A guideline for a basic washing routine is as follows:
Cold rinse in machine (removes and breaks up solids, loosens stains)
Use your usual detergent
Start with the recommended amount of detergent on the pack then reduce a little each time until you have no suds in the final rinse of the cycle but 3cm+ of suds in the main part of the cycle. If you cannot achieve this, you may like to try a different detergent.
Do not use any fabric conditioner (coats fibres and prevents proper absorption)
Wash at either 40 or 60 degrees (60 is recommended for killing germs and thrush)
Use an intensive wash cycle, not a quick wash or an "eco" setting (nappies need a lot of jiggling around to ensure they are clean AND properly rinsed)
Cold rinse in machine if unsure whether all detergent has been removed
Line dry (see below. For faster drying stand airer by radiator and set up a small fan blowing gently up the middle. This can cut drying time by more than half)
If there are any bubbles left after the final rinse you will need to rinse again until they are gone to prevent detergent build up.
Always wash at 60 if
Your baby is under 6 months
Your baby has repeated or unusual nappy rash
Your baby is unwell at all
You have more than one baby using the nappies
Hints and trouble shooting:
Using too much detergent on a regular basis can cause a build up in the nappies which can lead to nappy rashes, smelly nappies or nappies that leak. Ensure your washing machine is also cleaned regularly.
You do not need to use a specific powder for your nappies, your usual detergent or an ecoegg should be fine.
Do not use bicarbonate of soda, bleach, vinegar or napisan as over time they can damage the PUL and elastic in the nappies.
It is not necessary to wash nappies at a higher temperature than 60 and doing so could shorten the life of the nappies.
Line dry nappies where possible. It is more hygienic and better for the longevity of the nappies. If you must tumble them check that your nappies are safe to tumble before you do so and never tumble on hot.
Do not dry bamboo on a radiator or other surface that is too hot to touch. This will damage the fibres and eventually they will start to fall out (this damage usually looks like a slug has been munching your nappy/booster!) It is best to use an airer near a radiator.
If nappies are still smelly after washing, then initially it may be caused by using too LITTLE detergent or could be caused by a build up of detergent. For either though the solution (a "strip wash") is the same: In a CLEAN washing machine, use a FULL dose of detergent in a 60 wash and then rinse until ALL bubbles have gone.
If this does not solve the problem, soak the nappies in icy cold water for 24 hours and then repeat. Once nappies are stripped, you will need to ensure that you are rinsing all the detergent out every time you wash to prevent the problem reoccurring, and if they then start to smell again then you may need to switch detergents.
If nappies smell strongly of wee when in use, it could be down to "teething wee" which also often causes nappy rash. Charcoal impregnated microfleece reduces acidity and helps with the smell and the rash.
It is worth noting that hemp nappies and boosters can have a strange smell to them.
DO NOT USE:
Detergents with "cellulase" in the ingredients
Any fabric conditioner
"Vanish" and other harsh stain removers
Oxy-action stain removers