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Before using the nappy

Wash your new nappies before use, this will make them more absorbent by fluffing up the fibres, but skip the conditioner as this reduces the nappies absorbency. Nappy covers (wraps) do not require pre-washing.

Soiled nappies

We would recommend not soaking washable nappies as it is more hassle and has a tendency to create smells if left for too long. Simply leave them dry in the bucket until you are ready to wash them. We haven’t found that there are odour problems with this technique but, if you prefer, you can put some drops of lavender or tea tree oil on a tissue and attach it to the lid of the bin, also putting some dry bicarbonate of sodium in the bottom of the bin.

If you choose to soak your nappies, put them in a bucket between half and three-quarters full of water until you have a wash load. You can add one of the following as a soaking agent:

  • five drops of tea tree oil (for its antiseptic and disinfectant properties);
  • one tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate;
  • two or three tablespoons of white distilled vinegar

Change the water in the bucket on a daily basis. Do not soak your nappy covers (wraps), these can be put in with your normal washing.


A wash at 60C will adequately cleanse your nappies; a hotter wash may reduce the life of the nappy. The wraps can be washed up to 60C with the nappies or can be washed in a cooler wash with the usual clothes wash. Close any velcro on the wraps and nappies to prevent catching and snagging. Never use biological detergents nor fabric conditioners as they will decrease the absorbency of the nappy.


Nappies can be tumble-dried, however, it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly to hang dry. In summer, the sunshine will deodorise, sanitise and naturally bleach nappies.