One of the terms you hear when you start to research about cloth nappies is “dry Pailing”. Back in the day nappies were soaked in Napisan to get the urine etc out. That was fine when you’re talking terry flats but a huge no-no when using modern cloth nappies. 

Why is soaking bad for MCN’s (modern cloth nappies)?  

  • Mainly because soaking over time will cause damage to the PUL, which is the waterproof fabric nappies are made of. Even ones made of other fabrics will generally have a hidden layer of PUL in them. 

Won’t it smell? 

  • Air flow is vital, so your dry pail needs to be a basket (not cane or wicker) with a lot of holes. If you keep soiled nappies in a closed, lidded bucket, the odour will be concentrated in the bucket and the smell will burn your nostril hairs when you open the bucket. When you use a Dry Pail, any odour from the waste (typically ammonia gas) is dispersed in the air. There is a very small number of ammonia molecules produced from a dry pail compared to the number of other gases making up the air, so isn’t noticeable.

Why else do we dry pail instead of soak?  

  • Buckets of water can become a drowning hazard. A baby can drown in a teaspoon of water so not a good idea. 

The basics of dry pailing – separate boosters and inserts. Drop any solids (poops) into the toilet. Some people like to get a bidet-style hose attached to the toilet tap to spray nappies off. They are generally available at hardware stores. This is good for the ones that don’t just roll off. Then just put everything into the dry pail basket until wash day. 

More  detailed information can be found at How to dry pail your modern cloth nappies – Cloth Nappy Help: free cloth nappy advice, tips and troubleshooting 

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