How to wash Modern Cloth Nappies

Modern cloth nappies are extremely simple to wash. The plethora of information out there has become confusing. So here you go, plain and simple.

1. Remove any solids off your nappies into the toilet. If the nappy is marked, give it a good rinse.

2. Dry Pail. It is not necessary to soak your nappies in anything. Wash within 24 hours to avoid urine eating into your nappies.

3. Wash on no hotter then 60 degrees (We recommend 30-40 degrees as an ongoing wash). Cold wash is perfectly fine (although you will get a better clean with warm water). Use a detergent free from softeners, or bleaches (see here for more details). Do an extra rinse at the end. No fabric softeners, napisan, vinegar or other products are neccessary.

4. Dry your nappies in the sun. Bring them inside once dry. If you must use a dryer, dry on a cool-warm setting (not hot).

It really is that easy!

Drying Tips:

1. Use a clothes horse, you can use it to move your nappies from inside to outside without having to rehang. You can also chase the sun around your yard through out the day to optimise drying time.

2. Hang your nappies on the clothes horse the night before, ready for the first sun in the morning. Then they can get a full days drying.

3. In winter, give your inserts a quick cool-warm run through the dryer to make sure they are completely dry. This will help avoid them getting smelly, and ensure you get the most absorbency out of your nappies.


Excessive heat will deteriorate your nappies. Avoid hot water and hot dryers which will degrade PUL and elastics faster. Also beware if the weather is very hot that the sun may over dry your nappies and deteriorate the elastics or waterproofing.

Too little soap will leave you with nappies that might smell and are not thoroughly clean. Ensure you use enough detergent in your nappies (generally the recommended amount for a normal wash).

Some articles relevant to this issue:

Dealing with smelly nappies

Giving Stains the Flick

Mould & your nappies

Drying Nappies in Winter

Why you shouldn’t use fabric softener, napisan or soap flakes

Great MCN friendly detergents