Reusable Nappies Reusable Nappy Care

In between washes you may want somewhere to store dirty nappies. Often people use a wet bag or a bucket with a lid; both work well, it just depends on your preference. Often a smaller wet bag is used for when you are out and about to store dirty nappies until you get home. There is no need to soak the nappies and the information on the best way to wash and dry the nappies is shared below.

It can also be useful to consider how nappies will be stored by anyone looking after your baby such as nurseries or relatives. Any used nappies, without solid poo, can be stored dry in a hanging wet bag, or a bucket. Even if nappies are soiled soaking nappies can damage the materials if they are left sitting in water for long periods of time so this is best avoided.

If you have a new-born or younger baby and the nappies contain pre-weaned poo, there is no extra effort needed. Pre-weaned poo is water soluble, so the fast cold rinse cycle will remove the dirt from the nappy. For an older baby that is producing more solid poo, the poo just needs to be shaken off the nappy into the toilet.  Then wash on two cycles, the first one being a fast cold rinse cycle. This will use water more efficiently than rinsing by hand, and effectively remove and drain away dirt.

Full washing loads

Whether you use reusable nappies full-time or part-time, washing on a fuller load will save electricity and water. You can achieve this by adding other household items – clothes, bedding, towels, etc. – to nappies for the second cycle, which will be a sanitising temperate wash. Just add non-bio powder detergent after the rinse cycle.

If you have a new-born or a lot of heavily soiled nappies, it is recommended to wash at 60°C, however nappies from babies over 6 months can be washed at 40°C.

Most washing machines will have a Delay Start button, if you have this feature this will allow you to wash the nappies overnight, or outside the ‘hot hours’ of 4pm-7pm, when energy tariffs are the most expensive. You can then unload and hang up the nappies first thing in the morning.


Air-drying is always preferable, as lots of tumble-drying can damage the nappy in the long run. Tumble driers are also one of the most expensive appliances to run in a household. If you are limited by space, there are options to get creative with your drying spaces, you can purchase an over-bath airer, this can be hung on a wall or in front of a window, to dry nappies without taking up too much space. Drying outside is quickest in summer but by a window letting fresh air in will help to speed up drying-time, and also help to deodorise and remove any hard stains.