Article written by Natalie Lassen, founder of NappyLuxe premium cloth nappies.
With the weather being cooler and wetter during winter, those of us who choose to line dry clothes and reusable nappies start to notice everything taking that much longer to dry.
During summer in Australia, everything can dry in a matter of hours in full sun.
Cue winter and freezing temperatures in some states: hours can turn into days. This can be especially frustrating for those who don’t have access to an electric dryer.
Cloth nappy inserts in particular can take a while to dry, this is because in order for the inserts to hold lots of liquid, they need to consist of multiple layers of material.
Some inserts can be made of up to six layers of absorbent material sewn together, unlike most of our clothing which usually consists of just one or two layers.
In short, the more absorbent your nappy inserts are, the longer they may take to dry naturally.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to speed up the drying process, to enable you to have a constant rotation of cloth nappies to keep your little one going all year round.
You can apply some of these tips to the rest of your laundry too – ensuring you’re never left with damp clothing for too long.
Here are our top seven tips for using cloth nappies in winter:
- Hang your nappies on a clothes horse inside. Just by bringing clothing inside into the warmer air, you’ll be surprised how quickly everything dries compared to hanging outside.
- Be smart about where you place your indoor clothes horse – if you’ve got a heater or fan running, place your clothes horse nearby to further speed up the drying process. Be sure not to place it too close to a heater though, both for fire safety and to ensure the heat doesn’t damage the water-resistant layers of the nappy covers.
- Switch to trifolds or thinner inserts that are folded, these dry considerably quicker than a smaller, thicker insert.
- Have more inserts than nappy covers in your nappy stash. Typically the nappy covers don’t take any longer to dry than your other clothing, so these are dry and ready to use again relatively quickly. With the inserts, having extra ones to hand to rotate in means you can allow your inserts the extra drying time they need without worrying about running out of nappies. You can of course also opt to just have a larger nappy stash too.
- Use the electric dryer. Nappy covers shouldn’t go in the dryer, only the inserts, but the covers themselves don’t take long to dry anyway. Those wanting to minimise their use of the dryer for environmental or financial reasons, can line dry for a day then transfer into the dryer to simply finish off the process, meaning the dryer only needs to run for around 30 minutes rather than several hours. Another tip is to place a clean, dry towel in the dryer with the inserts which also helps to speed up the process. Those who don’t have access to an electric dryer in their home can still make use of this option by visiting their local laundromat – just remember to have the required coins to hand. One final tip on keeping costs down while using the dryer in your home – be smart about what time you use it. Those who have solar should try to use it in the middle of the day when electricity is free. Those who don’t have solar can check with their energy provider when peak and off-peak energy times are, and try to avoid using the dryer during expensive peak hours. Late afternoon and early evening when people are arriving back from school or work tend to be the most expensive times to use large appliances. If you are in the market for a new electric dryer, you might find that choosing one with a better energy efficiency rating will cost more in the short-term but save money in the long run.
- Reduce the time between your washes. If you usually wash every 3 or 4 days, you can always reduce the time between main washes and wash more regularly. This helps by continually rotating fresh nappies back into your stash. This is another good option for those who don’t have access to a dryer.
- Size up in clothing. This final tip doesn’t relate to drying time, but it’s a relevant tip for those who are used to having their baby crawl around in a dress with no pants over their cute cloth nappy in summer – when winter arrives and you’re suddenly needing to wrap up your baby in multiple layers, we recommend sizing up for pants and bodysuits. Cloth nappies are generally a little more bulky compared to their single use disposable counterparts; by sizing up clothes, you ensure they fit comfortably and don’t cause any compression leaks from a tight waistband.
Those are our top tips for using cloth nappies in winter, to keep you going with a continual supply of clean and dry cloth nappies for your baby.
To get in touch with Natalie at NappyLuxe visit https://nappyluxe.com.au/