The run down...
When nappies are ready to wash I run the insert under the tap and put it into a bucket. I wash them when the bucket is full. You can leave them for about 2.5 days. Its good to have airflow into the container holding your nappies to prevent an ammonia smell, this is called 'dry pail.' It's also nice to drop lavender or tea tree oil into the pail. (Tea tree oil drops in the bath are great for nappy rash too).
I run a short rinse cycle and then wash them at 40 degrees (all the PUL covers and inserts together with wipes). I use Lux soap powder (100% biodegradable.) This stuff lasts F.O.R.E.V.E.R. (!!) I feel as though I've only bought two packets ever. I also use the soap flakes for kids clothes because they're so gentle. If there has been poop on the insert I use sunlight soap on it and give it a quick rub together. This is not essential but I like to do it and find it no trouble.
This works well for my nappies, me and my machine. Others will find that it doesn't work for them and it is said that soap flakes build up on the nappies and might affect absorption so keep this in mind (I use it at my own risk). Instead -trying the EcoStore laundry liquid & powder might be a better option. Rockin Green, classic or hardcore is also a favourite of many. These detergents help you follow the recommendations for best washing of cloth nappies, are eco-friendly and support washing guidelines for warranty of most nappies.
Then I hang them to dry. They dry very quickly and the PUL covers are basically almost dry once out of the washing machine. You can use a dryer to dry the nappies and inserts also on a cooler setting, no problem.
If I want to soak any inserts I use Ecostore whitening powder and if I want to rub off any soiled area I use sunlight soap. If you do soak anything, you don't need to pre-rinse wash them.
You can find your own rhythm but the key points are:
- Wash in warm water, but not too hot (it will compromise the nappy outer PUL printed fabric), that you can wash them all together after a couple of days
- They dry quickly!
- You can use a dryer, on a low, cooler setting, again so that you don't compromise your nappies.
- When choosing your washing powder keep in mind these things to avoid: Any detergent that contains fabric softeners, bleach, enzyme cleaners e.g. specifically cellulase, phosphates, optical brighteners or artificial scents they will compromise your nappy performance and longevity.
This is how I do it and it might not be the exact 'right way' or the 'best way' but if you're getting started then of course you will learn more along the way like I have. Don't mind which way to wishy washy it, just give it a crack!
I know that there are all sorts of hacks, tips and tricks out there and that these products might not work for others. Blog post to come on further details on detergents.