How do reusable nappies work?

From how to wash reusable nappies to how they work, read our guide to discover everything you need to know about cloth nappies!

Updated 24 June 2019

Folded pile of clean reusable nappies

Key steps:

  • Look into reusable nappies as an eco-friendly and economical alternative to disposable nappies
  • They have an absorbent layer on the inside and a waterproof coating on the outside
  • Simply wash reusable nappies in the washing machine with a gentle detergent

As the world becomes more focused on eco-friendly, sustainable ways of living, it’s no surprise that reusable nappies are making a comeback. Before the disposable kind we see more frequently today, nappies that you could use over and over were the only option. But, nowadays, a lot of parents know very little of how to use reusable nappies and why they can be the best option for your baby.

When washing your cloth nappies, be sure to use a kind-to-skin detergent and a fabric softener to achieve the best results. Non-bio versions are gentle on baby fabrics and skin, like Persil’s detergent. Remember to follow the safety guidelines on the product and always store out of children’s reach!

What are reusable nappies?

Reusable nappies are essentially nappies that can be used time and time again (as the name suggests!). Some are made with a removable inner lining that’s biodegradable and can be thrown away, but more commonly they are made so that they can be washed and used again. They’re a great way of looking after your little one and the environment all at the same time!

Cloth vs disposable diapers

The first benefit to using cloth nappies is, of course, environmental. In a nation of throw-away items, our landfills are becoming piled high with junk and our resources are running out. Washable diapers for babies help combat this problem by being able to be reused.

One of the other many advantages of reusable nappies is the savings. With fairly cheap prices and the advantage of not having to fork out for mountains of nappies (and it does sometimes seem like you’re using that many!), you’re going to save a whole lot over the course of your child’s infancy.

How do reusable nappies work?

Reusable nappies can have an inner layer which provides all the crucial absorbency, with an outer layer that’s waterproof to contain everything you want contained. Some nappies will have a removable layer that you can either wash or throw away, while others will come as an ‘all-in-one’ fit.

How to wash reusable nappies

It’s pretty simple to wash reusable nappies, and definitely not a hassle. First things first, get rid of any mess down the toilet, before putting the nappy into a designated nappy bin. When you’re ready to wash them, simply chuck them into the washing machine with a hypoallergenic, kind-to-skin product. Persil Non-Bio detergent or Comfort Pure fabric softener, are gentle enough even for babies’ skin. Always wash reusable nappies separately from your other clothing items.

How many reusable nappies do you need?

If you want to ensure you have plenty of nappies, we’d recommend buying around 15 to 25, depending on how frequently you plan on washing them.

Reusable nappies are the way forward for parents who like to think about more eco-friendly ways of living, and who would prefer to keep the chemicals on their baby’s skin to a minimum. They’re cheap, reliable and super easy to use, so if they’re a good option for you, add them to your baby essentials checklist!

Think your child might be ready for potty training? Find out how to look for the signs here.

For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.

Originally published 19 July 2018