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Choosing cloth - how much work is it really?

When considering cloth for themselves or their babies, one of the most common concerns is the amount of extra work required to make the switch away from disposables. After all, disposable products can just be thrown away while reusable need to be washed and cared for.

But how much work is it really?

September 16, 2020


Let's take a quick look at cloth pads, before discussing cloth nappies

Many women worry about the required work of washing cloth pads. The good news is, it doesn't take that much. Pads need to be rinsed in the sink, which only takes a minute, and are then added to your general laundry. No fuss no problem. If they tend to stain, rubbing them with a bar of soap after rinsing, can solve the issue. This adds maybe 30 seconds to the process. Panty liners don't need to be rinsed, and can go straight in the wash.

Cloth pads offer great benefits to a woman. They are more comfortable, more breathable, have no chemicals, and tend to smell less than disposables

Cloth nappies aren't very difficult to wash either. They require a short prewash, which is a 30 minute cycle on your washing machine. This should preferably be done daily or every 2 days. While it may sound overwhelming, it takes less than 2 minutes to load and start the washing machine - two minutes once a day!


Once prewashed, nappies can be washed together with the rest of your laundry requiring no extra time or effort than any other clothing.

Similar to cloth pads, cloth nappies offer a considerable amount of benefits. They are soft, breathable, contain no chemicals, cause fewer rashes, and are environmentally friendly. Choosing to use cloth full time, will prevent 6000 nappies form being thrown into landfill, where they will spend 500 years decomposing!

Not to mention cloth bums are just so cute!

What about the poop?

If the baby is breastfed, the poop does not need to be rinsed out. It is water soluble and can go straight into the washing machine, until solid foods are introduced

If baby is on formula, or has already started solids, poop needs to be rinsed down into the toiled. A toiled sprayer is very helpful. The process takes maybe a minute, and doesn't have to be done right away so just get to it whenever you have a spare moment

What about prepping?

How much time it takes to prep your nappies depends on the types of nappies you have. All in one nappies or fitteds & covers don't need any prepping at all, All in 2 nappies attach very quickly, pockets need a little more time. It takes approximately 30 seconds to stuff a pocket diaper, if not less, once you get a little practice doing it.

Tip: Sorting out all your nappies in the evening, while watching some TV, makes the process quite effortless

All in all cloth nappies are just a little extra laundry. While it may sound difficult, it's quite easy to settle into a routine with it.

A new baby will generate quite a bit of laundry as it is, and nappies just get added into the same load.

If anything, I needed a lot fewer baby clothes and stayed on top of my laundry!


To minimize the effort

  • Have a few extra nappies, to give yourself breathing room in case you just don't want to do laundry one day
  • Buy good quality nappies, not to have any issues with leaking or other problems that may sometimes happen with cheaper products
  • Prepare and organize your nappy pail, and well as a space to store your clean nappies. It's always easier to keep organized when things have a designated space.
  • Ask for help if you need it! Sometimes issues might have very simple solutions, and asking for help is all it takes to make your life easier.
  • Keep in mind it's not all or nothing. It's ok to use some disposables while you get settled into your new life as parents