Nappy guide: washing cloth nappies

washing cloth nappies

Forget the days of nappies soaking in a bucket, followed by fearfully boiling them. Thanks to modern detergents and efficient washing machines, washing cloth nappies these days is wonderfully straightforward: cold rinse, hot wash, line dry, done!

One rule to remember is: no fabric softener! This reduces the absorbency of the nappies, not so good for something used for a absorbing wee and poo. (if this ever happens thanks to a well-intentioned helper, just rinse, rinse, rinse!!!!)

Washing cloth nappies – starter guide

The most effective routine for washing cloth nappies is a cold rinse, with no detergent, followed by a long, 40-60 degree wash with a good dose of detergent. The cold rinse will lightly wash off wee and poo from the nappies, ready to let the hot wash do its work. Most washing machines come with an allergy or baby setting – a cycle of 2 hours is about right: perfect for putting a wash on before doing the school run, over lunch or the kids’ bathtime, or overnight if your machine has a timer.

A scoop of Violets mineral bleach will add some pizzazz to help remove stains (this hero of the laundry world can also rescue school uniform, CSP, towels – anything that needs a stain sorting.) Or, you can try some magic in your wash, with Tots Bots Potion: a chemical-free and enzyme-free detergent that is anti-bacterial, allowing you to wash cloth nappies as low as 30 degrees! They also come in a yummy choice of bubblegum or mint humbug, or you can stick to unscented if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

Tots Bot Potion Powder

Magical potion for your nappies: Tots Bots Potion

Once the wash has finished, it’s time to enjoy the wonderful sight of freshly washed nappies on your washing line. Fresh air and sunshine are best to keep stains at bay, but don’t worry if you don’t have the space or weather, air drying on a clothes horse is grand, too. A multi-peg sock hanger is fab for your wipes, liners and boosters.

Washed nappies drying on a sunny day

A perfect nappy washing day!

Drying cloth nappies

Generally, it’s best to steer clear of the tumble drier (think of the electricity you’ll save!), but in a time-saving emergency, anything without PUL can be tumbled on a low/cool heat (boosters, prefolds, fitted nappies, wipes).

Drying times differ according to each nappy: bamboo and hemp take the longest, microfibre and milovia inserts are super quick, and terry towelling and prefolds are somewhere in the middle. In the winter, nappies shouldn’t be placed directly onto a radiator, as this will affect the PUL and parch your nappies. We find putting your clothes airer right next to a radiator can make a huge difference in speeding up the drying time.

Before you know it, you’ll have the timing of washing cloth nappies sorted, and believe us when we say the delight in seeing those wee nappies drying on the line is so compelling, you’ll soon be sharing  photos on our Facebook hangout page. There is also something highly satisfying and therapeutic in folding them, too…!

Nappies washed and dried, ready to sort

A satisfying nappy sorting session

Cloth nappies – where to start?!

starting cloth nappies

Photo credit: Heather Calver @areusablelife

You’ve decided to try cloth nappies, that’s brilliant! Now what?!

Whether it’s because you want to reduce your waste, your disposable options have let you down too many times, or you simply can’t resist a big, fluffy baby bum, it can feel a little daunting getting started, but don’t worry! Here’s our starter cloth nappy guide to get you up to speed.

Firstly, we recommend trying a few different cloth nappies, as each have their own benefits which suit your little one as well as your own laundry routine.

For a full day in cloth, you will need:

  • Approx 6-10 nappies (6 for a toddler, 10 for a newborn)
  • a wet bag or nappy bucket for wet and dirty nappies
  • liners are optional but they’re handy for catching poo
  • a cute baby (supplied by you)

To switch to cloth full time you will need 15-24 nappies (24 allows you to wash 2 days’ worth of nappies, and still have 2 days’ worth clean and dry), although this depends on how often your baby likes to wee and poo!

We recommend giving all nappies a prewash. Nappies with bamboo or hemp, such as the Tots Bots bamboozle, will need up to 5 washes to reach their maximum absorbency. You can wash and immediately rewash, or simply choose to change your baby more frequently while the nappy gets to maximum absorbency.

