Thirsties Laundering Tips
Wash all nappies at least one time before use. Washing and drying your hemp and natural cotton nappies at least three (3) times before use will wash away the natural oils that inhibit absorption.
Use warm water and a small amount of detergent for the pre-wash cycle to help lift stains and rinse away solid waste. You may use cold water for the pre-wash, however stains are lifted more effectively at temperatures at which the stain was set in. For optimum cleanliness, limit the load size to no more than 24 XS/S or 18 M/L nappies (plus inserts and wipes) and wash every other day.
HE machines generally do not use an adequate amount of water to clean cloth nappies. To trick the washer into using more water, add a large, wet bath towel to your nappy laundry. The machine will automatically 'weigh' the load of laundry telling it how much water to use. You will use the towel in the prewash cycle, and leave in for the wash and rinse cycles.
Choose a HEAVY cycle and wash on HOT for the main wash, using an adequate water level - you will want to use enough water to cover your nappies allowing them to soak. Please avoid using water temperatures higher than 54 degrees Celcius (130 degrees Fahrenheit) for any item with components such as hook and loop, elastic and laminate.
Many detergents on the market will leave a residue on your nappies that will affect the absorbency and will cause odours and nappy rash. Use a cloth nappy safe detergent that doesn't contain additives such as bleach, fabric softeners, pure soap, brighteners, and dyes. These can not only harm you nappies but also your baby's sensitive skin and in many cases will void your warranty.
When washing nappies or covers with components such as hook and loop, elastics and lamination, please avoid Borax, sanitise cycles, and vinegar.
For hard water the use of additional detergent or water softener may be needed.
Add an additional warm rinse after the wash cycle. If you only have a cold rinse option, that will suffice.
When drying nappies use a low or medium temperature setting. For drying inserts, flats, and prefolds, a higher temperature setting can be used. Adding a dry towel or wool dryer balls will shorten the drying process.
Drying in direct sunlight is the very best method for drying, disinfecting, and getting rid of stains. However, take care not to leave nappies out longer than necessary, as UV rays and high temperatures can also have an ill effect on nappy products. Cotton and hemp nappies will be somewhat stiff when hung to dry. One option to soften sun-dried cotton and hemp products is to add ½ cup vinegar to the second rinse cycle, or use the dryer while the product is still slightly damp.
* Routine drying in the dryer will shorten the life of any nappy product - especially nappies or covers with hook and loop fasteners and elastic components.
For detailed laundering tips, please visit Thirsties Cloth Diaper Care