Cloth Nappy Preparation

January 28, 2022
Cloth Nappy Preparation
Published on  Updated on  

Let’s Talk MCN: Preparing Cloth Nappies

If you’re new to modern cloth nappies (MCN), how do you know what to do with new nappies? Does preparation change if you buy secondhand or brand new cloth nappies?

When you purchase your pretties brand new cloth nappies, it is important to wash everything as soon as you’re home. Doing so will remove any factory residue left from the manufacturing plant and handling, and assist in building optimal absorption. Unused cloth nappy inserts on a microscopic level have smoother fibres than inserts used frequently. The friction encountered by continual washing opens up the fibres allowing them to hold more fluid. 

Newer cloth nappies may need to be changed at shorter intervals to avoid leaks; adding a small dual or triple layer insert to your nappy configuration will assist absorption.


Secondhand cloth nappies are a great way to build your stash with premium brands at discounted prices. However, these are essentially baby toilets, and need to be sanitised appropriately.

Dilute 50-100ml of bleach in 2L of cold water, once all layers are saturated (around 20 minutes in) tip down the detergent drawer into your cold long wash cycle. This will kill off any nasties hiding in your new cloth nappies. Top loader users should add the diluted bleach mixture once water has stopped flowing. Wash again with detergent on a 40° or warm-hot wash cycle to remove any withstanding bleach. If stains appear on your secondhand cloth nappies after sanitisation, a 30 minute to 1 hour soak in your preferred booster, and a wash on a 60° or hot wash cycle will remove any discolouration.

For front loader users, the 90° boil wash is an appropriate sanitising method, but be sure to remove anything with a waterproof polyurethane laminate layer. Extreme heat will damage and crack the PUL layer, rendering your cloth nappy shell unusable. 

Dry nappy covers/shells away from direct sunlight on a clothes rack or on low heat in a dryer. Cloth nappy inserts can be dried in your dryer or on a clothesline. Sunlight UV rays can cause premature ageing to your nappy shells, so be mindful of the method and placement of them while drying.

Get our Wash and Prep Routine HERE

Learn all about cloth nappies in our modern cloth nappies guide or shop cloth nappies from our extensive range of styles from 16+ brands.

written by Morgan of @morganaveril.mcn

Published on  Updated on