Saving Money While Washing Reusable Nappies 

Happy Reusable Nappy Week! This week marks just over a year since the energy price hikes announced by Ofcom, and we know full well the impact this is having on your income and consumer choices, particularly so when having a family. At the same time, the cost of living crisis has led to another price hike – that of disposable nappies. In February 2023, The Grocer revealed the cost of Pampers nappies up by 30% at the start of the year, a price hike in less than six months after the soaring 60% increase in Aug 2022. Research also carried out by a UK baby bank network found 83% of families are being forced to ration nappies. 

Even with the energy price hike, reusable nappies remain a viable option to help you save money in the long run. Not only this, but the latest Nappy Life Cycle Analysis, published by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on 28th March 2023, confirmed that reusable nappies are a better environmental choice than disposable nappies by 25%.  

Here are our four simple tips to help you save even more money when it comes to washing and drying reusable nappies: 

Tip 1: Storing dirty nappies 

When it comes to changing time, it could not be simpler. Any wet nappies, without solid poo, can be stored dry in a hanging wet bag, or a bucket (any bucket with a lid will do). There is no need to soak used nappies, even if they are soiled. Soaking nappies can damage the materials if they left sitting in urinated water for a long period of time.  

If you have a new-born or younger baby and the nappies contain pre-weaned poo, there is no extra effort needed. Pre-weaned poo is water soluble, so the fast cold rinse cycle will remove the dirt from the nappy. If you have an older baby that is producing more solid poo, the poo just needs to be shaken off the nappy into the toilet.  

Not even hand-rinsing is required as reusable nappies will be washed on two cycles, the first one being a fast cold rinse cycle. This will use water more efficiently than rinsing by hand, and effectively remove and drain away dirt. 

Tip 2: Wash on a full load 

Whether you use reusable nappies full-time or part-time, washing on a fuller load can save you up to £22 per year. You can achieve this by adding other household items – clothes, bedding, towels, etc. – to nappies for the second cycle, which will be a sanitising temperate wash. Just add non-bio powder detergent after the rinse cycle.  

If you have a new-born or a lot of heavily soiled nappies, we recommend washing at 60°C, however for older babies, usually over 6 months, you can wash lower at 40°C. You can even wash at 30°C if you add extra optional sanitisers, such as Bio D’s Nappy Fresh Powder, and save an extra £10 per year. This saving should be balanced up against the cost of the extra products.  

Tip 3: ‘Delay Start’ the Washing Machine 

Most modern washing machines will have a Delay Start button, so check if your machine has this. This would allow you to wash the nappies overnight, or outside the ‘hot hours’ of 4pm-7pm, when energy tariffs are the most expensive. It is very simple to unload and hang up the nappies first thing in the morning before you head out for the day.  

Tip 4: Air-dry Reusable Nappies 

Air-drying is always preferable, as consistently tumble-drying can damage the nappy materials in the long run. Tumble driers are also one of the most expensive machines in a household, so avoiding it would save up to £40 per year. For families who have little space, there are always options to get creative with your drying spaces. If you can purchase an over-bath airer, this can be hung on a wall or in front of a window, to dry nappies out of your way. Drying by a window and opening the window to let fresh air in will help to speed up drying-time, and also help to deodorise and remove any hard stains. If you are fortunate enough to have an outdoor space, warmer weather will be a blessing for quick drying-time.  


This Reusable Nappy Week, we are thrilled to announce the increase of our reusable nappy voucher value of up to £70! If you are a parent or foster carer with a baby under 18 months, or if you are expecting a baby, and you live in the London Borough – Bexley, Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Waltham Forest or Westminster City Council – then you can apply for a reusable nappy voucher up to £70 towards the purchase of reusable nappies, or towards a trial paid-for washable nappy laundry service. Find out more about the increase in voucher value and Reusable Nappy Week 2023, here: https://www.realnappiesforlondon.org.uk/reusable-nappy-week-2023/ 

#ReusableNappyWeek #ChangeStartsHere #ClothYourWay #ChooseToReuse  

“Can you wash and dry reusable nappies whilst saving water, energy and money?” Check out our video: 

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