Nappies a bit whiffy after a wash? Or smelling strongly when they’re wet?

You can get your nice nappies back again by giving them a deep clean (sometimes called a strip wash). They won’t smell anything like as horrible as the one-use disposable nappies that sit in bins for up to a week complete with poo though!  Occasionally we hear of people trying a deep clean and the nappies still coming out smelly. If this happens, clean your machine – run it on empty with no detergent on 90 degrees and watch the bubbles appear from the depths of your machine!

Once your nappies are as clean as a whistle, use this checklist to stop the stinks sneaking back up on you.

  1. How often do you wash? Try not to leave your nappies for more than three days between washes – leaving them for longer can cause stinks to build up.  You should tip or spray the poo down the toilet first.
  2. How much powder do you use?  There’s an unfortunate myth about using small doses of washing powder for dirty nappies. Use a full dose that’s appropriate to the size of your load.
  3. Check your wash cycle. Nappies love a long, watery wash. Eco washes and short cycles are out; long cotton washes and ‘aqua plus’ (extra water) settings are your friends.
  4. Increase the temperature of your wash. If you’re washing at 40, try washing at 60 – even if just once.
  5. Try a different detergent or use an Eco Egg. Some people don’t get great results with liquids, so if you’re using a laundry liquid it is worth trying a powder and vice versa. Some parents struggle to get nappies clean with an eco egg, so if this case it is also worth trying a powder. Using bio or non-bio is personal preference (some nappy manufacturers do not recommend using bio, so please check their guidelines if you have a mixed ‘stash’).
  6. A bit of a build-up? ‘Build-up’ of detergent isn’t as common as many people think, but it can occasionally be linked to stinks and smells. Check your washing machine at the end of the rinse cycle. If there are still bubbles then give your machine a clean (see above). If, on the next wash, there are still bubbles at the end of the rinse cycle then gradually reduce the amount of powder you use until there are no bubbles at the end of the rinse cycle. You could do an extra rinse at the end of the wash – but getting the right amount of powder equals less water usage and less hassle.
  7. Your barrier cream has caused a barrier. Build-up can also be caused by barrier creams – if you use a nappy cream then always use a liner, and ideally use a ‘cloth friendly’ cream.

Adapted by Cheryl Hadland, from Jane Shaw at babaandboo.com February 07, 2019

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