Before the nappies go in the bucket/wet bag make sure that any poo residue that can be, is removed from the nappy. This is where liners can help. If you are using disposable ones pop this in the bin and if you are using washable ones rinse of any poo in the loo, bathroom sink or shower (whatever works best in your home)
What your wash cycle is will depend on your machine, I personally use a 2.30-hour main wash and find this is more than enough to normally clean everything properly. We wash at 60degrees (we do this as our own children share the nappies) You may find that 40 degrees is enough with an occasional 60-degree wash. Never use fabric softener on your nappies.
You might find that you need to pop your nappies on a pre-wash first or that it needs an extra rinse at the end, sometimes these can be included in the main program of your machine sometimes they will have to be put on manually.
Find what works for you and let us know any problems so we can help you troubleshoot if things are not right.
3. The detergent
We use a full dose of washing detergent as per the instructions on the detergent. There have been some ideas around recently that you should use half dose for nappies to prevent a 'build up' of gunk on the nappies but I always felt that if I use a full dose for washing our clothes why would I then use less of an amount to clean something that has been pooed on! This is our opinion if you find using less or more works for you then go with that.
The cheapest and most environmentally-friendly way to dry your nappies is obviously on a line. If you need to dry them indoors then never directly on a heat source such as a radiator. It will harden the fibres on your nappies, and over time, the heat can ruin waterproofing. Near a gentle heat source is great, and a lot of people like to tumble dry - always on low - for the last 10-15 minutes of the dry, which fluffs up the nappies nicely. We use a 'socktopus' hung in the window or over the non-heated clothes horse.
5. Washing machine maintenance
This should be done regularly (once a month) and is important if you are washing nappies. Many machines have a maintenance cycle that you can pop on if not just run a hot wash on empty.
6. Strip washing
Strip washing is when you give your nappies a really good wash to ensure that there is no build-up of detergent on them as this will affect the absorbance of them.
Just put the clean nappies in 60-degree cycle with no detergent, and keep an eye on them as they go round. You should see suds in the drum, and these suds should diminish. When there is hardly any left, you have done enough washes, and can take them out. Another method is to hang your nappies on the line in the rain. Also good to point out that if your nappies are looking a bit stained then hanging them out in the sun will do them wonders.
Remeber, washing nappies should not be complicated or a long labour intence chore. You pretty much chuck them in the machine and leave it to do the work. If you are having problems do contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org