All About Dirty Nappies

15 CommentsSunday, 3 August 2014

With a weaned baby, most poo should be picked up by the liner, and the nappy itself should not normally get dirty. If it does, it will normally only be at the edges, and this can easily be rinsed off before the nappy goes into the nappy bucket. If you put it into the nappy bin without rinsing off any soiling, you will find your nappy bin will smell pretty rough under its lid by the end of the day.

I always rinsed/sluiced soiled nappies down the toilet but if you choose to use a sink don't forget to clean your sink even minute amounts build up after a while.

If you do have an occasion where it is the nappy that takes the brunt of the soiling (perhaps the liner moved out of place, or you forgot to put it in), the easiest way to clean it off is to hold a clean corner, dangle the nappy into the toilet bowl and flush. Only clean water will go over your hand, but hopefully this will wash most of the poo off into the toilet. Don't forget to hold on tightly, because you may underestimate how strong your flush is!

If your baby is still being breastfed, the poo will be a lot more runny, and it is quite possible that the liner will not contain it all. The only plus is that it should not normally smell too strong (unless the mother's diet is full of rich and spicy foods - these will tend to affect the smell of baby's poo!). At this time, it is more likely that the nappy will get soiled, and so rinsing before being put into the nappy bin becomes more important.

Note that babies do not tend to poo in their sleep, only when they wake. So if they go to bed with full bowels, remember they will fill their nappy shortly after waking. Tip: this is the time to make sure your partner is on early morning nappy duty!

As a general rule, nappies which are fitted around the baby (ie shaped nappies or pinned terries) are far more efficient than pad folded ones at keeping explosive poo off the wrap, so if you want to use pad folded ones, you may need to increase the number of wraps you have, to allow for dirty ones. The ones with wipe clean interiors are also a good idea, to minimise staining.

Finally, for those who have seen the Australian Little Squirt idea, you can now get these in the UK, to be plumbed either into your toilet or an adjacent sink. This is a small hose which you can operate with one hand, while you direct it at the nappy (it's actually a "handheld bidet", intended to be directed at your nether regions!). No need to think about getting poo off the nappy at all, as your handheld bidet can do it for you instead!

Patricia Maurer
Thursday, 23 February 2017  |  21:10

Hi, I am a bit confused about how to handle dirty nappies... When I read about dry sailing I thought that you didn't need to rinse the nappy before putting it in the bucket, but reading this article I understand you must to?

Thanks for the advice!

Monday, 6 March 2017  |  11:55

You don't have to rinse the nappy if dry pailling BUT if there is alots of poo on the nappy then always rinse it as it could be too much for the washing machine to deal with (if baby is weaned) but also poo left on a nappy in a bucket can damage the fibres (especially if acidic teething poo). Anytime baby is teething rinsing wet nappies (especially over night ones) can stop the strong wee setting on the nappy. Outside teething rinsing wet only nappies isn't normally needed.

Helen Michael
Monday, 17 July 2017  |  21:43

Just seen the idea about the Australian little squirt.
I think this might answer my previous questions about how to rinse very dirty nappies.
Does anyone know where to get these from?


Tuesday, 18 July 2017  |  12:13

Google hand held bidet. They aren't popular in the UK but you should be able to find some online to order. Please check your plumbing not all pipes are standard sizes in old houses.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018  |  20:07

Hi, I have been using cloth nappies for my breastfed baby for 3 months now (since approx 1 month old) and I have not been rinsing the poo off, just dry pailing, is the only reason to rinse to stop them smelling in the bucket? I wash them every other day and have had no problems with them smelling or being dirty when coming out of the machine. I do a rinse cycle and then a 3 hour 60 degree wash.

Saturday, 7 April 2018  |  21:40

Rinsing helps the bucket smell better but also helps to minimise staining but also it's better for the fabrics as over time poo left directly on cotton or bamboo can eat away at the fibres.

Friday, 18 May 2018  |  11:37

Hi, if I want to rinse something in the toilet, would it matter what toilet cleaner I have been using to clean the bowl? Eg. could having residue of chemical toilet cleaner in there damage the nappies or liners? Thanks

Wednesday, 30 May 2018  |  20:20

Make sure that any cleaning fluid has been flushed away first as it will bleach nappies and that won't be good for the fabrics. My MIL used to use a rim block and when we rinsed a nappy there it bleached all the colour out of a nappy.

Romy Medina
Sunday, 21 April 2019  |  22:13

Hello, how do I clean washable wipes for a weaned baby?

Monday, 8 July 2019  |  20:20

I put mine in with a normal clothes wash

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