The Cheat’s Guide to Preparing Cloth Nappies

If you’ve asked Google how to prepare new cloth nappies, he probably told you to wash them anywhere between 3 and 10 times. But if you’re anything like us (impatient) and don’t like the idea of wasting a whole lot of water to prepare a nappy for first use, this blog post is for you.

The main reason that multiple pre-washes has been traditionally suggested was to increase the absorbency of natural fibres (bamboo, hemp and cotton) prior to first use. Well, the nature of natural fibres hasn’t changed and it’s true that it does take multiple washes for these fabrics to reach peak absorbency… BUT, we’re not big fans of washing stuff 10 times before it can be used. Especially not gorgeous new cloth nappies that you just want to put on your baby!

So here’s our cheat’s way to prep your cloth nappies.

1. Soak boosters overnight in hot water* in a tub or bucket of water.

2. Wash with half a scoop of detergent and line dry.

* Hot water ensures correct shrinkage from the outset, but make sure that you don’t go any hotter than manufacturer’s instructions. Maximum washing and drying temperature for our nappies should not exceed 60°C.

A few extra points:

  • Please make sure that there is no way a little person can reach the tub or bucket.
  • Your nappy outers won’t need to soaked overnight, but they should be washed in the machine with the boosters to remove any factory and transit dust.
  • Even one-of-a-kind handmade nappies can collect unmentionables along the road to your home, so pre-wash everything at least once before it goes against your baby’s skin.
  • Keep in mind that the absorbency of your natural fibre nappies will improve over the next fortnight as your nappies are used, washed and dried multiple times.

We’ve used this method of preparing nappies for a few years now and can attest to its efficacy, but if you’re still a little nervous about putting a nappy on for night use that hasn’t been pre-washed 10 times, put that particular nappy in the wash with your clothes each day until you’re satisfied it will get your little one through.

How do YOU prep your cloth nappies?

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