Sanitise FAQs

Why did we update our Sanitisation method and remove the need to ‘strip’?

We have modified our Strip and Sanitise methods over the years, this included creating the Front Loader method a few years ago. Over the last 18months we have looked at what we were advising, and why. We realised that what we were advising wasn’t effective for a lot of problems people were having, and it started to make sense as to why. We started looking at the basics of chemistry and microbiology, learning more about sanitisation, chlorine bleach, reviewing everything and subsequently we are changing our advice.

The level of chlorine bleach we were advising for Small Scale and Top Loader it was enough for applications that needed small concentrations of bleach, but not always effective for applications that needed larger concentrations, as such it didn’t solve a range of problems. The Front Loader method did solve some problems, but not all. Now each application has the amount of chlorine which will solve that problem.

Fundamentally ‘stripping’ is either just washing or soaking, it is a weak oxidation process, which depending on the method you use, removes some soiling, but we realised you don’t need it because chlorine bleach is a far superior oxidiser and as a result more effective. Not only does chlorine bleach sanitises it also removes stains, but this depends on the concentration you use. The concentration of the chlorine bleach is the key factor between removing minor stains, major stains, or oxidizing ammonia or sanitising against certain pathogens.

Why can’t I see this information? It says I have to become a subscriber, what does that mean?

The Clean Cloth Nappies Facebook group and website have been provided free of charge by our dedicated admin team. However, if Clean Cloth Nappies is to stay viable in the future, we need to raise income to cover our costs, which include website updates, and behind the scenes work that keeps the group running (like this new Santisation advice). This is why we started a Website Subscription service which includes access to our Sanitisation advice, Detergent Index and customisable Wash Routine template. For more info see this post. For full instructions for the Sanitise pages please subscribe to become a Clean Cloth Nappies Website Member, the cost is AUD$5/month or AUD$30/year.

Please don’t share or screenshot this information, it is unfair to the people who support us and have paid for a website subscription, it breaches the Terms of Service of the website, the membership and group rules.

How do I get rid of stains which are persistent and don’t come out in the wash?

Choose the Stains option, either mild, moderate or extreme.

I still have stains after sanitising, what do I do?

You can use the next level for the Stains option, so if you used mild, try moderate next. If you still have stains after the moderate and extreme options, then the staining you have is probably not oxidisable (oxidisable stains are food, poo, blueberries, wine etc) and can’t be removed by chlorine bleach.

Why do I need to use so much bleach for certain applications/problems?

Certain problems and applications require different concentrations of bleach. You need a lot more chlorine bleach to kill a significant amount of mould than you do a small amount of mould. Same way you need more chlorine bleach to oxidise a signification amount of ammonia than a small amount of ammonia.

Could I use less bleach or just sanitise twice?

If you wish to sanitise twice at a lower concentration or less, you can, but the levels which are provided are based on research and studies on what is effective for those applications and pathogens. For certain problems such as significant black mould, you will need to use the amount listed for it to be effective.

Will there be any bleach left over on the fabrics after sanitising?

Not if you wash the items after.

How do I get rid of the smell of bleach after?

Wash the items as suggested, and air dry outside for 24hours. The smell of chlorine will disappear.

Will sanitising damage/fade the fabrics?

If you have non colour fast items or coloured bamboo/cotton etc, use the option for Non colourfast fabrics. Using a higher concentration than what is listed under this option may result in those fabrics fading. If in doubt, use the Non colourfast option.

If I used the old instructions yesterday, will something bad happen to my nappies?

No. If it solved your problem that’s great. However the updated methods are far better!

What is more effective, soaking or inwash sanitising?

With respect to sanitisation all are effective, they have the same chlorine bleach concentration for the application, it just depends on what is easier for you. However washing is more effective because of the agitation, it aids in the removal of soiling, much like washing dishes is more effective than just soaking them.

If we no longer need to strip, should I at least wash them before the sanitise?

Yes definitely, this is listed in the method. Please follow the instructions in the method. The instructions list starting with clean nappies, this means if you are sanitising your own nappies, wash them first. If you are sanitising second hand nappies if they are not visibly physically soiled, then no need to wash them first.

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