Front loader S&S

Before undertaking an S&S, check whether the process is actually needed, see What To Strip? What To Sanitise? (AU/NZ) prior to starting. See Strip & Sanitise FAQ’s for the most common questions asked about the process.  

This method is useful for

  • those who live in small apartments,
  • don’t have laundry tubs,
  • have physical disabilities or constraints,
  • are pregnant
  • have a large number of items to S&S

Before beginning
There is one strip method, and two sanitisation methods, choose one of the santisations methods, either the bleach sanitise or the 90/95°C cycle.

Once the strip process has been done, follow on with sanitisation. If sanitisation can’t be done immediately after the strip, it can be completed the following day.

Sanitisation is a must after stripping to neutralise ammonia (only bleach and 90/95⁰C cycle sanitisation will achieve this) and kill any remaining microbes, both of which can cause rashes.

The strip in the front loader process can create a lot of suds, especially in softer water. Loading is one method to prevent excess suds, fill the machine so it is between 2/3 – 3/4 full when everything is wet. You can add other small items to the machine, but nothing coloured or dark, to prevent fading or colour run. Additionally using liquid detergent and liquid laundry booster can help reduce suds (more info below).

See the Top Loader and small scale S&S page for the alternate top loader method, or if there are only a few nappies to S&S.

Front loader strip

What can be put into the strip?

This strip process is suitable for everything; covers/shells, AIOs, anything with elastics, terry toweling, flats, prefolds and inserts.
PUL (polyurethane laminate, smooth outer fabric of covers/shells) and Minky (fluffy outer fabric of covers/shells) are colourfast and will not fade.

See the Cloth Nappy Types. Fabrics page for a detailed explanation of fabrics and nappy types.

Unlike the Top Loader and small scale S&S, PUL covers/shells can be put into this strip cycle because there is no soaking. Covers/shells can go into large hole mesh laundry bags, 4-5 per medium sized bag. Using a mesh laundry bag prevents shells from getting caught in the door seal which can cause damage

If you are doing this process on your own nappies, make sure they are clean, or have at least been prewashed (on a short cycle with detergent for 30-60mins).

Other items such as clothing, tea towels etc can be added for stain removal to this strip process, ensure they aren’t bigger than a standard terry towelling nappy, and not coloured or dark.

For soft water

This process will create a lot of suds in the machine, if water is on the softer side, using a liquid detergent eg OMO/Persil, Radiant, and a liquid laundry booster eg. Vanish Napisan Oxi Action Inwash Gel.

For harder water

Use a powder detergent eg. Omo/Persil, Biozet, Radiant, Cold Power etc. And powder laundry booster eg. Vanish Gold Crystal White, Sard, White King Oxy-Lift Triple Enzyme, Di-San Laundry Soaker, or Woolworths Select BOOST.

For plant based/ Eco/ Sensitive detergents, see the Detergent Index for those recommended. Use Earth Choice Laundry Soaker and In-Wash Booster (powder). 

For larger machines

The Detergent Index is based on 7.5kg capacity washing machines. For larger machines, increase detergent quantity by 1/4 of a scoop/lid per kg.

Loading

Ensuring that the machine is between 2/3 – 3/4 full when wet will help reduce the excess suds. If there are not enough items for the machine to be 2/3- 3/4 full wet, then it can be bulked with other items which are light in colour, or it can be done with less in the machine, but this will result in excess suds. See the video below for loading example.

Process

  • Add the usual amount of detergent for a main wash (ie. heavily soiled quantity as listed on the packaging). For soft water areas use liquid detergent.
  • Add the amount of Vanish/ Sard/ Laundry booster powder or laundry booster liquid that is listed on the packaging for in wash use for a front loader. This can go straight into the drum.
  • Choose a standard main wash cycle that goes 2.5-3 hours, using 40-60°C water, ideally 60°.
  • Remove any items that were added to the strip process, which do not require further stain removal.

This level of loading will help prevent excess suds in the strip process.

Option 1: Front loader sanitise bleach

What bleach do I use?

Laundry bleach that contains between 42g/L (4.2%) or 52.5g/L (5.25%), sodium hypochlorite. The concentration of sodium hypochlorite is listed on the package. Check that the bleach is still within expiry, bleach degrades to salt water over time and becomes ineffective at sanitising.

What can be put into the front loader bleach sanitise cycle?

Bleach sanitisation in a front loader is suitable for all items including shells, AIOs, anything with elastics, and inserts. PUL (polyurethane laminate, smooth outer fabric of covers/shells) and Minky (fluffy outer fabric of covers/shells) are colourfast and will not fade.
Do not include anything that has embroidery, cotton outers, coloured velour or cotton, as it may fade.
See the Cloth Nappy Types. Fabrics page for a detailed explanation of fabrics and nappy types.

Cycle duration and water capacity

To be able to do a bleach sanitise in the front loader, find out the litres use of a cycle that has the duration of between 1.5-2.5hrs. This could be found in the manual, or the water efficiency sticker on the machine.

To calculate the amount of bleach needed for the bleach sanitise

The number of litres the cycle uses x 1.4 = the amount of bleach in mls

Eg. for a 48L cycle
48 x 1.4 = 67ml bleach

Or for full calculation….
times the litre amount by 0.3
deduct this result from the original litre quantity
divide this by 5,
times this by 10 (ie.10mL of bleach per 5L of water)
Eg. for a 48L cycle
48 x 0.3 = 14.4L
48 – 14.4 = 33.6L
33.6 / 5= 6.72
6.72 x 10ml= 67ml of bleach

Process

  • Choose a cold water cycle (usually indicated by a snowflake symbol on the machine) that goes for 1.5-2.5 hours.
  • Add the quantity of bleach needed into 1.5 litres of water. Mix well.
  • Start the cycle (no detergent), once the machine has filled with water, slowly over a few minutes, add the bleach mix down the detergent draw, using a small jug.

Post wash

  • Rewash everything that has been through a bleach sanitise, on a 40-60° standard cycle that goes for between 2.5-3hrs, with detergent.

If washing nappies only, use the amount of detergent for a pre wash (ie. half of what is used for heavily soiled quantity as listed on the packaging).

Other laundry items, such as clothing, tea towels etc, can be added to this wash cycle, ensure they aren’t bigger than a standard terry towelling nappy, and not coloured or dark.
If adding other washing, use the usual amount of detergent for a main wash (ie. heavily soiled quantity as listed on the packaging).

Option 2: Front loader 90/95° sanitise cycle

This option is only suitable for inserts, prefolds and flats.

The 90/95°C cycle is not suitable for AIOs, PUL/Minky or anything with elastics, use a bleach sanitise method either in the front loader (see above method) or small scale sanitise.
See the Cloth Nappy Types. Fabrics page for a detailed explanation of fabrics and nappy types.

  • Add the usual amount of detergent for a pre wash (ie. half of what is used for heavily soiled quantity as listed on the packaging).