Drying cloth nappies in winter

Ah, yes, the challenge of getting your cloth nappies dry when it's wet, cold and the sun (when it does decide to show) is a pale imitation of its summer strength! It's really frustrating when the seasons change and you discover that the reusable nappies that used to take a few hours to dry in summer, now seem to take DAYS!

So what can you do to make sure you don't run out of nappies, and your house isn't overtaken by half-dry washing?

More Nappies!

Looking for an excuse for more nappies? This is a really good one and perfectly valid! A few extra nappies in your stash may be all you need to give your nappies that little longer to dry. And if your only other option is using the dryer, then it actually might be the more economical choice.

If you use Pocket nappies or All-in-2s, then you don't even have to buy complete nappies, just extra inserts or boosters. It's the absorbent inserts that take so long to dry - the waterproof shells air dry pretty quickly - so having extra inserts on hand means you can get that nappy in back in circulation sooner.

Use the Dryer

While it costs extra energy and money to run, the dryer is the most convenient option when you need dry nappies asap. Dry on low heat only, and don't put waterproof shells or covers in the dryer, just the inserts. If you do put nappies which have elastic components in the dryer, make sure you let them cool before taking them out - stretching elastic while it's still warm can reduce the elasticity.

The dryer can come in handy for just 'finishing off' nappies/inserts that haven't dried by the end of the day via other methods, too.

Clothes Horse/Airer

This should probably be on the 'things you need if you use cloth nappies' list. Wash your nappies in the evening, then hang them on a clothes airer overnight (this gives them a head start). The next day:

  • if you have sun in your garden, use it to 'follow' the sun during the day
  • pop it inside in front of a sunny window (you get the stain removing power of the sun this way too)
  • stick it over a heating vent/duct
  • position it in front of a heater (not too close!)
  • put it under a ceiling fan

Faster Drying Nappies

If you're going to get some extra nappies for your stash, it's worth considering those that are faster drying.

  • Flat nappies should be part of everyone's stash. Because they're only one layer of fabric and open out completely, they're one of the fastest drying nappies around, even when they're made of super absorbent fabrics like bamboo.
  • Microfibre nappies. Nappies that use microfibre fabric for the absorbency are generally faster drying than nappies made of natural fabrics. 
  • Nappies that separate. Nappy styles where the absorbency of a cloth nappy can separate from the waterproof shell - like Pockets or All-in-2 nappies mean that the shell can be used soon after washing with extra inserts or boosters.
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