Air dry to keep your reusable nappies happy

5 cloth reusable napies hanging on washing line


With this lovely weather the best way to dry cloth reusable nappies after washing is the good old fashioned natural way on a clothes line – it’s better for nappy longevity and the planet! With this in mind please read below for tips on caring for your reusable nappies when washing and drying.


How do I wash the nappies?

New reusable nappies need to be prewashed at least twice to improve absorbency – this is best done by separating the inserts from the rest of the nappy. Bamboo fibre should not be washed above 40°C. Deep and dark coloured nappies should be washed separately initially incase the colour runs.

Nappies should be washed after every use. Some people do a cold rinse cycle before a wash cycle which helps nappies stay fresh smelling as urine is rinsed away with cold water rather than being set by hot water.

Many people wash at 40°with a 60° wash every so often. Non-biological washing powder should be used at 1/2 or even 1/3 of your regular amount otherwise detergent can build up on nappies affecting their absorbency, irritate your baby skin and produce a fishy odours .Fabric conditioner should not be used as it will affect absorbency.

Avoid nappy creams with reusable nappies as they will leave a greasy residue on the inner lining which is very difficult to remove and will affect absorbency. The best way to reduce nappy rash is to limit exposure to soiled nappies ie frequent changes and babies will often benefit from periods of being uncovered and open to air in cases of bad nappy rash.

How do I dry the nappies?

Air drying outside is ideal weather permitting, the UV light also helps to sterilise the nappy! Failing that drying in an airing cupboard or on an airer near a radiator is good as most reusable nappy material is quick drying. A tumble drier on low heat will keep nappies soft and drying time can be decreased by adding a dry towel to the load however tumble drying may shorten the nappy’s lifespan. It is better to try to air dry the pocket component and tumble dry the inserts if you are able. Avoid drying nappies directly on radiators as this can affect waterproofing abilities. Once dry, reassemble the nappies and they are as convenient to use as disposables