Simply place your chosen liner inside the cloth nappy, making sure all the liner is tucked in, then fasten the nappy onto your baby. Cloth nappies fit slightly differently to disposables: you need to start with the nappy much lower down at the back, just covering their wee bottoms, and higher up at the front.

How often do I change a cloth bum baby?

Cloth nappies generally need changing every 3 hours or so during the day.  This varies depending on your child’s wee capacity and the nappy you are using.  There are super absorbent nappies that will last all through the night.

What about poo?!

Oh yes, babies love to poo! Both breastfed and formula fed babies will still have very soft poo, which you can rinse off in the toilet, though usually it’s fine to go straight in the washing machine. Once babies start doing ‘proper’ poos, you can flick the poo off the paper or fleece liner into a toilet. Nappy buckets can be handy for a quick swill of those delightful teething nappies.

Where do the nappies go?

There is no need to soak your nappies, once you have removed any excess poo, simply put them in your wet bag or nappy bucket – just make sure you remove any paper liners and fold back any aplix laundry tabs. It’s best not to leave used nappies any longer than 3 days. Then you can wash them: rinse, hot wash, line or tumble dry, fold/stuff, and start again! Wet bags can be washed with the nappies, too.

Wet bags full of cloth nappies, ready to wash

Cloth nappies on the go

Using cloth nappies when you’re out and about is just as easy. All you need extra is a small/medium wet bag for the used nappies, and a cloth wipe bag if you’ve decided to use cloth wipes, too. Just make sure you have enough cloth nappies to last during the time you are out, then, when baby needs changing, just put the used nappies in the wet bag (minus poo if you can find a toilet), and add to your changing bag. So much easier than trying to find a bin for the used nappy! You can literally change baby anywhere (car boots, the beach, at the office when you’ve brought baby into work and, yup, they’ve filled their nappy!)

The important thing is just to give it a go, you’ll be surprised how quickly you fall into a routine. Even doing cloth part time, perhaps just at home while you get used to them, would save over 2700 nappies going to landfill (based on using 3 cloth nappies a day for 2.5 years). The cloth nappy community is ready and eager to help you find the right type and right routine, and we’re happy to have any excuse to chat about cloth nappies with you, so just ask us via our usual customer service contact options, or there are plenty of fellow cloth nappy fans on our wonderful Facebook hangout page.

Starting cloth nappies at birth to potty time

You can start at any time from birth… to potty!

Totsbots Bamboozle Stretch & Flexiwrap Real Mum Review!


I started using cloth nappies for the first time just over 8 months ago. (I’d failed with my first child as we moved to a small flat without a washing machine, so gave away all my initial stash)

When my little boy was born in 2012 I decided I’d attempt it again. I got my real nappy voucher and set off to the local baby shop. They were very helpful and after lots of advice (though admittedly they had a limited selection compared to somewhere like Babi Pur) I came away with a taster of nappies. I tried hard for the first few months. Oh my! Leaks lots of leaks! Lots of washing, constantly wet baby and not a happy mummy. I decided I was just not cut out for cloth nappies and that those mums who used them were ultimately hard core eco-superheroes! I sheepishly went back to disposables.

After skimming the Babi Pur Facebook page I noticed some nappy offers and decided to make a last vain attempt at doing my bit for cloth. I didn’t hit gold straight away and tried a couple of different nappies. They were ultimately better than what I was previously using but not as good as a disposable. On posing the question to the good mums and Dads of the Babi Pur Facebook community, I was overwhelmed with the amazing response and had some clear repeated recommendations. These were close parent pop-ins and Tots Bots Bamboozle. Continue reading

We’re going on a pop-in hunt! Real Nappy Week fun for our local customers

Real Nappy Week 2013

Attention local customers!  We’re going on a pop-in hunt! We’re going to find a nappy… 

This year Close wanted to mark Real Nappy Week 2013 with a fun and interactive event for  Pop-in nappy fans and Close retailers around the country.

We’re going on a pop-in hunt… 

The pop-in hunt is a physical treasure hunt using the popular geocaching technology – To take part, simply look at the list of participating geocache near you HERE.

The participating geocache that’s local to Babi Pur is..

