Reusable Cloth Nappies
Switching to reusable nappies can not only save your family from the significant costs associated with disposable products, but will also have a positive impact on your family's environmental footprint!
In Australia, 2 billion nappies alone are disposed of annually. This means 450,000 tonnes of waste are dumped in landfill each year as a result of disposable nappies, baby wipes, disposable sanitary pads, tampons, incontinence pads and breast pads.View Cloth Nappies
How many cloth nappies do I need?
Our recommendation for those families planning on using cloth full-time (Changing on average every 2-4 hours), over an average 2 year period, for 1 child:
- 12-24 Nappy Covers
- 16-30 Inserts
- 5-10 Boosters/Trifolds depending on night use/heavy wetting. (Wet/colder regions may require more)
- 10-20 Microfleece liners
The following purchase options are a great solution to start with:
How often do I need to change a cloth nappy?
Cloth nappies are made with completely different materials to disposables. Disposables contain elements such as synthetic absorbent gels and fibres, making them fast absorbing, unlike natural fibres like Hemp or Bamboo. So your little one will feel moisture in most cases, which is great as it simplifies the transition to toilet training, later on.
Our inserts are designed for day use to absorb soiling. Changing recommended between 2-6 hours. Unless you have a heavy wetting toddler or are choosing to go longer between changes, you can opt to add a “Booster” or “Trifold”.
Our reusable inserts consist of 4 Layers of absorbent fabric with Double-Layered Side gusseting around the thigh contour for maximum anti-leak protection.
If you find your little one is leaking and the insert is soaked completely (meaning it is not a fit issue, but rather the insert has absorbed all it can), then you will either need to change often to match output. Alternatively, you can boost your nappy with extra layers, such as adding in one of our Boosters or Trifolds. This will further push out changing time.
How do I use cloth nappies when out of home?
Using cloth nappies when out-and-about is made simple with our gorgeous range of reusable water-resistant bags, aka “Wet Bags”. These bags are designed to store your baby’s soiled nappies until you return home.
Simply remove the soiled nappy from bub, fold up and place inside the bag. The zippered seal will help contain odour and moisture.
Our Large wet-bags feature dual pockets, allowing you to place clean nappies/clothing in the front pocket and transitioning soiled items to the rear pocket.
When returning home, remove soiled items from the wetbag and place in your dry-pail (or optional hand rinse and strain before adding to your dry-pail if items are heavily soiled).
You may choose to wash your wetbag, otherwise you can also turn inside out to air or wipe down to be able to reuse immediately/next day.
How long will my cloth nappies last?
The average stash size based on industry norms promote a healthy number of 24 nappies for full-time use (shells and inserts). These may be expected to last one child 2 years, or service more children based on a few factors.
Regarding the lifespan of your Bare and Boho nappies, here are some things to consider:
1) Whether you use our system exclusively full-time or part-time 2) Frequency and Routine of washing 3) Urine and feces acidity 6) “One-Size” does not mean longer lasting/will fit numerous children.
EXCLUSIVE FULL-TIME USE VERSUS ROTATIONAL USE:
Cloth nappies in general, will undergo extreme conditions, and so having more items in your stash will allow for more rotation, and in turn offering each insert and shell more recovery time between reuse. (Imagine having only 2 pairs of undies for a year and washing them daily, they will wear much faster than in comparison to having a stash of 9-12 undies in rotation.)
Our nappies are designed as a snap-in-snap-out system, with reusable shells. This was designed to offer the option for minimalism with less nappy shells than most brands in a stash at any one time.
Another option to consider is the recommended use of our Newborn nappies. In choosing to use newborn nappies for the first few months of your child’s life, you enable the sharing of the wear and tear of nappies over the course of your child’s nappy years. Rather than exclusive One-size from birth to toilet training, having newborn nappies in your stash, and exposing them to less use in comparison to One-size, will mean you can use them for future babies too.
WASHING AND DRYING:
Wash routines needs to take in to consideration two aspects: 1) Washing more regularly is more hygienic, yet will wear on nappies. 2) Delaying washing by spacing out days, will result in urine and faeces wearing down nappies.
Also to consider, is the type of water you have and the type (and amount) of cleaning products/detergent used in your nappies.
So ultimately we recommend washing every 2nd-3rd day as a general norm. Following the basic washing guideline available under the “Baby” Tab.
AWARENESS FOR URINE AND FECES ACIDITY:
Urine and faeces when left too long can deteriorate nappies. At various stages of a baby’s growth, their waste may go through varying stages of density, acidity and colour.
