Do's and Don'ts of Cloth Nappies

Nappies undergo quite a bit of laundering in their lifetime. They spend a lot of time in wet acidic or alkaline solutions. Combined with high wash temperatures and excessive tumble drying these will all take their toll and can shorten the lifespan of your nappies. To get the most out of your nappies follow our Do’s and Don’ts.


  • Follow the wash care instructions on the label.
  • Soak your nappies for 24 hours in cold water only, to kick start your nappies absorbency and then pop them through a normal wash and they will be good to go!
  • Fold back the hook and loop laundry tabs as they will damage your nappies in the wash otherwise. Unfolded laundry tabs are a major cause of fabric balding so please, please use them.
  • Use a one way liner. This will protect your babies bottom by keeping it dry and it will protect your nappy from staining especially from the dreaded bright yellow breastfed poo! It also makes getting rid of poo easier, not to be underestimated.
  • If you are not using a liner get as much poo off the nappies as you can before putting them into the nappy bucket by sluicing i.e. holding in the flush of the toilet.
  • Use a laundry mesh. It makes getting all those dirty nappies into the washing machine a breeze AND it saves you from having to touch them. Always a bonus with those extra poopy nappies!
  • Use non-biological powders as they are better for both baby and the environment. There is also an enzyme present in some bio detergents, which is corrosive to bamboo fiber and cotton. It works by digesting the stains out of your nappies but unfortunately takes the fabric with it! For best results you could try our specially formulated nappy wash powder. Tots Bots Potion is available on our website.
  • Line dry whenever you can. Not only will sunlight bleach stains out of your nappies but the UV radiation will kill bacteria too. You can tumble dry the nappies on a cool setting if needed but buy some pegs and save your pennies! 


  • IMPORTANT: Barrier creams, oils and bottom balms will coat the fibers in your nappy reducing their absorbency and will cause them to leak. When using a barrier cream you must always use a liner but this does not guarantee that your nappies will not suffer from a build up. If you notice your nappies begin to leak or liquid just runs across the top and does not get absorbed, you will need to strip the nappies. Read above for more information.
  • Don’t leave them for more than 2 days before washing if you want to reduce the chance of nappies staying stained or getting really smelly. Daily washing is best for the nappies.
  • Don’t use fabric softeners or any oil as this leaves a residue, which coats the fabric fibre and decreases the absorbency of the nappy.
  • Don't use wash-powder with optical brighteners
  • Don't use Ecoballs or Soapnuts
  • Don’t soak your nappies in harsh stain removers. If you do have a pile of very stinky nappies and want to soak, use either water or a mild solution of our own powder, Potion as it has been specially formulated for use with nappies.
  • Don’t use bleach or other harsh stain removers. They will shorten the lifespan of your nappies and will void your guarantee.
  • Don’t use pastes of wash powder and apply direct to stains, this is too concentrated.
  • Don’t wash your nappies in dishwasher tabs!! (Yes we do see it being recommended, would you wear knickers that had been washed in dishwasher powder?)
  • Don’t boil wash. If you are worried about bacteria, leave your nappies in bright sunlight, even a frost in winter-time is fantastic.
  • Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar can dissolve cotton and bamboo fibres. Whilst a lot of nappy websites recommend using them to sanitize and soften nappies they will drastically shorten their lifespan and render your guarantee void.