Unlike most European countries or the States we are yet to be blessed with nappy services. So how does one keep those cloth nappies (diapers) clean without feeling swamped?
To tell the truth it’s really easy and no it does not feel like extra work, quite the opposite in fact, once you have a routine you will wonder what all the fuss was about.
So how do you keep those nappies clean?
The Famous Nappy Bucket
This is the first essential, of course after the baby and the nappies. You will need a bucket with a lid, for safety reasons and to keep any smells tucked away. There are two methods to using your bucket:
1. Wet Bucket – this is the traditional method where you have a bucket full of water with a few drops of Tea Tree oil added for anti-bacterial purposes ( some people use nappy soaks but I have not found an eco-friendly one here in Israel – though Bambino Mio sell a regular nappy soak here). Every time you change you discard the khaki and toss the nappy into the bucket, when full you sling them all into the machine, nice and easy.
The downs of this method is the weight of carrying buckets of water & nappies around and the smell. The water draws out the peepee and it is a strong smell when you open the bucket. Also another consideration in Israel is the heat, I personally did not find this a problem, but some mums have reported that the water stagnates very fast over here.
The big plus is that it minimises stains.
2. Dry Bucket – basically it’s just like another laundry basket, some people even just use flip top bins. I still recommend a few drops of Tea Tree oil in the bottom, this method seems to be the most popular here in Israel.
The downs to this method is stains, as the nappy does not get a soaking for a day or so, it can be a problem, some people use the pre-soak cycle on their washing machines instead.
The pluses are lack of smell, no weight lifting and you do not need to keep it in the bathroom or near the toilet.
You can just throw your full bucket into your machine, add your laundry powder or liquid, preferably ecological. We have several options here in Israel, Ecover which has been around for several years now, but if you are not a fan Earth Friendly products are available here too now, they have a laundry liquid specially for babies too, which is suitable for their sensitive skin, it also has a built-in soya softener which does not effect the nappies ability to absorb like conventional fabric softeners.
If the nappies are just with peepee then they are good to go at 40 degrees, you can also fill up the load with your regular wash too, no they will not smell. If we are talking khaki too then a hotter wash is recommended at 60 degrees. There is NO need to boil wash your nappies!
Instead of fabric softeners, which are a big no-no, as the oils reduce the nappies ability to absorb, you can use half a cup of vinegar, this works as a fabric softener if your water is hard. Another benefit to vinegar is that being an aicd and urine an alkaline it helps to neutralise any lingering peepee.
Okay so we don’t like stains but let’s be honest do you ever here your baby complain. The blessing of Israel is the sun, if you are really flustered by your nappies being stained let them hang all day in the sun, the best bleach in the world.
Please, please do not bleach your nappies, it’s really nasty to your baby’s skin and the environment and it will readily destroy your nappies.
Earth Friendly products has a great stain remover that you can spray on your nappy before wash and ecover has a non-chlorine whitener to add to your wash.
Line drying is the best option all round, being friendly to your nappies, sun bleaching out unwanted stains and of course it’s free. Tumble dryers do give your nappies that fluff factor but if you have the sun why waste electricity.