Reusable nappies have been gaining popularity amongst parents over the past few years as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to disposables. A 2008 Environment Agency report comparing the environmental impact of both disposable and reusable nappies, confirmed that if reusable nappies are laundered responsibly they can be up to 40 percent kinder to the environment. Despite the initial investment in purchasing a nappy system, reusable nappies have also shown to be more cost effective than disposables over the first two years of a child’s life.
The benefits of reusable nappies are plain to see - less waste in landfills, soft, natural fibres against baby’s skin and they are economical. However some parents are put off by the thought of storing soiled nappies, as well as putting dirty nappies through the wash. Here are some helpful tips and ideas for hesitant parents, using traditional, reasonably-priced products from Dri-Pak.
The first thing parents considering using reusable nappies will need is a bucket with a tight fitting lid for soiled nappies to be placed in. A mesh liner for the bucket is also recommended so that no touching of soiled nappies is required once the bucket is full. A great tip is to periodically sprinkle naturally deodorising Bicarbonate of Soda into the bucket to help prevent smells. Once the bucket is full, simply lift the mesh bag out of the bucket, and either put the nappies straight into the washing machine initially on a cold rinse, or leave them to soak in a regular hot Soda Crystal solution to help remove stains prior to washing.
When washing the nappies use a non-biological washing powder or liquid as biological detergents are more likely to irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. Adding Soda Crystals to the detergent draw helps to soften the water, and aid the cleaning action of the detergent, meaning only the minimum amount is required to clean the nappies.
For very sensitive skin use Liquid Soap Flakes and a scoop of Soda Crystals in place of detergent. Containing only pure soap, Liquid Soap Flakes gently clean without fragrances or detergent that can irritate skin. To prevent the nappies losing absorbency, an occasional hot wash with a White Vinegar rinse will eliminate any soap build-up on the nappies.
Do not use fabric softener, as it leaves a residue on the surface of the fabric which affects absorbency and can stop the nappies working properly. White Vinegar is a good natural alternative to fabric softener that will ensure no residue is left on the fabric.
For parents worried about bacteria building up within the washing machine, a regular hot wash using half a bag of Soda Crystals will eliminate any smells and wash bacteria out of the machine.