Washing cloth nappies can seem very overwhelming at first, and for a lot of people is the reason they may use disposables instead of reusables. Truth is, babies create a lot of washing. Period. Using cloth nappies will add to this, yes, but not by much. It doesn't take a lot of work, but it does take a little bit of work. Once you've got a routine set up, things definitely get a bit easier.
Please note each nappy needs to be washed before it's first use - just a simple wash with the rest of your nappies or baby clothes will do. No soaking of inserts is required, as these will build absorbency over time with continued agitation.
After you remove the nappy, scrape or knock solids into the toilet (unless baby is milk fed - these can go straight into the machine), then scrub if required to remove stubborn soiling (our Haakaa Silicone Brush is great for this!). If no excess soiling, or wee only, simply toss the nappy into your dry pail.
Place the nappy in an aerated basket (dry pail) until it's time for the pre-wash. This ensures the nappy is well aired and smells don't build up.
Each nappy needs to be washed twice. A pre-wash each day (at 40 or 60degs) removes any excess soiling from your nappies. This can be pushed to every second day, unless you are using night nappies. These must be washed daily due to the amount of urine in them. Using an in-wash booster in your pre-wash such as Sard or Vanish will help to remove stains and keep your nappies crisp. Following the prewash your nappies can be returned to the dry pail. A seperate basket/dry pail for pre-washed nappies can be handy.
A main wash every 3rd or 4th day (at 40 or 60degs) is recommended (not any further apart) to properly clean the nappies.
This main wash needs to be a full load to provide adequate agitation and can be bulked with baby items, or small household items no larger than a tea towel to achieve this.
Once washed, inserts can be placed in the drier on any heat, and the covers on a low heat. Line drying is preferred if weather permits to prolong the life of your nappy shells.
A great guide and helpful page for cleaning advice is the 'clean cloth nappies' group on Facebook, or you can refer to their website www.cleanclothnappies.com