1. Fold the soaker in half lengthways and place it on the nappy cover with the white microfleece side next to baby's skin. The soaker is used in the same way for both boys and girls.
2. The natural gusset in the cover holds the soaker in place.
3. Stretchy sides and tabs close for a perfect fit.
The Green Nappy Company nappies will last longer and remain in good condition if you follow our simple instructions to care for the fabrics.
1. Shake, wipe or scrape any solids into the toilet. (You should do this with disposable nappies too - check the small print on their packaging!)
2. Put soiled nappies in a dry bucket with a sealed lid. Close the tabs to prevent covers from joining together in the wash. Do not soak the nappies. Alternate covers throughout the day unless soiled. When away from home, the nappy can be placed in a bag and added to your bucket later.
3. Gentle wash (cold recommended) within 4 days. Tip dry soiled nappies into the washing machine. No need to soak and no need to handle the nappies. If you have a front-loader, use plastic tongs. If the nappies are very soiled, an extra rinse before the wash cycle is recommended. Use a gentle cycle (eg "woollens" or "eco" setting) and a slow spin speed. "Heavy-duty" or "cotton" wash cycles are not necessary and may damage your nappies.
4. Use a gentle washing powder such as one labeled “earth-friendly”. Use half the recommended amount. Too much detergent is a common cause of smelly nappies. Do not use detergents or nappy-soaking solutions with enzymes or brighteners, as they leave a residue on fabrics reducing the absorbency and occasionally causing skin irritation.
5. Rinse well to remove all traces of detergent. Do not use fabric softener or vinegar rinses regularly as they destroy the waterproof qualities of the covers. If the nappies are adequately washed they are odourless. If they retain a smell, use less detergent and rinse them more (eg extra rinse before or after the main washing cycle).
6. Line dry in the sun. Soakers and covers don’t even need pegs, unless it is very windy. Nappies can be tumble dried if necessary however it is not recommended for covers and the more they are tumbled, the faster they will wear out.
Things to note
Hemp and Bamboo
These fabrics will increase in absorbency over the first 6-30 washes. They may also shrink a little. We have prewashed the hemp fabric once only. You may occasionally notice some small fibres on your nappies. These are not harmful but can be easily pulled out.
The fabrics used in your nappies tend not to stain. A few hours of sunlight is usually enough to remove any stains. For stained soakers vinegar can be used for the final rinse (use the fabric softener dispenser for this). Vinegar should not be used on the waterproof covers, apart from an occasional strip-wash (see below).
This may happen if oil-based barrier creams are used making a water-repellent surface on the stay-dry microfleece layer. This can be removed by strip-washing (see below). Children who pass large amounts of urine, for example overnight, may require a Booster for more absorbency. Soaking, frequent vinegar or bicarbonate rinses or using the wrong type of detergent (see below) can permanently ruin the waterproof qualities of the Covers.
Too much detergent can build up in the nappies causing them to retain smells and leak. Check that detergent is used sparingly and that the nappies are rinsed thoroughly. Do not use bleach, whitening agents, fabric softeners, brighteners, enzymes or stain-guard products.
Strip–washing to remove residues
Occasionally the nappies may require a thorough wash to clean off any oils, detergent or other products that may have accumulated. This can be done using a hot wash with 1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 cup vinegar, then a second rinse cycle with water only. This process is safe for both covers and soakers, provided it is only done occasionally.
Tips and Tricks
Wee leaking out of the leg holes
This is a common problem when the nappies are new as the stay-dry surface of the soaker can repel fluid at first. Soakers need to be pre-washed at least 6 times, sometimes more, in order to strip away the oils, such as hemp oils, that are present in the cloth from manufacturing. Soakers can be tested by pouring warm water onto the stay-dry layer to see if it goes through. If it runs off the sides without being absorbed, then it has not been fully pre-washed. To save water and avoid prewashing, the soaker can be used upside down (with a nappy liner such as Eenees - available through our store) for the first uses. During pre-washing it is important to allow the soakers to dry fully before wetting them again, in full sun if possible.
The other common cause of leaking is the nappy being fitted too loosely. The nappy should be snugly fitted around the waist and thighs. If the baby has thin legs, it can be tricky to get a snug fit at the thighs. This can be overcome by pulling the front Velcro strip upwards at an angle before securing.
Wetness coming through the front of the nappy
This is a common problem in little boys. Ensure that the penis is tucked downwards when the nappy is put on. Pull the soaker further to the front so that there is more absorbency where it is needed.
How to Increase the Absorbency
Often needed for little boys (and some little girls too!). You may notice that when you change your nappy the front of the soaker is soaking wet but the back of it is dry. You can increase the absorbency at the front of the nappy by folding the bottom layer of the soaker in half underneath the top layer with the stay-dry layer. A booster can be added to a soaker folded this way to give a very absorbent yet still trim nappy, allowing longer between changes.
Changing from Disposables to Cloth
If you are ued to disposable nappies, you will probably find that you need to change their nappy more often with cloth. The nappy should be changed at least once for every feed for a newborn. If your baby drinks more at certain times of the day, they will wee more too!
The Green Nappies have a different design to disposable nappies and they need to be stretched quite firmly as the tabs are closed. Our fabrics are stretchy and designed to work when they are stretched. Putting the nappy on too loosely will result in leaks, particularly around the legs. The nappy should be firm enough that there is no space between the nappy and the baby's legs, but not so tight that it leaves marks.
Three ways to make it easier to empty runny newborn poo into the toilet:
(i) Use biodegradable nappy liners such as Eenee nappy liners – then you simply pick up the liner and flush it
(ii) Use a Little Squirt hose. This is a DIY toilet attachment which uses water from the cistern via a spray hose to clean nappies directly into the toilet.
(iii) Use a plastic spatula to scrape the poo off.
Not Enough Covers?
If you are running out of clean covers but don’t want to do an extra small load of washing, consider rinsing a few covers in the laundry basin and adding them to your other washing eg clothing. They dry in an hour or two and are ready for use again.
I prefer liquid detergents as powders sometimes clump up on the nappies. I recommend these detergents as they are gentle, better for the environment, Australian-made and good value.
Recommended detergent brands (use ½ recommended amount):
Aware (Planet Ark)
Definitely don't use any detergent that contains enzymes, brighteners or bleach. Some eco-friendly detergent brands contain an enzyme called "cellulase" - this should be avoided as it can break down the nappies.
I recommend keeping two nappy buckets, one at the main change station and the other next to the toilet. Any nappies with solids can be taken to the toilet and emptied into the toilet, then placed straight into the bucket.
Any other issues?
Please contact us so we can improve our troubleshooting information!