After researching into cloth nappies, I found that not only was cost difference massive, but the environmental impact was huge.
* Each nappy takes an average of 500 years to decompose.
* 3 billion disposables are thrown to landfill each year.
* Disposables account for up to 4% of landfill.
Taking all that into account, it makes for a very scary thought!
When you think about how many disposables you use in one week - an average of 35 maybe? - and think how you need less than that to cloth bum your baby until potty training age, you realise the negative environmental impact. Add into this that solids go to landfill aswell, which can cause contamination and health risks to the public.
So, not only are you saving money by switching to cloth, you are also saving the environment by not sending the 2 tonnes of disposables used per child to landfill!
Washing Care and Costs
The care and costs of washing our pocket nappies need not be scary, confusing or expensive!
It costs an average of £100 a year to wash your nappies at home.
Nappies, boosters, liner and wipes should all be washed before first use to rid them of any manufacturing materials, and to also boost the absorbency. Any nappies that only have microfibre will only need one wash, whereas any nappies that contain bamboo should ideally be washed 3 times before use. This boosts the absorbency, as the more washed it gets, the better. I recommend a minimum of 3 consecutive washes. These can be rinses, and no need to dry in between.
Whether you choose to use a nappy pail or an XL wet bag, you will need to empty the nappy of any solids (under 6 months or before weaning do not need to be rinsed and can be dry pailed). Removed the inserts from the nappy - or at least pull them part way out. This ensures they fall out in the machine and get a thorough wash. Its a common misconception that nappies need to be soaked before washing - this is not necessary! It is also not good for the PUL to be soaked, as it can deteriorate it. Dry pailing is the best - and easiest - option.
Once you have a full pail/bag and its time to wash then just empty (or unzip the bag, no need to empty, just bung it straight in the machine!) the nappies into the washing machine and set it to a COLD rinse or wash cycle. Once this has finished, put it on a hot wash - either 40 or 60 degrees - with a dose of detergent. I would recommend an extra short rinse at the end of the wash cycle to rinse away any detergent residue to prevent any reactions to it.
Following this method should ensure that you rarely have staining. If there is any, you can peg it on the line and let the sun do its work! It really is magic on staining!
Always line or air dry your nappy outers as tumble drying can damage the PUL. You can tumble liners, wipes and inserts on cool, though preferably just to finish them off when they are nearly dry.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us.
How Many Nappies Will I Need?
This all depends on the nappy system you choose, how often you plan to wash and how old your baby is. Newborns do use a lot more nappies, but a good starting guide is between 18-21 nappies. For an older baby, i would expect to wash every 2nd day with this amount.
I have done some research to compare the savings that can be made by switching to cloth. All prices are based on average. This has been made by averaging the cost of supermarket own brands with the cost of branded, up to the average potty training age of 2.5 years.
I have also based the amount of nappies used per day as 7, taking into account using more when newborn, and less when older, but also other unavoidable circumstances such as diarrhoea (yuck!).
Cost of single disposable nappy = 20p
7 x nappies per day = £1.40
Cost per week = £9.80
Spend over 2.5 years (130 weeks) = £1274.00
If you buy a full set (20) of our Snap Ins plus an extra booster for each one, you would spend less than £200 and these last from birth to potty training. So even factoring in the cost of washing, you could still easily save £1000!
It may seem daunting to spend that much upfront for nappies, but remember, it is all you need to last. You may never need to buy any more nappies! If money is tight, you could buy one or two a week during your pregnancy, and be fully set up before birth!
Compare the costs, and see which wins hands down! I know which one i would choose ... !