Washing cloth nappies can be overwhelming and confusing when you first look into it. But it needn’t be. It’s just laundry…. really dirty laundry. So, apply the rules you would to normal dirty laundry: agitation, heat, and good detergent. These are the same key factors are what will get your nappies sparkling clean. The first thing you need to do before washing your nappies (even before baby comes if you’re a planner) is to choose your wash cycles. This may take a little reading and playing around with your machine, but it’s a one-off chore. And after that, you know what to do every time!

Jenna is the resident social media guru here at Bubblebubs. She has been using and advocating for cloth nappies in Australia since her son was born two years ago.

Transcript: Choosing Your Cloth Nappy Wash Cycles.

Hi, I’m Jenna from Bubblebubs and today we will talk about choosing your wash cycles. This is one of those things it might take you a little to decide, in the beginning but you don’t have to do it every day, once it’s done, it’s done and those are the cycles you use as long as you have to wash nappies.
We will do what’s called a two-step wash routine, and that involves a pre-wash and a main wash. For the pre-wash you want to have a different cycle. You don’t want to use the pre-wash button because usually they don’t dump the water completely or they don’t have enough agitation. They’re not great and what we’re trying to do is remove poo and pee from nappies, so the main wash can happen with a nice, clean water.
For the pre-wash we want to choose a short-ish cycle that includes some good agitation and not just a rinse and spin. You want it about 30, 40 minutes and mine is an hour because there isn’t a good 30 to 40 minute option on my machine. There’s no problem in that if you want to have a longer wash but it’s just a little extra wear and tear on your nappies.
Now we will choose our main wash cycle. You want to use the longest cycle your machine has, cottons or heavy duty. For my machine it’s called cottons, and it’s at the top, so it will be at the far end of your dial or the top of your button selection. It will be the longest cycle. If you want to use extra agitation that’s at your discretion. You will be looking for a button that says ‘intensive’ or a button that says ‘stains’. I’ve got a setting option here that says ‘stain’.
Then you want to choose your detergent and your water temperature. These are best chosen to use the Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under detergent index, which has a whole list. It can be a little overwhelming but it’s got lots of information on there. It has a whole list of detergents, you can look for what detergent you want to use, if it’s recommended or not, how much they recommend using and what water temperatures they recommend using it at. You can find this by Googling Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under detergent index.
Then you select your spin speed and you’re good to go. If you have a top loader, use the deep rinse cycle, if it has something like that, on both the pre-wash and the main wash. That’s all you have to do. It’s not rocket science. It can seem a little intimidating to begin with but you’ve been using your machine for years, you know how to use it and this is not anything brand new, it’s just laundry that is dirtier than what you’re used to, so it needs a more intensive clean. Have a look at your manual and have a read through what the different cycles do and it won’t be hard. Once you’ve set it, that’s something you never have to think about again.

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