I am your friend – which detergents play nice with your cloth nappies

So you’ve just received your cloth nappies in the mail, you’re excited! You rip them from the post satchel and inhale their cloth goodness and squeeze their fluffy adorableness (if minky). Down to business, let’s prep these puppies so they can get to work. Reading instructions … wash in water no hotter than 40 degrees Celsius with cloth nappy friendly detergent. Huh? What the hell is that? Pure soap? Detergent that has ‘cloth nappy friendly’ on the label? Napisan? Maybe my existing washing powder is cloth nappy friendly – how do I know?

cloth nappy safe detergents

Technically, you can wash your nappies in anything you want. BUT if you want to prolong their life and maximise their performance (absorb wee so it doesn’t spill out onto clothes, bedding, you …) as well as not voiding the manufacturer’s warranty,  there are washing powders you will want to avoid using on your cloth nappies. These are ones that contain:

  • Brighteners
  • Chlorine Bleach
  • Enzymes
  • Softeners
  • Fragrances and
  • Dyes (so definitely no soaking in Napisan unless you are using old fashioned terry squares)

Why? These ingredients can break down the fibres in your nappies faster than if you used detergents without them, reduce the absorbency of the material and cause irritation to sensitive baby skin. So to be on the safe side, manufacturers and retailers will recommend that you use a washing powder without these ingredients.

You will find that most of the environmentally friendly washing detergents in the supermarket do not have these ingredients in them and are often on special, so there is no need to source a detergent that is specifically for cloth nappies. However, there are a number of detergents out there designed just for using on cloth nappies out there if you wanted to try them out too. Here is a list of some cloth nappy friendly detergents based on the list from clothnappies.com.au and what we have at Apikali but it is by no means comprehensive and we do recommend always reading the label and checking the ingredient list:

Your detergent not on this list? Check  this list from real nappies

Two things to remember:

  1. always check with the manufacturer of the nappies you have that the detergent you choose is ok to use so as not to void the warranty.
  2. No fabric softeners, napisans or soap flakes (find out why here).

Do you have a favourite detergent you use on your nappies? Share it with us here 🙂 Sal x

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