How To Wash Cloth Nappies & Create Your Cloth Nappy Wash Routine

We recommend washing or soaking your new nappies at least once before their first use, as you normally would when buying new clothing.          


Two steps we suggest (only 1 of the steps needs to be done) to include in your cloth nappy wash routine

  1. Soak in your laundry tub in warm water over night, gently squeeze to ring out excess water and hang over the runs of your clothes airer to dry
  2. 60 degree wash on an everyday cycle, no detergent needed. Hang over the runs of your clothes airer to dry

The bamboo and Hemp fabric in our cloth nappy inserts can take up to 8-10 washes before reaching full absorbency, although they will work their absorbency magic very well even after their pre-wash for immediate use.

••Basic steps of our Modern Cloth Nappies wash routine can be found on the back of the Care Instruction card in your parcel


Full steps to washing our cloth nappies-

Washing cloth nappies is just like washing any heavily soiled load of washing.


Pre- Wash:

  •  Rinse used cloth nappies thoroughly under your laundry tap to remove urine and soiling. Or alternatively tip solids into a toilet or hose them
  • Place those used nappies and inserts into a dry pail (bucket/wash basket with holes around the sides for air flow/ventilation)
  •  Once you have enough nappies/laundry to fill a main load, wash your nappies on a 1 hour everyday cycle slightly bulked with spew cloths, baby clothes (not brand new), socks, undies, tea towels.

(If you don’t want to bulk, it is not necessary but does help with agitation and breaking up the soil in the cloth nappies)

 Night Nappies: AIO (waterproof shell)

  • Rinse the night nappy thoroughly every morning after use to remove urine embedded into the sewn in core.
  • Swoosh it around vigorously in a tub of hot water and a small amount of detergent before dry pailing
  • or Alternatively put it in the washing machine for a quick pre wash (1 hour everyday cycle) with detergent on 40-60 degrees, then dry pail.


Main Wash-

Cloth nappies will need to be washed on a main-wash cycle no more than 2-3 days after a pre wash cycle or you can do this straight after your pre wash cycle.

 You can reuse the pre-wash bulk items again for the main wash. You can also add a few more items to bulk it up more to make a 2/3-3/4 load.

(Don’t over load as it needs sufficient agitation and spinning. Items need to hit each other during a cycle.)

  • Wash cycle on a heavy or cotton load which will be 2+hours long.
  • Set your spin speed to 800rpm or 1100rpm. Will depend on your washing machine.


Watch this main wash cycle as it should be low sudsing meaning no white wash occurring or items being submerged in a white wash (similar to the beach look after a wave). Some bubbles are certainly ok and normal for cleaning purposes

If white wash/ sudsing occurs, an extra rinse wash with no detergent will help remove those bubbles sitting in the fibres. A rinse and spin for inserts on a high spin speed 1100rpm or equivalent after the main wash cycle. (Inserts only not nappy shells with elastics)


No chlorine bleach
No fabric softeners or vinegar
Do not iron
Do not dry clean


Drying Nappies-

Hang on a clothes line, pegging shells horizontal so elastics don’t overstretch or place over the runs of your clothes airer. Dry nappies in the shade for shells, allowing time in the sun for inserts (helps with stain removal on inserts) for best results. 


Tumble dry on a low heat ONLY, this should be occasional not a regular way of drying your cloth nappies


Junior Tribe Co supports the recommendations of The Australian Nappy Association (ANA), as found in this document: ANA Simple Washing Instructions


Recommended Detergents for use on our Cloth Nappies-

The detergents we recommend are available in Australia (this list is not exhaustive, if you choose to use something not listed here just check the ingredients on the packaging or google that they do contain surfactants, and do not contain fabric softeners or bleach, which can irritate your baby's sensitive skin).

  • OMO Regular, Ultimate and Sensitive- Powder and Liquid Detergents
  • Biozet Powder and Liquid Detergent
  • Eco Store Powder – (Vegan, Cruelty Free)
  • Trimat Advanced Liquid, Powder or Sensitive Detergent


We Do Not recommend using disposable nappy liners, these are a mis leading product labelled ‘flushable’. They are not flushable. If you want to use a liner, we recommend buying some microfleece fabric from Spotlight or Joanns and cut liners yourself. 

••When washing nappies with Velcro tabs, turn them inside out and place the Velcro tabs down to avoid getting caught on our athletic wicking jersey fabric or the sewn edge of our inserts. 

Any questions about cloth nappies washing routine can be sent to or our Facebook page. We are always keen to help!