Cloth diapering,  Parenting

Cloth diapering…who does that? [Part 1]

*raises hand* Me….I do.

Uuhm….Let’s back up. Where’s the makeup talk today Simone? Well I always saw this blog as a place where I talk about my loves and passion. My children are my heart and soul….my passion… okay just not at 4:30am when baby boy thinks it’s Barney time. *sigh*  So I’m going to throw in a parenting/parenting related post once in a while and even just products I love for my kids. What I love, what I hate. You have no kids or you’re really not into kids (even your own…it happens)? Then just go find a post that does resonate with you. Perhaps my recent Beauty Empties post?

The Backstory

Okay, back to my story. When my middle child was still with the stork back in 2011, I had this idea to try and save the world by not using disposable nappies. The stories I read about disposables taking a gazillion years to never degrade, made me fear for our planet, the planet that my kids would be needing for years to come. So I went online, did some research, and I must say I was majorly overwhelmed by cloth diapering! The start up costs seemed astronomical. A dry bucket for wet nappies? Huh? How do I clean them? Most importantly…what happens to the poop???? Yuck. As much as my heart was in it, my head could not fathom how this would be possible. I quit before I even began.

Fast forward 4 years and in 2015 baby boy is baking and by chance, an online friend starts adding me to every nappy group imaginable. I had no idea this world existed, that these people existed. My friend kindly sent me 3 or 4 free nappies as a starter….to just kind of allow me to dip my toes into the pool. I was still pregnant and had no baby to test these things on….BUT people, that first cute batch of nappies arrived and I was smitten. There was no stopping me! I trawled the online groups every day, looking for the best brands, how to wash them, how to store them… somehow it all came together and I started spending money to increase my stash. A lot of money. More money than I would have liked to spend. Shhhh….don’t tell my husband. What started out as ‘save the planet…save money’ quickly became a bit of an addiction for me.


However, this post is not to get you addicted, but just to let you know that cloth diapering is not as overwhelming as it seems. It also does not need to be expensive. You can save a lot of money if you do not get consumed by the pretty must-have-imported-prints/brands/wahm (work at home mom) nappies. I am really passionate about using cloth nappies, and I really hope if you’re a mom to be one day, it’s something you’ll consider.

I want to do this post a bit backwards and address some concerns first and part 2 will deal with the various types of nappies :

Dirty diapers

I’ve taken it off the butt, what now?  A wee? Just chuck it into the bucket. A poop? If it’s more solid poop, just tip into the toilet and pop into the bucket. Runny poop, rinse under the outside tap and chuck into the bucket. Some people rinse the poop in the toilet using a sprayer (bidet?) that is apparently around R150 at most hardware stores, I however just use a tap.

There’s all this talks of a ‘dry bucket’. I literally chuck our napppies into my son’s baby bath that we no longer use. I find leaving it open is better otherwise the urine smell can become a bit pungent after being confined in there.  Before the bath, I used an old HTH bucket that we were no longer using. No special bucket was bought.

How do I clean them?

Easy peasy. I tend to wash my nappies every 2nd day, some people do it every 3rd day, some every day, totally upto you. On wash day, I throw all the nappies into the washing machine. I put it on a quick rinse cycle only. After it’s been rinsed, I add the washing powder/liquid (No fabric softener ever!), make sure the machine is nice and full (The nappies need to rub against items to get properly cleaned. It’s called agitation.) and I put it on the longest wash cycle on my machine. My longest cycle is 50 minutes. Some women wash them for like 2hrs. For me, not necessary. If I ever have a situation where my nappies are not smelling too fresh, I manually fill up buckets with hot water and throw it into my machine (I only have cold water connected to the machine) so they can have a nice warm water wash. That usually sorts out any smell issues.


Hang them out on the washing line. The sun is your friend. I used to panic if I saw poop stains, but you’ll be amazed after being in the sun, the nappy would be as white as anything and stain free. Magic! The nappies can withstand low heat tumble drying, but I have no experience with that, so you’d have to get this info off one of the nappy groups.

Some things to NEVER do:

  1. Never soak your nappies for long periods of time. There’s a water proof layer that can become damaged from soaking (and excessive heat), called PUL. You never want to damage your PUL.
  2. Don’t use fabric softener on your nappies. Also make sure that your washing powder doesn’t contain softeners either. Ariel, Bio classic, Surf and Omo are all safe regular washing detergents used by most of us.
  3. Do not wash your nappies at a high temperature, nothing over 40 degrees, as this can damage your PUL (refer no.1).
  4. Don’t let your nappies lie in the dry bucket for days on end as I’m assuming you could develop mould issues. It’s never happened to me, but as I said, I wash every 2nd day.

The only problematic part for me with cloth diapering is if your baby develops thrush, then best to go over to disposables for that period and bleach strip your nappies to make sure to kill off all the thrush lurking in the nappy. If you don’t, baby could just become reinfected again. The bleach strip itself is not complicated, but there’s a right way to do it and you’d need to check the files in the nappy group on how to go about it.

So now you’ve seen that the actual nappy maintenance is really not too overwhelming. This may be something you are interested in, but where to start? What types of nappies? What are inserts? Boosters? We’ll cover all of that in part 2, that you can check out HERE.

Have you cloth diapered before? Is cloth diapering something you’d consider? Or not a chance in hell?

PS With the current water crisis, it may put you off cloth diapering, but check out my tips here on how to save water and use cloth nappies 😉

Cloth diapering

I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife...obsessed with my family, makeup and books!


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