Strip & Sanitise FAQ’s

Can I add other items to the strip process?

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. But only if the nappies seem quite clean to begin with, otherwise there is the risk that some disgusting funk can leach out of the nappies and the other items will pick it up.
Don’t add other items if the nappies are obviously quite unhygienic.

Nappies, breast pads and hygiene products need to be sanitised after the strip process. Clothing, tea towels don’t require sanitising. 

What is the most effective santise option?

The bleach sanitise and the 90 degree cycle are the most effective sanitise options.
The pros of bleach is that it is cheap, effective, septic safe and environmentally friendly (it degrades to salt water and oxygen, which is why it has an expiry date).
The pros of the 90 degree cycle is that it is easy, effective, septic safe, but only suitable for inserts. DO NOT put shells/covers/AIOs into this cycle, it will destroy the PUL.

How often do I need to strip and sanitise?

Only if you have had an ineffective wash routine eg. using a weak and/or soap based detergent, or if the nappies are secondhand. See the chart on the What To Strip? What to Sanitise? page for more information.
There is no need to S&S regularly, if nappies smell or are stained, troubleshoot your wash routine: Why Do My Nappies Smell?, Why Am I Getting Stains?

Can I use bleach on PUL/Minky shells?

Yes, 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.
Embroidery, cotton outers, coloured velour or cotton, may lose colour if not fully submerged, but this hasn’t happened in our experience. To ensure items are fully submerged, add a white towel on top.

Do I need to dry between the strip and sanitise parts or between subsequent washes?


Do I need to sanitise immediately after the strip?

No, you can wait till the next day. No need to dry them, they can remain damp.

Can I add other items to the post sanitise washes?

Yes. These washes can be done at either 60 or 40 degrees.

Will stripping and sanitising increase absorbency of my nappies?

No, see Adding Absorbency , Why Am I Getting Leaks? and Detergents That Contain No Surfactants for info on increasing absorbency and leaks.

Can I add shells into the strip?

Front Loader method
Yes, see the instructions.

Top Loader method
Yes for AIO’s (those with sewn in absorbency), but it is not necessary to add in shells/covers that do not, because excessive soaking is detrimental, these only need to be sanitise (DO NOT use the 90 degree sanitise option for shells/covers).
See What To Strip? What To Sanitise? and the S&S page for more info.

I still have stains after the strip and sanitise, do I need to do it again?

Finish the entire process, often stains fade significantly after the subsequent washes. Some staining just can’t be removed (eg. rust stains, do not use bleach on rust stains, it will make them worse), as long as the nappies have been sanitised they are hygienic for use.
To remove any remaining staining on inserts try the method on the Heavy Duty Stain Removal Or Serious Ammonia page.
For shells/covers, try hand scrubbing with Sard Wonder Soap or a similar product and a brush, then add to the next cycle.

Can I add other laundry or nappies to the subsequent S&S washes?


Can I strip for longer than the recommended time?

No, it is not advisable to do so. Excessive soaking is detrimental. Don’t soak PUL or anything with elastic overnight.

Can I substitute products listed in the process?

The options listed are the ones that actually work, hence why those are listed.
You can’t replace sodium carbonate (ie. washing soda) with bicarb for example.
You can use Sard Triple enzyme stain remover powder instead of Vanish stain remover powder, as both have sodium carbonate as the base.
Homebrand bleach is fine to use instead of White King bleach, both contain sodium hypochlorite.

My nappies still smell of bleach or antibacterial sanitiser, what do I do?

If the remaining smell bothers you re wash them, and air dry.

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