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Guide to Storing Dirty Reusable Nappies & Used Cloth Diapers

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  • Bambino Mio
  • 09 / 05 / 2023


One of the questions new and expectant parents have, when they decide to use reusable cloth nappies, is how to launder them. Many people worry that they’ll have to hand wash or machine wash a nappy every time they change their baby.

The good news is that you can store your dirty cloth nappies and their inserts in a safe and hygienic way so that you only need to do a nappy wash every other day or so. 

How to I store my baby’s dirty cloth nappies safely?

You can safely store soiled and wet nappies in a special nappy bucket. Bambino Mio’s Stay at home wet bag has a lockable lid and built-in hooks to attach your nappy bags, making it easy to fill up the bag and then transfer it to the washing machine on laundry day.

Does a nappy bucket smell? 

With a lockable and tightly-fitting lid, you nappy bucket won’t release smells into the air until you remove the lid to fill and empty it. This shouldn’t take more than a few moments, so odours are kept to a minimum.

Using reusable nappy liners helps you to deal with poo

Most people who use reusable nappies use nappy liners with them to catch solid waste. When it’s time to change your baby’s nappy, you simply pick up the liner and throw the poo (if fairly solid) into the toilet before placing the reusable nappy liner into the laundry bucket.


If you’re exclusively breastfeeding your baby, you might not even have to remove the poo before washing, as it’s very likely to absorb straight into the liner so you can just launder it without any extra steps. This might seem a bit strange at first, but breastfed babies don’t tend to poo as often as formula fed and it’s also usually less smelly, so you’ll soon get used to it.

What do I do with dirty nappies when I’m out with my baby?

The portable, on-the-go version of the nappy bucket is the wet bag. It’s waterproof and seals really tightly so you won’t realise you’re carrying a bag of soiled cloth nappies and reusable wipes with you! 


Of course, you should deal with the nappies when you get home by removing any solid waste and then placing liner, nappy and wipe in the bucket ready for wash day.

We’ve had a poonami! What should I do?

Sometimes, your reusable nappies will need a really thorough wash because…well…you can imagine why. You can use a laundry booster to remove stains and restore your reusable nappies to their old sparkling selves. All we can say is that we’ve all been there, so keep calm and carry on nappying.

How long can I leave my nappies in the bucket before washing?

Ideally, you shouldn’t leave dirty reusable nappies in the bucket for more than three days because ammonia will start to build up in the fabric and this could damage it. Two days in storage is the usual length of time for most cloth nappy users and once you’re in your laundry routine you won’t even think about it.

What can I do to prevent ammonia building up in my nappy bucket?

Ammonia build up is a natural consequence when you store dirty reusable nappies because it’s a byproduct of bacterial action on the nitrogen compounds in urine. You can slow this process down by keeping your nappy bucket in a cool place and also by giving very wet nappies a rinse through with cold water before putting them in your nappy bucket.

A few more handy tips for storing your dirty reusable nappies

You should fold the Velcro tabs on your Bambino Mio nappies over before they go into the washing machine so that they stay sticky for longer.


During warmer weather, you might want to increase the frequency of washes if you find your nappies are smelling particularly strongly of ammonia, as this will help to prolong their lives.


Remove any absorbent inserts from your reusable nappies before you store them in the bucket so that every component gets washed evenly.


Washing at 40C will prolong the life of your reusable nappies. You can use a laundry booster for extra hygiene and stain removal if necessary, but avoid chlorine-based bleaches and high temperatures.


Don’t use fabric conditioners on your reusable nappies, inserts and wipes as this will reduce their absorbency and could damage the fabric over time.