Ensuring longer lifespan from your inserts mean being aware of these issues, and if you child is prone to acidic waste (such as when teething or dehydrated), it is best to not have the inserts sitting with waste on them too long between washes.
*Check out our Washing Tips Page for more info on Dry Pailing.*
REALITY OF OSFM (ONE-SIZE-FITS-MOST):
OSFM nappies are fabulous as they allow families to skip extra purchasing of sized nappies as their babies grow. It does not mean however, that the nappy itself will last the distance.
OSFM nappies and specific sized nappies (S/M/L) are developed using the same structure and materials, so they will not endure any more wear, tear and washing than the OSFM nappies.
To gain optimal use out of a OSFM system, it is ideal to be prepared to have a large enough stash to rotate, or be prepared to purchase components (shells/inserts) as you need during the lifespan of your child’s nappy years.
Can Newborn Nappies be used straight after birth?
Our Newborn Collection is designed to fit prematurely born babies and full term newborns from birth very well; offering a petite fit for tiny frames. They are tailored to allow room for the umbilical born if choosing a Lotus birth and/or stump, which is helpful in those early weeks.
Our newborn range are recommended for an approximate weight range 1-6kg.
They have their own Newborn Inserts that are designed for newborn bottoms, rather than being as bulky as our One-Size which can be very big in a newborn.
Many hospitals will have their own policy regarding cloth use (cloth nappies and cloth pads) so best to check in advance if you can start your cloth journey in hospital as many do!
How many newborn nappies will I need for full-time use?
Longevity of the newborn nappies will depend on birth weight and growth rate once your little one is born, determining how long they will offer a suitable fit.
Premature and twin babies will find these of most benefit given their average smaller birth weight. But we find our customers are able to use the newborn nappies from birth upwards to 12 weeks old.
Our recommendation for using cloth nappies full time from birth:
They feature less snap variations, less fabric and are overall much easier as a transition nappy for new parents.
When changing as regularly as a newborn requires, as well as constant motions throughout the night, an investment in to newborn nappies is soon paid off.
You can then wash and store away until your next little one joins the family!
How do I use cloth nappies during winter?
For those without a dryer and with the sun’s warmth less generous in the dreary months of winter, you may find your rotation of inserts needs a boost to tie you over longer drying times!
Well, we’ve got you covered! A few options we recommend to cover your needs this winter time:
These are large rectangular multi-layer inserts that fold thrice to form a thirsty yet fast-drying inner for your shell. They sit inside the shell snugly or can snap in!
They are perfect for those who prefer a slim-straight alternative to our normal gusseted insert. They are great for day use, to replace our usual inserts, or for night use for ultimate absorption.
Washing and DryingView Cleaning
How do I begin washing reusable nappies?
Washing your reusables!
There isn’t a fancy method & there isn’t much to it once you find your groove. But, it can be one of the most overwhelming factors for newcomers to cloth. We recommend downloading our Nappy Washing Guide which you can find under the 'Nappies' tab.
There are some aspects one needs to keep in mind. After all, nappies & pads aren’t just another item of clothing, they “catch” a heck of a lot more than that!
To simplify it, we’ve answered some FAQ’s below...
- Nappies & pads can be washed with household laundry. Opt for light colours if worried about potential colour run onto your reusables & smaller items are better than large, when combining with household laundry. (Eg Bed linen/towels can hinder the agitation).
- Cold water doesn’t really cut it for cloth. Recommended 40-60 degrees for your reusables to best strip soiled fibres. Using 60°C water is more effective at removing soiling.
- Run separate PRE-WASH cycle 40-60mins & MAIN cycle 2-3hr. - - Run your two cycles back-to-back Day 2 or 3. (dry-pail in between).
- Depending on load size & whether loads shared with household laundry, may impact which timeframe above suits. (Removal of/ Hand-rinsing where needed for solids).
This is an open & airy storage solution for soiled reusables in between cloth-removal & laundry day. Don’t store in a dark or damp space. Avoid pail-liners/bags. Dry-Pails available via our website (Strucket).
Detergent recommendations listed on website. Otherwise, check out our sponsor-group "Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under” for a comprehensive detergent index!.
Soiling on pads or nappies shouldn’t be the norm with a solid wash routine. Stubborn stains best removed with our Tuff Stuff bars available on the website. Re-wet pads/inserts on laundry day & gently agitate bar on spots. Throw in your machine, suds & all.
Sunlight ideal for inners & pads (cotton side towards sun). Dry shells in an airy, yet shaded spot. Tumble dry suitable for inners (not shells). STRETCH inserts, boosters & Trifolds when wet and before drying. The extra effort will result in less shrinkage once dried.
