What To Strip? What To Sanitise? (AU/NZ)

The strip process is not fundamental, but sanitisation is.

Sanitisation must be done after stripping, to oxidise (remove) ammonia and kill any problematic microbes.

S&S only if

  • nappies have been washed inadequately for more than 2 months including nappies that have been washed in,
    soap eg. Lux soap flakes
    homemade detergents
    a weak detergent
    not enough detergent
  • have developed stink/ammonia  
  • are causing a nappy rash
  • the nappies have been purchased secondhand
  • sanitisation is required if your child has had a fungal or (some)bacterial infections


All absorbent materials; inserts, prefolds, flats.

Limit All In One (AIO) and fitted nappies to 4 hours.

PUL covers/pocket shells do not need to be stripped, but do need to be sanitised with bleach, to oxidise (remove) ammonia, if there are rashes occurring from elastics.


All items need to be sanitised. Utilise the different methods listed.

Dilute bleach or the 90/95⁰ C cycle are the only sanitisation methods which will oxidise (remove) ammonia. 


Front Loader S&S Method

Top Loader S&S Method

Small Scale S&S Method


What to S&S

What is a cover, pocket shell, an insert, an All In One (AIO)?

Different nappy types with inserts

Australian/New Zealand Wash Temperatures

  • Cold = Tap water
  • Warm = 40⁰ C
  • Hot = 60⁰ C
  • Sanitise = 90/95⁰ C

Why did we change our S&S Methods?

When Clean Cloth Nappies began, the original S&S information was based on Fluff Love Universities method, but was adapted to AU/NZ. In many areas of the US, there is moderate to very hard water. The Fluff Love strip method is really designed for hard water because sodium carbonate, borax, Calagon (latter not available in AU/NZ) are water softeners.
Inadequate wash routines from historic misinformation in the industry meant inadequate removal of soiling, with the addition of harder water, resulted in mineral deposits in fabrics, which leads to ammonia, stink and rashes.
AU and NZ do not have hard water on that scale, there are areas with very hard water, but it isn’t as wide spread as the US.
When CCN started, the washing standards in the community overall were quite bad, because of said misinformation. There was a fear of mainstream detergents, laundry boosters, laundry stain removers, bleach. Stains, stink, rashes were normal.
Fast forward and the overall standards have increased significantly, people now know that stink, stains and rashes aren’t normal and they don’t need to happen, there are easy methods to utilise to prevent them. There are definitely some unclean nappies out there, but they’re not as common as they used to be.

The primary issues people have now are smells, stains and ammonia. The only way to effectively remove smells and ammonia is by dilute bleach or 90/95⁰ C sanitisation.
The community is no longer scared of mainstreams, or Vanish to remove stains, or bleach, but people still get staining, which is what the strip part of the process removes (the bleach and 90/95⁰ C sanitise also help remove stains).

The Front Loader S&S method was developed, and the Top Loader and Small Scale methods were altered for a few reasons.
The mechanical action of washing removes soiling better than soaking alone, due to the agitation and friction.
Prolonged and frequent soaking is unnecessary and unsafe, preventing people from unnecessarily soaking PUL and elastics, and from filling their bath tubs which is a drowning hazard.
The previous quantities listed did not account for variation in bath tub or top loader machine sizes.

As a result, the S&S methods have been changed to be effective and easy.
The products suggested for use in the strip part use have been adapted for both hard and soft water, they contain the components needed for soiling and stain removal. The products and quantities suggested for sanitisation will effectively sanitise.