Even if you aren’t too keen on adopting the green lifestyle, there are several reasons why greener, or more environmentally friendly and gentle laundering practices are something you should consider when it comes to washing the cloth nappies for your baby.
Traditional laundering with typical domestic detergents is often too harsh on cloth nappies, sometimes causing irreparable damage to them. Heavy duty domestic or toxic detergents will eventually decrease the life of the cloth nappies which, when you’ve shelled out for that investment, is not something you want happening!
Here are some of the reasons why you should stay away from traditional laundering practices and domestic detergents, and consider switching to more gentle alternatives:
· The most important part in traditional laundering is the use of warm water or higher temperature settings. If you use high temperature for washing cloth nappies, it will damage the PUL used to laminate the nappies and give them their water-resistant feature. The use of warm water causes the lamination to separate from the polyester, leaving the covers ineffective after a short time of being used.
· Next, in traditional washing, drying your clothes is an important component. However, if you dry your cloth nappy shells in a dryer, the elastic and the mesh layer that covers the elastic of these shells may be damaged. While this mesh layer is good enough to keep the elastic safe from a lot of things, it can’t protect your elastic from getting burnt or melted due to the dryer’s heat. Moreover, other components like nylon hook and loop tape (Velcro) don’t respond to driers positively.
· A lot of typical detergents can be a bit too much for cloth nappies and may not rinse out properly. This can lead to nappy rash and in the worst instance, chemical burns from reacting with urine. Additionally, detergent residue can build up blocking absorbency and can also smell quite vile if you use the dryer – you’re baking chemicals into the nappy.
· If you use other chemicals like fabric softeners or bleach in your traditional wash, your cloth nappies’ durability is most certainly at stake. The fabric softener usually results in residue build up, which makes the nappy water-repellent and the washing ineffective. The use of bleach, on the other hand, can eat up the material of the nappies, finishing them up before their time. Chlorine actually destroys the top layer of fibre in the fabric, which is how it creates the result of whitening. Bleach literally will eat away at your nappies over time so consider other options like sodium percarbonate, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide if necessary or better yet, just some sunshine!
· If you are in the habit of doing your laundry once a week only, this habit may get you in trouble when it comes to nappies. If you don’t wash your baby’s nappies every two or three days, you may find stains are hard to budge and eventually your beautiful cloth nappies will appear unsightly and dirty all the time. Try to stick to a washing routine of at least every 3 days if you can.
So when it comes to washing cloth nappies, switching to green and gentle laundering practices may well be worth considering – even rolling out into your typical laundering of other items at home!
Why not go green in your laundry and do the environment a favour whilst you’re at it?
Happy Cloth Nappy-ing!
The Team at Lavenderia