Or put them on for a long wash straight away (preferred). If you're washing breastfeed poo or are worried about stains, you can add product like Vanish, Napisan etc… to boost the detergent and better remove the stains.
Harsh stain removers such as Vanish, Napisan, bicarbonate of soda and / or vinegar, or bleach should be avoided. To use these products risks damaging the fibres of your nappies (especially bamboo) and they should definitely not be used on wool.
Napisan is a widely used Australian nappy treatment and a vigorous detergent. It's powerful germ-killing action ensures clean, white sanitised nappies every time; that's the "Napisan promise".
To deal with these stains you can try using a stain remover such as sard soap and scrubbing the mark, alternatively time and sunshine will do the job, it might just take a few washes to get there. If you are just waiting for the stains to go, there's no reason why you can't keep using the nappies between washes.
If you decide to soak your nappies you should only use plain water. Soaking does effectively pre-clean the nappies a bit, which helps keep stains from setting.
Soaking in Napisan is not recommended because it rots the elastic and waterproof covers but, used very occasionally, it will sterilise nappies. You can soak prefolds and terry squares in Napisan (and similar sanitisers) because that it is what it was designed for.
THEY DON'T NEED SOAKING
The water is a hazard, the lidded bucket creates a warm environment for bacteria, mould and smells, and the constant soaking breaks down the nappy fabric. The modern day method for collecting nappies before washing is known as Dry Pailing.
Many use borax to their regular cloth diaper wash to deal with hard water. Borax can also help whiten clothes and remove stains. You can mix Borax with lemon juice, make it a paste and rub it on the cloth diapers to remove stains. You can also add borax directly into the washer and wash the diapers.
We always advise, as other cloth nappy manufacturers do, to never use bleach or stain removers on your cloth nappies. Bleaching agents can damage the fabric of your nappies and also, bleach next to your baby's delicate skin isn't ideal. The best way to get rid of stains is the SUN!
It's safe to use in every wash on babies garments and nappies. Adding Vanish NapiSan to a short cycle gives better stain removal results compared to a regular detergent alone. Safe to use on both dark and bright colours.
works as an antibacterial soaker. powder - in-wash, pre-treat or soak your fabrics.
Vanish NapiSan contains an oxygen-based bleaching agent, it does not contain chlorine bleach.
Choose a good quality detergent, Omo, Radiant, Biozet are good options. Cloth nappies will be one of the dirties items you wash so you want to make sure you have the right products to help remove the urine, poo and bacteria. Sensitive detergents may require extra amounts and warmer water to work best.
Soak diapers overnight or for at least 6 hours. Follow the strip by rinsing diapers thoroughly by hand or by running 2-3 rinse cycles in your washer until there aren't any signs of soap or detergent left. Air dry the diapers in the sun.
This method may help prevent wear and tear, conserve water, and save on washing detergent. You could also make up a spray bottle of baking soda or vinegar solution and instead of soaking, spray the solution on soiled area, leave for a few hours and then pop straight into washing machine.
Lemon AND sunlight
If you are looking for a low-impact cloth diaper bleach, reach for a lemon. Saturate the stain with lemon juice then hang the diaper in the sun. If the stain is still visible once the diaper is dry, saturate with lemon juice and put out in the sunlight again.
To make the nappy bucket smell nicer, add a couple of drops of lavender or tea tree oil to the top of the lid.
Our guide to strip washing your nappies will help your nappies work - and smell - as good as new, by getting rid of the detergent build-up. Start with your cloth nappies clean or dirty. If they are dirty, give them a cold rinse. Set on a long cycle, ideally at 60°.
*Adding a small amount of distilled white vinegar to your washing machine can help aide in rinsing out the residue. Or soaking your diapers for a short amount of time (30 minutes or so) in water/vinegar before rinsing to help with removing build-up.
Use a regular warm to very hot cycle and cloth-friendly detergent to get the diapers officially clean. Feel free to add a little scoop of baking soda to the detergent for a power boost. Baking soda will also neutralize acidic odors and remove protein-based stains.
If the stain is caused by poop and difficult to get rid of – soak the soiled clothing with few tablespoons of vinegar and detergent in a bucket full of water and soak overnight before washing again.
Prepping your nappies
Nappies should be washed prior to use. Nappies made of natural fibres, such as Bamboo, Cotton and Hemp, should be washed at least 3-4 times before use, as this will improve absorbency. There is no need for drying between washes.
How Often Should You Wash Cloth Diapers? Most parents who use cloth diapers wash a load of them every two to three days. Any longer than that and they'll start to stink and stains could set in. So make sure you have enough clean diapers on hand to last you at least a couple days.