Washing Cloth Nappies

Nappy laundering has come a long way however some myths about how nappies should be treated, and methods for stain and smell removal remain. Nappies also have a reputation for being more unsanitary, which is false, as well as being gross for having to handle bio material. As also mentioned on our 'Why Choose Cloth Nappies' page, fecal matter from disposable nappies should also legally be disposed of via the sewage system, and not left in nappies to be sent to landfil. Laundering nappies properly means that all bacteria is removed in the washing process. 

General Instructions

We recommend following Clean Cloth Nappies washing instructions. 

Rinse and Dry Pail

  • After flushing any solids waste (from formula fed babies or babies on solids), rinse your nappies and store in a dry pail
  • A dry pail should have lots of holes to ensure air flow and limit bacteria growth by drying out nappies
  • Rinsing nappies will extend elastic life by reducing prolonged exposure to ammonia
  • Nappies can remain in a dry pail 1-2 days before being pre-washed
Dry Pail Example


  • A pre-wash cycle is a short wash cycle on cold or warm water with half the recommended amount of detergent
  • Remove inserts, unsnap nappies and add any wetbags, breastpads, or menstrual pads that require washing

Main Wash

  • Bulk load with other items if necessary, there should be enough items to achieve a good agitation in your wash
  • Use the recommended amount of detergent and the longest wash cycle at 60 degrees 


  • Line dry shells (out of harsh prolonged direct sunlight in summer)
  • A moderate dryer can be used for inserts