8 Top Tips for Keeping Cloth Nappies Soft and Fluffy

When it is cold and wet a lot of people rely on radiators to dry their real nappies.  If you live in a hard water area this could mean that your nappies go a bit hard. Some nappies are better than others for hard water areas:

The Flip Nappies from bumGenius are good for hard water areas, and they dry relatively quickly too. They are one size nappies, easy to use, you need a cover and an insert that can be disposable or washable, if you want to learn more please visit our Quick Guide to Flip Nappy System

One of the other reusable nappies we recommend at the Natural Nursery for hard water areas is the bumGenius. This is a birth to potty pocket nappy and it is also a relatively quick dryer.


1) Use a fleece liner to reduce the amount of hard nappy touching your babies skin.

Fleece liners are cheap, colourful and they can be washed and re-used hundreds of times. They are soft against your baby’s skin and help to wick the wet away from the bottom, meaning a more comfortable baby.

2) Scrunch the nappy up and rub it hard between your hands after it has dried.

The idea here is to physically fluff up the fibres of the nappy. It is mostly the movement in a tumble dryer that helps to keep a nappy soft so anything you can do to replicate that helps.

3) Hang the nappy out on the line if possible

Grab every opportunity to give your cloth nappies a bit of line drying time as they will be softer than if they are dried on a radiator. If you really have to radiator dry try to keep the nappies away from the radiator a little – either by using an airer that hooks over the radiator or by drying on chair backs next to the radiator.

4) Tumble dry nappies now and again if possible.

A once a month tumble dry will give your nappies a boost, I used to take mine to my mum’s for a nappy spa day, or I’d use a launderette once in a while.

5) Reduce the amount of washing powder you use.

Washing powders can build up on fabric, stiffening it and making it less asorbent.  Once in a while try just running the nappies through on a hot wash with no powder to strip them of anything that might be making them hard.

6) Put a small cupful of white distilled vinegar into the wash.

White vinegar is great for neutralising smells and for softening hard water. You just put it in the conditioner drawer.  I have used ordinary vinegar in desperation and it works just as well, just smells more vinegary than the distilled stuff.

7) Do an extra fast spin at the end of the wash.

The logic here is to remove as much water from the nappies as possible so they need less time to dry.

8) Add bicarbonate of soda to the washing powder.

This helps to soften the water, you can use it with white distilled vinegar as well to remove stains.  Half a tablespoon  of bicarbonate of soda is more than enough.

If you have any other tips to help keep your real nappies  soft please let us know.