Every baby and family are different, so you may wish to care for your Disana nappies using your own methods. Below is what has worked for us and is based on recommended practice from Disana and from other parents using the system.
The Nappy Change
Used nappies and liners once removed can be stored in a lidded nappy bucket before they are washed. A wet bag is handy for storing used nappies when out and about.
Nappies soiled with poo may be rinsed and left to soak before the main wash if desired, but care should be taken not to use any harsh chemical cleaning products. We simply use bicarbonate of soda in warm water.
If using a paper fleece liner which is soiled with poo, this can be flushed away as it will eventually break down. However as these paper liners are thicker than standard toilet paper they will break down at a slower rate, so if there are concerns over drains then they are best put into the bin instead. If doing this, to minimise the amount of human waste ending up in landfill it is advisable to first rinse the paper liner if possible (e.g. flushing in the toilet or rinsing with shower head into a container) then place in a degradable nappy bag. Paper liners easily withstand several washes in the washing machine so, if wet only, can be re-used in the nappy, or as a dry or wet wipe for clean-ups. Wet liners can also be composted.
Washing the Cotton Nappies and Liners
How frequently you do a nappy wash will depend on many factors such as the age of your baby and how frequently you like to change his or her nappy, how many nappies you have, your domestic workload, how you store dirty nappies and so on. As a rough guide, in the early days with our daughter we used more nappies and washed every 1-2 days; after a few months the number of nappies per day reduced and we changed to washing every 2-3 days.
When tie nappies are ready to be washed, bunch up to 10 together and tie a hairband round the ties as shown to stop them tangling in the washing machine.
Wash up to 3 bunches at a time, along with any liners, with a gentle detergent; we use soap nuts. Wash at 60 or 90 degrees and set the machine to a slow cycle. You may want to do a slow rinse cycle first before the proper wash with detergent.
The cotton nappies and liners may be tumble dried on the lowest setting, but it is important to be aware that tumble drying can undo the positive environmental benefits of using reusable nappies due to its high energy consumption. An advantage of the Disana system however is that the tie nappies are extremely quick drying. In warmer months, line drying will get the nappies dry in just a couple of hours. In colder months air drying inside is recommended.
Washing the Waterproof Covers
Microfibre covers can be washed in the washing machine. Wool covers can be used repeatedly until they feel wet, start to smell of urine, or on the odd occasion, get soiled. When just wet or smelly, all they need is to be hung out either in the fresh air or somewhere with air flow indoors and they will refresh themselves, dry up, and be ready to be used again. If the Merino wool shorts seem to be becoming wet more often, it is time to lanolise them so that they felt and become more water-resistant. If they get particularly dirty or soiled they will need washing with wool shampoo and can be lanolised following this if needed. For instructions on lanolising the wool shorts please see our guide.