Chlorine bleach sanitise for cloth nappies

Remove stains and smells from cloth nappies, diapers, clothes and general laundry with our chlorine bleach calculator.

Chlorine bleach is cheap, readily available, effective, easy and environmentally friendly. You can use chlorine bleach in a bucket, front loader or top loader washing machine.


Chlorine bleach oxidises and removes certain stains easily. The Clean Cloth Nappies™ Sanitise chlorine bleach table provides the correct quantities to use for 31 different options.

Unsure what method to use? We have a gallery, quick reference matrix and an application and problem glossary to assist in choosing the correct sanitise option.

Depending on your electricity cost, sanitising with chlorine bleach may be less expensive than running a 90/95°C sanitise cycle.

Before and after of a white t-shirt with a fruit stain. The stain was removed using the Clean Cloth Nappies Chlorine Bleach Sanitise® method
Stains removed from a cloth nappy insert using Clean Cloth Nappies Chlorine Bleach Sanitise® method

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Facebook resources

Members of our Clean Cloth Nappies Facebook group have access to in-depth posts and discussions on:

Use this gallery to assist you with identifying stains.

Sanitise quick reference tables

Use these quick reference tables to determine which method (or methods) is suitable to sanitise your items.

Note: some options output the same bleach concentration. In this situation there is no need to run separate wash cycles. For example, the Second-hand nappies (unstained/ don’t smell) option is suitable for PUL covers, AIOs and inserts.

Suitability by fabric
Sanitise method Colours PUL Whites
90/95°C sanitise cycle
Front loader chlorine bleach
Top loader chlorine bleach
Small scale chlorine bleach

*Fabric may fade or shrink, and prints and decals may crack or peel during a 90/95°C sanitise cycle. If you are unsure how the item will react to heat use the Small Scale chlorine bleach method instead.

Suitability by application
Sanitise application Colours PUL Whites
Ammonia (mild)
Ammonia (moderate)
Ammonia (significant)
Ammonia (moderate-significant PUL limit)
Bacterial infection: Impetigo
Bacterial infection: Listeria
Bacterial infection: Salmonella
Bacterial infection: Staphylococcus
Cold wash (prewash)
Cold wash (main wash)
Fungal infections: Candida species
Fungal infection: Tinea/ Ringworm
Fungal infection (non-colourfast safe)
Mould (minor)
Mould (moderate)
Mould (significant)
Mould (non-colourfast safe)
Mould (moderate-significant – PUL limit)
Nuke everything (I have no fear)
Prewash stain removal
Second-hand nappies (unstained/ don’t smell)
Second-hand nappies (minor stains)
Second-hand nappies (moderately stained/smelly)
Second-hand nappies (significantly stained/ smelly)
Second-hand nappies (moderate-significantly stained/ smelly PUL limit)
Single-cycle routine
Stains (minor)
Stains (moderate)
Stains (significant)
Stains (non-colourfast safe)
Stains (moderate-significant PUL limit)

Use the Coloured/non colourfast option for fabrics that are coloured or dyed (for example cotton or bamboo). Other options use a higher concentration of chlorine bleach and may result in those fabrics fading.

References and further reading

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chemical Disinfectants: Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008.
  2. K Reynolds, S Boone, K Bright, C Gerba, Occurrence of Household Mold and Efficacy of Sodium Hypochlorite Disinfectant, 2012.
  3. S. Wilson, C Wu, L Andriychuk, J Martin, T Brasel, C Jumper, D Straus, Effect of Chlorine Dioxide Gas on Fungi and Mycotoxins Associated with Sick Building Syndrome, 2005.
  4. M Korukluoglu, Y Sahan, A Yigit, The fungicidal efficacy of various commercial disinfectants used in the food industry, 2006.
  5. Z Mohamad, Stachybotrys chartarum: its identification and response to antimicrobial treatment and prevention, 2018.
  6. Australian Federal Register of Legislation, Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005 (February 16, 2021) <>.
  7. New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, New Zealand Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme – information for businesses (February 16, 2021) <>.
  8. Jennifer L. Cadnum, Aaron A. Shaikh, Christina T. Piedrahita, Thriveen Sankar, Annette L. Jencson, Emily L. Larkin, Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, Curtis J. Donskey, Effectiveness of Disinfectants Against Candida auris and Other Candida Species (June 8, 2022) <,0.5%20%C2%B1%200.4)%2C%20C.>.