Washing your modern cloth nappies the right way.

Hey fellow cloth lovers,

Today I am going to explain to you how to wash your nappies the correct way, and also provide a few little mum hacks I have learnt throughout my journey with washing nappies.

Firstly I want to acknowledge the website ‘clean cloth nappies’, this is where I have obtained all my information on appropriate guidelines to cleaning cloth nappies over the years.

Three Little Bears nappies need to go through a couple of steps before they are fully clean and ready to use again… this sounds daunting dosn’t it! But rest assured I have done it so you can to!

Additionally I will put it in a step by step fashion for you, so its not overwhelming.


Step one-

Baby wets or soils the nappy (this is great, your baby is healthy haha).

If it is a soiled nappy, try to get as much of the poo off into the toilet. I use a cheap dish washing brush from Kmart as well as gloves! to help with this process.


Step two-

Place your nappy in a bucket or pail that has no water in it, and also one that has plenty of holes!

Why no water you may ask??… this is because our nappies have a waterproof film on the inside, and by leaving them to soak in water will de-laminate this film, leading to leaks from your nappy. We also use a bucket with big holes as this allows the nappies to air out between washes, and this minimises the chances of getting mouldy nappies.


Step three-

Every night or every second night do a pre-wash. This is a short cycle on your washing machine. Usually 30 minutes or so. And remember no hotter than 40 degrees. You will need half a scoop of washing detergent for your pre-wash.


Step four-

Once you have enough pre-washed nappies collected (in your holey bucket), you are then ready for your main wash. This is the longest cotton cycle on your machine, usually lasting 2.5- 3 hours. This is where the deep clean comes, getting rid of every bit of waste on the nappy. When you are doing your main wash you are generally using a whole scoop of washing detergent. However each washing detergent has a different degree of strength, and if you want to find out the exact amount of detergent, jump onto the ‘clean cloth nappies’ website and that will give you the specifics.

Also remember no hotter than 40 degrees.

Personally I do a pre-wash every night and then do my main wash on night 3 of all pre-washes. However if you are starting out and dont have enough nappies to fill a load feel free to chuck other small items into the machine with the nappies, to make a full load.


Step five-

Dry your nappies. On the clothes line, or in the dryer on a low heat. Most of our inserts are pretty fast drying except for our night nappy inserts. These may have to be dried for 2 days on the line as they are very thick and absorbent.


So that's the low down on cleaning Three Little Bears nappies. Yes you can get into more details about the science and technicality of washing, and for this I will link a website below. However this step by step guide is the fundamentals of cleaning cloth nappies and will get you through the process.

Make sure you do try and follow these steps, as if you start skipping one or two steps your nappies can start to smell, or stop absorbing urine, causing leaks to occur. If this does ever happen, you should do a strip and sanitise to refresh your nappies back to new…. You can find this on our FAQ page on www.threelittlebearsau.com

Anyway, hope this helps you out… and I am always available if you have any questions regarding wash routines.



mama bear






Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published