Detergent and Loading
From helping people with their cloth nappy wash routines we know that detergent dosage and loading are common issues. We can help you find the best detergent for cloth nappies as well as ensure you achieve clean cloth nappies every time. Washing cloth nappies is simple and easy. As always please check the warranty information for your individual nappy brands. If you want a personalised wash routine or a wash routine review please join our facebook group Cloth Nappy Nerds We have a simple wash routine guide and you can download it here. Our wool care guide can be found here.
How much Detergent to use?
Prewash: We recommend half the recommended dose of detergent for your prewash. You may also choose to add an optional scoop of a booster/ stain remover such as vanish.
Mainwash: We recommend a full dose of detergent in your mainwash in relation to your drum size, water hardness and heavily soiled laundry. You can find out your water hardness here.
Detergent build-up will not happen unless you are using more than the recommended dose of detergent. The fragrance in the detergent does last on the fabric but the detergent is designed to rinse away.
WARNING: Extra rinses without detergent, especially in a hard water area can lead to mineral build-up on nappies, this traps bacteria and impacts absorbency over time. Detergent is needed as it is formulated to ensure the minerals in the water is rinsed away.
Bio vs Non-Bio Detergent
We have found that bio detergents give us the best clean at either 40 or 60 degrees. However, a good non-bio detergent can clean well as long as you wash at 60 degrees.
Recommended Bio Detergents: Ariel original, Ariel Colour, Daz, Asda Tropical
Recommended Non-Bio Detergents: Fairy, Waitrose sensitive liquid
Recommended Eco-Friendly Detergents: Splosh liquid, Rocking Green
The NHS debunked the myth that non-bio detergents are better for sensitive skin. It is the fragrance in detergents that are more likely to cause a reaction.
Research also suggests that washing at 60 removes a much higher proportion of allergens when compared to washing at 40, regardless of the detergent used.
Bio detergents contain enzymes which do the hard work for you, meaning lower temperature washes (40 degrees) will achieve a good clean. The enzyme cellulase is often warned against as "eating" natural fibres. However, whilst this is true to some extent it is on the microscopic level and would not lead to any noticeable difference to the nappies. Having said this, most bio powder detergents do not contain cellulase.
How Full should my Washing Machine be?
Prewash: Loading doesn't matter
Mainwash: We recommend you have your machine loosely full when dry (closed fist at the top, jazz hands is too empty) or 3/4 full when wet (mid cycle).
Here is a photo of loosely full when dry:
Here is a photo of 3/4 full when wet (mid cycle):