There are many questions a parent, new to cloth, asks when I present cloth nappies for the first time. One of them is almost always “how do you get them dry?”
A discredited Environment Agency report written in 2005, claimed that washable nappies were worse for the environment than disposables due to the laundering costs. The report was discredited as the calculations assumed real nappy users were washing half-loads at 90 degrees and tumble drying every wash, which of course we don’t do.
Sensible laundering of your nappies is not only better for the environment (reducing your carbon footprint compared to disposables by 45%), but also prolongs the life of your nappies.
So, how do you get them dry? Well obviously line drying is by far the best! Not only does it use no additional energy, but sunlight is a wonder-cure for any staining, bringing your nappies back to a bright white! Not only that, but they smell great too!
However, we live in the UK and days we can get a load of nappies dry on an outdoor line are few and far between it feels.
Obviously using airers is the next best way to get your nappies dry, but in seasons where your heating isn’t on, it can take a while. I have to admit that I partially cheat. I hang the washing up in the morning, and anything that isn’t dry when the next load comes out the following day goes in the tumble drier to finish off. Not great, but better than tumbling a full load.
If getting things dry is an issue for you, for example if you don’t have a tumble drier or space to dry indoors or out, then carefully choosing your nappies can help.
Bamboo, whilst absolutely fabulous for nappies in many ways, can take forever to dry. Cotton has a tendancy to go crispy if dried on the radiator. The best solution for fast drying is micro-fibre.
There are many microfibre nappies on the market, all with their respective merits. I personally love Bumgenius for a quick change out and about, but you can’t beat a Bambinex teddy for quick drying. I kid you not that they dry in an hour or so inside! I’ve recently added them to the trial kits for those for whom speed of drying is of most importance!