Mildew on your Cloth Nappies?
Removing black spots from cloth nappies or covers is tricky and what works for one may not for another!
Here are a few tips that we have found really work:
-Hot wash your nappies and covers occasionally, Real Nappies covers and cotton inners are made for industrial washing so put them through your machine on a really hot wash.
-Nappy Fresh Add some to your machine, this helps whitens and naturally sanitises your cloth nappies.
-Sunlight is an excellent natural whitener so after washing hang them on the line and make sure they see as much direct sunlight as possible.
-Vinegar, try adding half a cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent.This will sanitise, deodorize and brighten your cloth nappies.
-Bleach, Real Nappies cotton inserts have to put up with a lot and can sometimes stain, as a last resort : try environmentally friendly oxygenated bleach.We suggest NOT using chlorine bleach as this can break down the fibres of the cotton and will destroy your covers.But be careful, not all are created equal make sure the product you choose contains no additives beyond sodium carbonate. Our choice is Nappy Fresh Sanitiser.
-Oxygenated Bleach, If you decide to use oxygenated bleach only use aprox a quarter cup of bleach and add it to the hot wash cycle.
Try rinsing the covers as soon as they come off to avoid any stains setting. Sunshine is the best whitener once the covers have been laundered. If that still fails, you can mix up the Nappy Fresh like a paste to spot remove stains (half tsp powder to 1 tsp water) apply to the stain and leave for 5 minutes before washing.
The best way to stop mould or mildew is to prevent it happening in the first pace and here is how:
- Drying: Ensure your cloth nappies and covers are completely dried, they may feel dry but check underneath tabs or flaps, are they totally dry? Perhaps the black spots of mildew are worse near stitching, this would mean they are not drying properly in-between uses.
- Wash Regularly: Do not leave your cloth nappies too long between washdays.We recommend washing your cloth nappies every 2-3 days that way the stains do not have time to set in.
- Do not cram it all in: Do not over – fill your washing machine :your soiled nappies need a lot of room to wash clean.
- Hot Wash, Do occasionally run a hot wash on your nappies and covers: your beautiful white nappies will love you for it!
- Dryer – Real Nappies cotton inserts and covers can both be machine dried so when the sun is not shining try throwing them in the dryer.
- Sunlight is the best natural whitener you can get, so pop your cloth nappies and covers on the line whenever you can: as they unfold they dry so quickly and you can literally see the stains disappear!
- Check they are dry: Make sure your covers and cloth nappies are totally dry before putting away, damp nappies encourage mildew and mould growth, which is hard to get rid of.
- Nappy Fresh: Add a natural whitener to your machine or soak the cotton nappy inserts in a bucket with the whitener. We recommend Nappy Fresh made in New Zealand from the only the finest, natural ingredients. Simply add a dessertspoon to your washing machine and this whitens and sanitises your cloth nappies. NOTE: We do not recommend soaking the nappy covers. We do not recommend using chlorine bleach on the cotton inserts or nappy covers as this can destroy the fabric and affect waterproofness.
- Do not soak the covers. With Real Nappies Covers there is no need for these to remain damp for any prolonged period of time.Simply rinse between uses and pop in the washing machine with your other clothes, do not soak or store the nappy covers with the cotton nappies.
- Smelly Nappies : the main cause of this is improper washing where the cloth nappies do not get properly cleaned or a build up of detergent residue.
-wash smaller loads
-Do occasionally run a hot wash
-Do not leave your soiled nappies unwashed for longer than 3 days
-DO occasionally add half a cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle in order to remove any residual detergent. This will sanitise, deodorize and brighten your cloth nappies.
-Unfold your nappies: make sure your cloth nappies are unfolded before they go in the washing machine to allow complete cleaning
-Highest water levels: use the highest you can on your washing machine to ensure complete rinsing of your cloth nappies and covers. Any detergent residue can affect the performance of nappy products!
-Tea Tree Oil : Keep your nappy bucket smelling fresh by adding a few drops of Tea Tree Oil each time you empty it : a few drops on a piece of muslin or fleece on top of the cotton nappy inserts is the best idea. Please proceed with caution with Tea Tree Oil : small babies may be sensitive to the oil.
-Bleach : When washing or soaking your cloth nappies, a good alternative to chlorine bleach is the environmentally friendly oxygenated bleach. But be careful, not all are created equal make sure the product you choose contains no additives beyond sodium carbonate. Our choice is Nappy Fresh Sanitiser.
Good Luck and if you have any more tips we would love to hear them!