The Ospreys Have Landed

N 52° 56.989 W 004°05.662

This cache will take you to visit the RSPB Glaslyn Osprey Project at a beautiful riverside location at Pont Croesor near Porthmadog. Oncethe Ospreys have returned you should be able to follow all the action through a direct TV link to the nest site. It’s also great place fora picnic, there’s a nature discovery trail and a simple maze plus aVisitor Centre and fabulous hide next to the river. The Visitor Centre is open 10:00 to 18:00 every day when the ospreys are at the nest. There’s plenty of parking on site but when the Centre is closed the main gate is locked. There is still pedestrian access though through a pair of litch gates across the railway.

When placed the cache had all the usual gubbins and we have released the Glaslyn Ospreys Travel Bug to begin its adventures.

You simply use the geocache app (free to download on i-tunes or c:geo for Android) to input the details of the cache and use your smartphone to find the geocache location, inside the geocache we have hidden a select number of tickets which will direct you to the local retailer – you then simply take the winning ticket to the participating retailer to claim your prize!

All you need is the link to the nearest participating geocache, a geocaching app, a smart phone and a packed lunch to be armed and ready for a fun family day in search of Pop-in treasure!

We’re going to find a pop-in… 

Each ticket will have a special code which will dictate what you win – from one of our little boxes of nappies worth £72.50, to single nappies, nappy accessories and in-store discounts. Only a limited number of tickets will be available per location, so it will be on a first come first served basis.

Are you ready?…

If you are lucky enough to find the cache, please only take one of the tickets to make sure that others can join in the fun.

If you take any of the other items that may in the cache (as sometimes small items like toys can be left inside for others to discover) please leave something of equal or greater value behind.

When you are finished, put the cache back exactly as you found it. Please also be respectful of the environment where the cache is located and do not disturb the surroundings or leave any litter behind. Please also be discreet when you find the cache so as not to disclose its location and spoil the fun for others.

Click here to see our Terms and Conditions please.

Clothopoly Spot Prize

Yipeee!  Today is the Babi Pur  spot prize on the fantastic Real Nappy Week game board of Clothopoly.  Entry is super easy, just enter below.  Up for grabs is a lovely pack of 4 luxury printed nappies including a Frugi owl print nappy, monkey print -Pop-in nappy, Paris print Totsbots easyfit and a fluffy zebra Tutto.

If you haven’t heard of Clothopoly then head over to the board now and find out what its all about.  There are 61 prizes to be won totaling £9000 so it’s definitely worth entering.  Oh and it’s great fun too!

 Babipur competition


Real Nappy Week freebies will be placed in 32 random orders each day!


We are giving 32 free gifts to our customers each day during Real Nappy Week

Every day we’ll put 10 Pop-in printed nappies with a funky matching wet bag in with random cloth nappy orders.  Plus there’s a whole host of other freebies that will find their way into your parcels. We’re soooo excited about real nappy week and we can’t wait to give away all these nappies and accessories.

Each day from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st April we’ll put the following items into 32 random fluffy orders

  • 10 x Pop-in printed monkey nappies or pink owl nappies with a matching “money can’t buy” wet bag.  The Pop-in is a brilliant bamboo nappy and these prints are just gorgeous.
  • 3 x Monkey print wet bags and 3 x owl print wet bags.  You really can’t buy these and they’re really really really nice
  • 2 x Frugi tote shopping bags. You’ll be the coolest cat on the highstreet with this scrummy organic cotton Frugi bag
  • 2 x Little Violet’s bottom balm.  Natural waxes and oils, this is sure to keep your babies bottom as smooth as …. erm, well, a baby’s bottom
  • 6 x Violet’s detergent samples.  If you haven’t tried it yet then you should, it’s fantastic!
  • 6 x Knitted Pebble owls. These are super cute and fair trade, made in Bangladesh by a brilliant business that provides employment for disadvantaged women.

These gifts will be placed randomly in cloth nappy orders placed on the Babi Pur website during real nappy week 2013.  With 32 goodies given away every day there’s a great chance you’ll get something in your parcel but we must stress that not everyone will get a prezzie.

Terms and conditions apply