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How Often Do You Need to Wash Reusable Nappies?

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  • Bambino Mio
  • 20 / 09 / 2023


If you’ve decided to take the reusable route for your baby’s nappies then not only do we congratulate you on your wisdom, but we also know you’ll have some questions before you start.


We’re a kind bunch at Bambino Mio, so we’ve thought of everything you might ask about reusables, including questions about how frequently you’ll need to wash your reusable nappies.

So, how often will I need to wash my reusable nappy bundle?

The short answer is that you’ll need to wash your reusable nappies every other day (probably). You won’t be washing the entire stash of 20 in one go, though, as your baby will probably go through no more than 10-12 nappies over 24 hours even as a newborn.


If you have 20 to 24 nappies then there may be a period in the very early days during which you are doing a daily wash, but this won’t last long.

How long can I store dirty nappies before washing them?

In an ideal world, you’d wash dirty nappies within a few hours of putting them in your Stay at Home wetbag, but life isn’t like that. However, you shouldn’t store dirty nappies for any more than two days because the inevitable ammonia build up could start to damage the fabric.


In addition to potential ammonia damage, they’ll start to smell and so it’s much nicer all round if you get into a regular wash and dry routine.

Is it true that you need to wash reusable nappies before your baby wears them?

Yes, you should wash your nappy bundle at least twice before your baby starts wearing them. This is so that you remove any manufacturing residue or loose fibres and so that you open up the fibres to increase their absorbency. Prewashing reusable nappies has made many a nesting mum happy in the last few days before her baby arrives!

What’s the best way to dry reusable nappies?

The best way to dry washable nappies is on a washing line on a bright and breezy day. Of course, this isn’t always possible, so on rainy or overcast days, an airing cupboard or indoors clothes airer will do the job. If you do use a tumble dryer then make sure it’s on a cool setting as this saves energy and also helps to prolong the life of your nappies.

Tips on washing reusable nappies

While washing reusable nappies is easy, following these handy tips will help you to make laundry time more effective:


  • Don’t overfill your washing machine - you should aim for no more than a three-quarter load so that each nappy has room to move around in the water
  • Avoid eco settings as these tend to use less water and so your nappies might not get the agitation and rinsing they need for a thorough clean
  • Don’t use too much detergent - if you see lots of suds, you’re using too much, which doesn’t actually get your nappies any cleaner and may cause residue to build up on the fibres
  • Don’t add fabric conditioner to your nappy washes as these softeners coat the fibres and reduce their absorbency, which is exactly what you don’t want
  • While it’s tempting to spin at 1,000rpm or more to get as much water as possible out of your nappies, speeds above this could damage them, so try to avoid it