Washing only one or two cloth nappies

There’s loads of information out there about pre-washing, main washing, correct loading, detergents etc…it’s no wonder when you’re starting out it can seem overwhelming. Especially when you’re likely using just one or two a day!

Whilst we all want to “get it right” from the start, having a few stuff ups is almost like a cloth nappy right of passage…ask anyone, I’m sure they didn’t have it down pat from the get go.

So lets get into it…


▪ Hand wash your one or two nappies each day
▪ Squeeze out excess water and drape to let air out
▪ Add to your regular wash daily or every 2-3 days as you do a load
▪ Hang shells to dry, inserts can be hung or put through the drier.


When you’re starting with one or two a day it can seem pointless doing a short wash (commonly known as a pre-wash) for one nappy and then you don’t have enough for a main wash so now what…Instead I recommend the following.

Hand wash your one or two nappies each day. Give it a good rinse to clean poop off and a warm hand wash with a small amount of detergent to clean pee out. This is effectively your short wash.

If you don’t have a load of wash to run straight away, drape this somewhere like the edge of your wash basket to let it air out until it’s time – the more air on the nappy the better so avoid wetbags or anything that seals it up. Be sure to squeeze as much water out as possible.

When you do a load of wash, pop that nappy in. Ideally if that load can be done at 40deg and be slightly longer (1.5hrs+) then perfect. Often things like baby clothes, spit up cloths, swaddles etc. are great to wash at warmer temps considering they get well used!

Hang your shell to dry (plus inserts) or if you drier items your inserts can go through. Never drier your shells – they’re not a fan of being baked!
If you don’t wash daily, you can accumulate these hand washed nappies for 2-3 days before adding to your load of wash.

That’s it!

As you get into the swing of using more cloth nappies you will find you have enough to do a dedicated short wash, and a dedicated main long wash – in which all the posts and info you see now suddenly apply!

Cloth doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming and at worst if washing isn’t done right, it’s usually a few simple tweaks to get you back on track. Your nappy won’t fall to pieces or break your baby because you didn’t nail washing day one (it might fall to pieces if you wash it at 90 deg so maybe avoid that)! 

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