• Kate from Cloth Tots

What is Dry Pailing?

Why dont we "wet-pail" anymore?

So back in the day of the old school terry towel nappies keeping them in a lidded pail in a solution of Napisan, or bleach was the normal. Terry cloth is quite hardy in this respect. Since that time the materials used for this practice have changed. Napisan no longer contains bleach as it used to, and modern cloth nappies are primarily made of bamboo, hemp and PUL. These don't respond well to soaking in water for long times. Additionally, having buckets of water around the place is a drowning risk for your toddler. Soaking in a closed bucket essentially would create a soup-like substance of wee and poo, which sounds like a bacteria’s idea of a fun time, but Isn't great for keeping your cloth clean and baby safe.

Which is why we don't 'wet pail'. ⁠


Enter Dry Pailing...


So dry pailing is the new normal. It requires a bucket with more holes than sides to allow maximum airflow. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • Firstly it helps the nappy fabric dry. By keeping all that absorbent material dry, you prevent the transformation of urea (a common by-product of urine) to ammonia. Ammonia is bad news. It smells horrendous (think old school hair bleach) and it's extremely damaging. It is an alkaline (think pH around 11) and can cause nasty rashes and can actually destroy the fabric of your cloth nappies. ⁠

  • Secondly it is to prevent smells. This is going to feel a little backwards, but as explained above, being open and airy will prevent ammonia forming, and allow the small urea scent to dissipate.

Using dry pails in your routine

When you hire your pack through Cloth Tots, we supply two dry pails, 1 for storing "used" nappies, those you've taken off your baby and are waiting a pre-wash. And a second (larger one) for pre-washed nappies waiting for a main wash. I've included a few images of my set-up, but you can get creative/develop work arounds. If you have other children or pets, look at ways of hanging your pails (like mine on the door). Or use command-hooks near baby's change table to store used nappies during the day.

There are plenty of options out there to work with you and your family, and we're always happy to troubleshoot.



And if that sounds confusing, get in touch. We provide a wash routine with every one of our hire packs to ensure you get the best wash, for the nappies, and bub. hello@clothtotts.com.au




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