Strip Wash Cloth Nappies
Strip Washing is a common method to deep clean cloth nappies. There are two different options to strip cloth nappies. Option A is preferred for items with PUL or elastics where there are no concerns about mineral buildup or detergent buildup on the cloth nappies. Option B is great for items without PUL or elastics, significant staining or smells or where you have concerns about mineral or detergent build up (including items with PUL or elastics)
Mineral buildup on cloth nappies occurs when under dosing detergent and performing extra rinses without detergent, especially in hard water. You should never do extra rinses without detergent in a hard water area. Mineral buildup impacts absorbency and can lead to smells and stains as the minerals trap bacteria etc inside the fibres of the nappy. Modern detergents are formulated to rinse away from the wash and take the minerals in the water with them. If you are dosing according to the recommended dose for your detergent, water hardness, machine size and heavily soiled laundry and ensuring your machine is loosely full for the main wash and not doing extra rinses without detergent you will not get mineral buildup on your cloth nappies.
Detergent buildup on cloth nappies is usually a myth and often problems attributed to detergent buildup are actual due to mineral buildup. There are occasions where detergent buildup can occur, this is where you may have been over dosing detergent in your wash over a period of time. However, this is rare as whilst detergent residue is possible (from overdosing detergent), modern detergents are designed to rinse clean and only leave fragrance behind. If you are dosing according to the recommended dose for your detergent, water hardness, machine size and heavily soiled laundry and ensuring your machine is loosely full for the main wash you will not get detergent buildup on your cloth nappies.
See our detergent and loading guide here.
For our Cloth Nappy Nerds Hire Kits that are sanitised between hires please click here.
Sometimes you need to strip your cloth nappies, this should only be a rare occurrence but can happen for a number of reasons: due to a wash routine that hasn’t been giving you the best clean, ammonia build up, stains, bacteria or fungus (candida, ringworm, mould). It’s also a good idea to reset your nappies when you have bought preloved items, to make sure they are safe for baby. This is often called a strip and sanitise (S&S). It is simple to strip and sanitise cloth nappies if you follow the instructions below. We have step by step instructions for how to bleach cloth nappies with a small scale bleach sanitise and how to bleach sanitise cloth nappies in a front loader washing machine, making it simple to achieve clean cloth nappies. You should always follow a strip with a sanitise. All parts of nappies (including wraps and pul pocket shells) will need to be reset.
- Please note this is at your own risk, there is a risk of damage to elastics and pul especially if the nappies are towards the end of their natural life.
- You should not need to reset new nappies or nappies only owned by you if you have a good wash routine please complete our wash routine questionnaire if you need help with your wash routine, we also have a simple wash routine here and template. Doing reset will invalidate manufactures warranties.
For light mould you should start with clean nappies, then do the SANITISE then do the RESET. They may need an additional vanish soak to remove the staining from the mould. For very stained or smelly nappies or for more than light mould please contact us for support. For items without PUL or elastics you can CLEAN and RESET (Sanitise) in one step by washing on a long 90 degree cycle with detergent and a scoop of vanish.
CLEAN: How to strip your cloth nappies
Option A: Not recommended for mineral or detergent build up but this is personal choice. Detergent does not build up unless you are using over the recommended amount of powder.
Full dose of detergent according to water hardness, drum size and heavily soiled laundry
Full dose of stain remover (vanish or equivalent)
STEP 1: Put all nappies on a long 60 degree wash (usually the cotton cycle on your machine, not eco) with full dose of detergent and full dose of vanish.
STEP 2: Follow with RESET if you need to sanitise cloth nappies. You can follow immediately with the reset or continue the next day.
Option B: Not recommended for items with PUL or elastics unless in response to mineral or detergent build up but this is personal choice. Detergent does not build up unless you are using over the recommended amount of powder. Cloth nappy shells (wraps, all in two shells and pocket shells) should only be added for the final 30 minutes, All in ones will need to be added for the full time period. Everything absorbent should be soaked for the full 4 hours.
Per 10 litres of water
*30ml vanish (or equivalent)
STEP 1: Add detergent and vanish to warm water (no warmer than 60 degrees) and make sure dissolved.
STEP 2: Add nappies, soak for 4 hours, stir occasionally.
STEP 3: Drain and then wash nappies on a long wash (40 or 60 degrees) with no detergent.
STEP 4: Follow with RESET if you need to sanitise cloth nappies. You can follow immediately with the reset or continue the next day.