Find your flow! Find routine!
Do I need to pre-wash nappies?
Our natural fibre inserts require washing before use, to increase absorbency and release any natural oils. So once you have received your brand new nappies, we recommend following the below steps before use.
Option 1: Soak items overnight in water, followed by main wash.
2-3 hour cycle (Cottons/Heavy Duty), 40 degrees.
Option 2: 3-5x Main wash cycles. 2-3 hour cycle (Cottons/Heavy Duty) Max 40 degrees. Detergent needed for first cycle only. Don’t dry in between washes.
Stretch: Once washed and before drying, stretch all inserts to maximum shape by pulling out gusset aps and ends. Slight shrinkage with the natural fibre inserts will occur. Stretching when wet, and before drying, is vital.
Do I need to pre-wash nappy covers?
Pre-washing your nappy covers is only for hygiene reasons due to the handling of the nappies through the production cycle and warehouse handling.
They can be added to your prewash of insert cycle. 40 degrees.
What is dry pailing?
A “Dry-Pail” is an open & airy storage solution for soiled reusables in between cloth-removal & laundry day. Soiled modern cloth nappies are recommended to be kept dry, no soaking necessary unlike traditional cloth nappies.
Don’t store in a dark or damp space.
Strucket Dry-Pails available Here
What wash routine is recommended?
Please feel free to follow our recommended washing steps below:
1. Hand-rinse and dry-pail end of each day: Shake/scrape/rinse solid waste off inserts in to toilet. Use soft silicone scrub brush to remove waste off inserts, shells and elastics. Use soap bar such as ‘Tuff Stuff’ to gently agitate any stains. (Remove net from bar for gentler agitation). Squeeze water out, place in the dry-pail*, until machine wash day.
2. Rinse Cycle Every 1-2 Days:
40-60 Min. 40-60 degrees. . Designed to remove excess soiling. (1/2 dose recommended detergent for your machine). Select cycle which removes soiled water. Using 60°C water is more effective at removing soiling. Dry-pail if not following wash with the main cycle immediately.
3. Main Cycle Every 2-3 days:
2-3 Hour (Cottons/Heavy Duty). 40-60 degrees. Use recommended dosage of detergent for your load size. Double dosage for recommended eco-detergents.
Line dry in direct sunlight. Tumble-dry or portable clothes airer suitable (excluding nappy shells, shade dry only. Do not tumble-dry shells or place in direct sunlight as this can cause damage long term and void warranty.) *Before drying, stretch all wet inserts to maximum shape.
• Dry-pail: Open lid storage bucket/basket featuring holes all around sides for maximum air ow. Kept dry, no soaking necessary unlike traditional cloth nappies.
• For ideal agitation, ensure machine is loosely loaded fully when dry (or equates to being 2/3 full once wet.) Smaller household laundry items (excluding towels) are needed to help bulk the load. *Choose light coloured laundry items.
• Avoid highly perfumed or acidic detergents containing citrus or phosphates.
• Avoid detergents containing fabric softeners, optical brighteners or chlorine bleach. Usage will void your warranty.
• Avoid nappy balms containing zinc or petroleum unless using a reusable/disposable liner.
How often do I need to wash my nappies?
We recommend washing your nappies every 2 to 3 days for best results. If you are struggling to fill your washing machine to the recommended loading amount, you can add in other baby items or family household laundry to bulk the load.
We recommend loading the machine for best agitation and also protection of nappies, to “loosely full” when dry, which will result in ¾ full when items are wet. Keep this in mind when establishing your washing routine and what day works best.
What detergents are recommended?
We recommend the following for our Australian customers:
RECOMMENDED NATURAL DETERGENTS:
(Double dose) Kin Kin Naturals, Ecostore Laundry Powder
We recommend washing at 60 degrees for natural, sensitive and bio detergents as 40 degree isn’t hot enough.
Omo Ultimate Powder, Biozet Attack, Radiant Laundry Liquid
Is detergent recommended for the first and second wash cycle?
We recommend detergent for both cycles for optimum results. 40-60 degrees is ideal to activate your detergent.
Natural detergents may require double dosing, so you may wish to trial a few washing cycles to find what works best with your machine and your nappies
What products do I need for removing stains?
We recommend and have available via our website, the best natural stain removal product “Tuffy” . This bar is natural, non-toxic and renowned for great results.
You can use Tuffy on your nappy inners, cloth pads, wipes, and all apparel.
We recommend using it as follows during your wash routine:
Use soap bar such as ‘Tuffy’ to gently agitate any stains. (Remove net from bar for gentler agitation). Squeeze water out, place in the dry-pail, until machine wash day.
