*Please note this is general advise only and the manufacturers instructions should always be followed to reach the maximum lifespan out of each nappy.
Washing cloth nappies might initially seem complicated, however don't over think it too much... Here's a simplified break down:
An effective wash routine has the following 4 steps:
1. Pretreat (Optional)
2. Prewash (Short wash in warm or hot water)
3. Main Wash (Long wash in warm or hot water)
This step is optional. Some parents choose to pretreat, as some babies have stainy poops. After rinsing the poopy nappies (or spraying the poop into the toilet with a nappy sprayer), rub a laundry soap such as Sard/Sunlight/Velvet into the fabrics until they're nice and bubbly. Pop your nappies back into the pail until you're ready to wash them.
The prewash is a short wash cycle that removes excess soiling from your nappies, so that you can complete your main wash in clean water. You can see the difference in wash water quality in the below photo - the prewash water is really dirty and won't result in a good clean, which is why your prewash needs to be followed by your main wash.
Your prewash is a short wash cycle (on most machines there will be an option for a quick or regular cycle that's around 30-60 minutes long). Warm to hot water (maximum 60 deg) will provide a more effective wash than cold.
The main wash is a long wash cycle that gives your nappies a really thorough clean. Use the longest cycle on your machine. For most front loaders, this is around 2-3 hours. For top loaders, this can vary from 1-3 hours. Complete your main wash in warm to hot (40-60degC) water for best results.
You can dry your nappies outdoors, indoors or in the tumble dryer. If you're drying outdoors, ensure your nappy covers/shells are in the shade as the waterproofing can be damaged by the sun.
- wash regularly (2nd day)
- use a prewash + main wash routine
- use warm to hot water (max 60 deg C)
- add some stain remover powder if you're washing at temperatures less than 60 deg C, and
- use enough detergent for a heavily soiled load.