Washing 101: Bleach and Reusable Nappies

Washing and maintaining your reusable nappies is essential to having them last from birth to potty training with not just one child, but subsequent children as well. It is crucial to follow proper care instructions to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your cloth nappies. One common mistake made by many cloth nappy users is using bleach as a cleaner or sanitiser. 

What Can Happen if I Use Bleach with My Reusable Nappies?

  1. Damage to the fabric: Bleach is a strong chemical that can cause significant damage to the fabric of cloth nappies. It can weaken the fibres, leading to holes, rips, and tears in the fabric, which can reduce the effectiveness and lifespan of the nappy. Additionally, bleach can cause discolouration of the fabric, making your cloth nappies look worn out and unappealing.

  2. Decreased absorbency: Bleach can reduce the absorbency of the cloth nappies, making them less effective in keeping your baby dry. This can lead to skin irritation and discomfort and result in frequent nappy changes.

  3. Damage to the waterproof layer: Many cloth nappies come with a waterproof layer, which is essential in preventing leaks. The chemical properties of bleach can damage this layer, causing it to lose its waterproofing ability, making the nappy less effective.

  4. Potential for skin irritation: While bleach is known for its sanitising properties, it can cause skin irritation when it comes into direct contact with your baby's skin. This can be particularly uncomfortable for your baby and can lead to redness and itching.

  5. Harmful to the environment: In addition to its effects on the cloth nappies, bleach is also harmful to the environment. When it is washed down the drain, it can cause harm to aquatic life and contribute to water pollution.

In conclusion, using bleach with cloth nappies is not recommended due to its damaging effects on the fabric, absorbency, and waterproofing capabilities. Bleach is a strong chemical that can strip the nappies of their natural oils and cause them to become stiff and rough. It can also cause skin irritation and harm the environment. Instead, it's advisable to use a cloth nappy approved detergent that is free of harsh chemicals. This will ensure that your cloth nappies remain in good condition and effectively keep your baby dry and comfortable while also being eco-friendly.

*Please Note: The only time bleach is ever needed or recommended is when you have issues with yeast, mould, or if you have purchased second hand reusables and need to strip and/or santise them before use. For nappies purchased directly by you from an authorised retailer, this may void your warranty.