Once lathered, you can also keep the soap sitting on the soiled spot an add straight to the washing machine
Is there a specific wash routing for a teething baby?
Teething babies may experience changes to their bowel movements and urine, sometimes this can create sensitivity to their bottoms. Following our normal washing routine will suffice, however you may find that adding a stay-dry layer to the nappy insert, such as our Reusable Microfleece Liners helps to wick away the soiling from bub’s bottom during these sensitive stages of growth.
The reusable liner is easy to rinse off and wash along with your nappies.
If you find any changes to colour of the soiling, our Tuffy will be able to help work out any potential staining from your inners.
What is the best temperature to wash my covers?
40 degrees is ideal for your covers. You may wish to occasionally wash at 60 degrees for your pre-wash cycle to help lift any heavy stains on your inners, but the higher temp won’t heavily impact the washing outcome for your covers.
Keep in mind, our covers are made of the highest quality laminated polyester, however they can be impacted by long term use of high temperature washing. You may choose to keep your covers snapped together or wash in a delicates bag for protection long term.
Do I need to soak nappy covers?
Soaking nappy covers is fine, so long as you are avoiding bleaches or other harsh chemicals which may impact the laminate lining of the shells over the long term.
Soaking of soiled nappies is not recommended with modern cloth nappies- unlike traditional cloth washing standards- so storing your soiled covers in a dry-pail between use will suffice.
Is it ok to run a cold water wash?
Cold water is not recommended for a sufficient long-term washing routine for your cloth nappies. Cold water will not deliver optimum results and can leave your nappies smelling or create ammonia build-up which can eat away at the natural fibres or break down the laminate lining on the shells.
For top-loaders, we recommend adding hot water via a kettle if you can monitor the temperature and ensure no higher than 40-60 degrees for the cycles.
For front loaders, you may be able to confirm through your settings that your machine does in fact that allow the machine to create its own hot water internally, even if the machine is not connected to external hot water.
What should I do if my nappies smell even after washing?
If your nappies are still smelling after washing, you will need to revise your washing routine as ammonia may be building up in your inserts as the washing cycles/detergent are not thoroughly cleaning.
Please refer back to our washing guide, which recommends dual cycles at 40-60 degrees as two separate cycles to ensure the best clean.
For heavily soiled inserts, prior to the machine cycle, please ensure you are rinsing / scraping/ shaking off any solids into toilet before placing in the machine. Using 60°C water is more effective at removing soiling.
Ensure your nappies are completely dried before storing away to stop potential mould or smell.
You may wish to introduce a different washing detergent in to your routine as per our recommendations below;
RECOMMENDED NATURAL DETERGENTS:
(Double dose) Kin Kin Naturals, Ecostore Laundry Powder
Omo Ultimate Powder, Biozet Attack, Radiant Laundry Liquid
How do I dry my nappy inners?
Sunlight is the most cost effective, environmentally friendly and successful means to dry your items. We recommend first stretching your inners to shape when wet, then hanging them evenly and spaced out in direct sunlight. If you do your wash late at night and hang them before bed, or first thing in the morning, they have a suitable time in direct sunlight during the day.
If you have a clothes horse, ensure the inners are not bunched and blocking sun for other items, move the clothing wrack around to maximise sun exposure.
However we understand in some locations this is not always possible all-year-around. In these cases, tumble-dry is suitable and even in front of the heater or on an airer. Under a fan will also help.
Nappy covers and other items featuring our printed PUL (laminated polyester), are not able to be tumble-dried as this will deteriorate the laminate.
How do I dry my nappy covers
Nappy covers are more delicate than the natural fibre inners given the nature of the laminated polyester.
We recommend partial sunlight with the laminated inner lining facing DOWNWARDS (printed side the only side to experience sun exposure). We do not recommend long periods in the sun, unlike your inners.
A short sit in the sun, before moving to a highly ventilated and airy location is suitable.
The sun is a helpful aspect to saturate between the layers of the polyester to stop any potential moisture being trapped though.
If I live in a colder climate and dont have a dryer, how do I dry my inners faster?
Those who live in colder climates will find that they will need to navigate drying with the use of help, such as a tumble dryer, fan, heater, fire etc, to help speed up the drying process.
Our inserts are faster drying when stretched, alongside the boosters which add absorbency in a separate pad for easy drying.
The trifolds are wonderful in that they create a very thirsty option, whilst being able to be spread out for drying efficiency.
You will need to ensure you have an adequate rotation of nappies to cover your needs through all seasons.
Purchasing extra sets of inners will be helpful in winter months.