Updated: Nov 16, 2021
It is important to prewash your new cloth nappies before use. This is for two main reasons:
1. It removes any manufacturing residue.
2. It starts to build up the absorbency.
Keep reading as we dive into this a bit more...
Why should I prewash my cloth nappies?
So, I know how exciting it is when your new fluff mail arrives in the post - you just want to get it straight on the bum. But wait. You need to prewash first!
First reason - to remove any manufacturing residue (this is nothing sinister, it's just to make sure they are super clean and fresh for your little ones bum).
Second reason - to build up absorbency. Natural fibres like cotton, bamboo and hemp all contain oils. These oils coat the fibres and prevent any liquid absorbing into them. The more they are washed, the more oils are removed, and the more absorbent they become.
How many prewashes are needed?
Just one is all you need. This will remove the manufacturing residue if there is any, and start to build up absorbency. Just bare in the mind that cotton will take around 4 washes to reach maximum absorbency, bamboo around 6-10, and hemp around 10! So you will just need to change your little one a bit sooner than you would usually have to if your nappy isn't yet up to full absorbency.
How do I prewash my reusable nappies?
This is super simple. Just pop in your machine on a short wash cycle. A short rinse is fine, however, to really start building that absorbency up, use a small amount of detergent and add in a few items of clothing (or other nappies that aren't new). This is because the detergent will help wash those oils off, and other items will give some of the oils something else to cling to! If you are new to cloth nappies and are wondering "how to wash cloth nappies?" we have full step by step instructions.
Once you've done your wash, just hang up to dry (outside ideally). Just make sure you don't place your nappies on a direct heat source.
Take a look at our other blog post getting started with cloth nappies if you are ready to start your cloth nappy journey!