PREP YOUR NAPPIES BEFORE FIRST USE
Why do we need to prep new nappies?
- To remove residue that may have been left-over from manufacturing.
- Absorbent materials will only achieve full absorbency after about 8-10 washes.
Step-by-step guide to prepping new nappies:
- For shells and anything with PUL: Soak overnight in COLD water. Wash once with a little detergent. Line-dry under the sun.
- For inserts, soakers, boosters: Soak overnight in HOT water, especially natural materials like bamboo or hemp. Wash once with a little detergent. Line-dry under the sun.
Help! My new nappy is leaking!
A lot of manufacturers would recommend that you prep your nappies about 6 times BEFORE actually using it on baby. But this is only to save them from people complaining about leaking nappies. New nappies will gain absorbency as they are washed. If you want to, you can prep as recommended but that is a waste of water, gas and electricity. The trick is to prep once, then use on baby — BUT KEEP THE NAPPY ON FOR SHORTER PERIODS (1-2 HOURS) SO IT DOES NOT LEAK. Then wash as normal.
- Rinse poopy nappies ASAP so the stains don’t set in.
- Use reusable or disposable liners if you can to prevent stains and for stay-dry feeling.
- Dry pail if you can — not only is it unsafe to have a bucket of water anywhere in the house where babies / kids can drown (they can drown in a few inches of water!) — but it is less stinky as well (and this is from first-hand experience!)
- Try to wash every other day. Maximum of 3 days’ worth of dirty nappies. The wee smell becomes harder and harder to remove with each day. Washing every other day also prolongs the life of your nappies as the fibers are not ‘soaking’ in wee and poop acid.
- Use a liner if you are giving your baby any medicine with SORBITOL in the ingredients— they will stain your nappies gray!
- Line-dry under the sun as much as you can. The sun is the best for removing smells and stains!
- Hang nappies lengthwise to prevent stretching of elastics.
- For nappies that have already been washed (or even just prepped, even if unused), wash every 3 weeks if you are storing them for a long time (maybe keeping them for next baby or waiting for baby to grow big enough for it).
- Elastics will technically start deteriorating upon first wash so even if they have not been used or washed since then, you might be surprised to find new nappies with totally dead elastics after being stored for months!
- Use detergents with enzymes (usually those that claim ‘whiter, brighter, softer’ laundry— these have optic brighteners that harm your nappies)
- Use diaper rash creams without a liner. They are mostly petroleum-based and leave a residue and layer / coat your nappy fibers, making them less absorbent.
- Use fabric softeners (Downy, etc.) as these have enzymes that leave residue as well.
- For those that use dryers, do not dry on hot as this will melt the PUL and break down the elastics of your nappies.
- Use hot water (above 65F), same reason as above.
- Use scrubbing brushes to get poop off.
- Use vinegar regularly as it breaks down the nappy fibers.
- Use clorox, bleach, or other stain removers. The sun is the best stain remover! You can also try bicarbonate soda, make a paste and put on stain. Leave on, keep moist, rinse well after.
- Soak anything with elastic / garters. This means shells or inserts with elasticized leg gussets.
- Soak PUL. Same as above.