What do you do with cloth nappies when you're done?
Updated: Apr 19
This is something I've been pondering lately, we are reaching 2.5 years of cloth, my son is toilet training and we are reducing the number of nappies we are using. So I’ve reached out to a few of our favourite brands to see what can be done when you’ve finished using your cloth nappies.
Pay it Forward
Sibling, Cousin, friend, Facebook Group. There are so many families (and little ones) who can benefit from your stash (and your wash routine). To re-use for another child just make sure to give them a deep-clean and sanitise before you hand them on, or pack them away for a sibling. Cloth Tots offers this as a service, or you can reach out to Clean Cloth Nappies as a member to get their advice.
There are a few "unicorn" nappy prints and limited designs that will hold their value over time. If you have a few of these sitting in your stash (think "Age of Pootron from Alcmena) or limited design Designer Bums, and you could be sitting on a nice little cash pile. Check out the Facebook groups below to resell.
The PUL fabric can be a bit more difficult, given it contains a layer of polyester plus a layer of polyurethane laminate (the waterproof layer) that are bonded together, says Leanne from BabyBeehinds. If they still have a bit of wear in them, Our friends at Evia Collective recommend using the shell as a swim nappy, providing the elastics are OK. then the nappy should catch an solids whilst being in the water with no issues. Elastics need some love? We have an elastic repair service too. Alternatively, nappy shells at the end of their useful life could be used as doll nappies, nappy keyrings or even refashioned into mini wet bags suggests Eunica from Monarch.
If they are beyond use, Leanne (BabyBeehinds) suggests taking these to a textile recycling programs or contact local animal shelters who often need them for animals with incontinence issues.
Unlike the nappy shells, inserts are often made from natural fibres, including cotton, bamboo and hemp, which means, with proper care and a good wash routine, they can last for 10 + years. However, there may come a time when you will begin to find your inserts are losing their absorbency, gaining holes or thinning, which means they have reached the end of their life, says Leanne (BabyBeehinds).
If they aren't nappy friendly, but still have some life to them Eunica (Monarch) suggests sewing them together into a wash / dishcloth, multipurpose wipe-all.
But once they are end of life they are certainly very compost friendly. Leanne from Babybeehinds recommends removing all snaps, Velcro, labels so you are only allowing the natural fabrics to break down naturally. Then these fabrics can be composted in at home compost bin or commercial compost.
So if you've come to the end of your cloth nappy road, what have you done with your stash?