Wash Routine Basics

1. Detergent choice

2. Remove and rinse soiling

3. Pre wash cycle with detergent, within 1-2 days in 40-60°C water

4. Main wash cycle with detergent, within 2-3 days in 40-60°C water

5. Dry

See the Detergent Index for recommended products and suggested quantities.

For more specific information see the Front Loader Wash Routine, Traditional Top Loader Wash  Routine or High-Efficiency Top Loader Wash Routine pages.

Wash Routine Template

Download and print out our wash routine template, laminate it and fill it out to customise your wash routine!

Support CCN

If you love our work and resources, consider donating to our Thank You fund for our FB group volunteer admin team. To donate via PayPal use paypal.me/cleanclothnappies or the donate button

Why is a separate prewash cycle needed?

A separate prewash cycle with detergent, removes excess soiling from nappies, so that the main wash is done in clean water which produces best results. Loading does not matter for the pre wash cycle, only for the main wash cycle.

Choose a short cycle, approximately 30-45mins that agitates, rinses and spins, include detergent (see the Detergent Index for quantities) and dry pail as normal.

Most ‘prewash’ functions on the washing machine don’t do a rinse and spin following the agitation part of the cycle, or remove the dirty water before the main wash.  If the  machine has a separate detergent compartment for prewash, agitates, removes the prewash water, rinses and spins, then try this function in addition to the main wash cycle, instead of a separate prewash cycle. If smells, stains or other issues occur, revert to a separate pre wash cycle.

There is no need to dry nappies between pre wash, before main, just dry pail damp. If mould is or becomes an issue, hang over the side of the dry pail to dry out, then pail.

Prewash & Main Wash water from top loader using Omo Ultimate detergent

Daily Prewash

A daily prewash cycle with detergent, reduces the likelihood of ammonia development and reduces smells in the laundry significantly.

Run a daily prewash cycle on subsequent days and complete a main wash when there is enough nappies/laundry to fill a main load. Each nappy only needs to be pre washed once.

A daily prewash is particularly useful for:

  • Night nappies (either in addition to a separate night nappy hand rinse, or can be put straight into a pre wash cycle in the morning, see Washing Night Nappies for more info)
  • Nappies used for older children who have concentrated urine
  • Anyone that is sensitive to smells in general, or where the laundry is near living areas
  • For larger machines
  • Hot or humid climates
  • If using eco/plant based/sensitive detergents

Washing Only A Few Nappies

When the number of soiled nappies reduces (eg. during toilet training), the nappy can be hand washed in hot water with a small amount of laundry detergent, spun in the washing machine and dry pailed, then added to other laundry for main wash.

Support our work

Our Facebook group admin are all volunteers. We are parents, have commitments out of the home, and use our spare time to answer between 50 to 80 posts a day, all of which receive guidance and input from our very experienced and incredibly dedicated admin team.

If you love our work and resources, consider donating to our Thank You fund.