Are Cloth Nappies Hygienic?
If you are a mum or dad considering making the switch to cloth nappies, you will likely have several questions surrounding hygiene, nappy changing, and washing reusable nappies. Here we look at cloth nappy hygiene and dispel any false myths and genuine concerns that you might have.
First, it is worth considering that disposable nappies are a new invention, and before this, cloth nappies were the norm. Your parents or grandparents would have used Terry nappies that needed to be folded in a particular way and secured using safety pins. Before the modern washing machine, the nappies were soaked in water and boiled.
Today, you do not need to fold cloth nappies, secure them with a safety pin, or soak and boil them. Furthermore, disposable nappies typically contain hundreds of chemicals, and included in these are trace elements of dangerous chemicals that may be linked to cancer. So, choosing cloth nappies makes a great deal of sense for you and your baby.
Changing a Reusable Nappy
Changing a reusable nappy is straightforward. You remove the dirty nappy and the baby's poo, just like you are supposed to with disposable nappies, which should be shaken or knocked off into the toilet and flushed away. Neither reusable cloth nappies nor disposable nappies should be emptied into household waste.
You then pop the used nappy in a sealed bucket or wet bag that prevents odours from escaping into your home until wash day comes around. You can use a string liner in your bucket or wet bag if you are averse to touching used nappies when you are ready to wash them.
The most important part of keeping your baby happy is changing the cloth nappies as soon as you notice your baby has done a number two. In addition, getting clean cloth nappies on your infant as soon as the nappy is soiled is an important step in preventing nappy rash or other hygienic issues.
An Effective Cloth Nappy Wash Routine
Your cloth nappy wash routine is simple. First, you wash them on a short wash with half the amount of detergent to wash the bulk of the undesirables away. Next, you wash them on a long wash along with your regular baby clothes, cloth wipes, towels, and other muslins. To attain the most effective hygienic clean, it is best to fill the washer to approximately three-quarters full, ensuring plenty of agitation.
Research shows that washing nappies on a long wash at 40-60C with a good detergent will kill most yeast and bacteria. So there is no need to ruin your cloth nappies by washing them at 90C. Also, there is no need to use bleach to sterilise cloth nappies, and you do not need to use fabric softener, which can affect the absorbency of your nappies.
We recommend drying the cloth nappies naturally outdoors, but you can tumble dry them at a low temperature if it is raining.
If you are passionate about keeping your baby happy, don't want the expense of disposables, and don't want your nappies to end up in a landfill, then reusable cloth nappies are the way to go.