Here’s how to dry cloth nappies all year round, and extra tips for how to speed up the drying time during cold, wet or humid weather.

The weather has just started warming up here in Brisbane (hooray!) but for those who live in cooler climates, it can be trickier to dry your cloth nappies naturally.

Even during the heat of the Australian summer in Queensland, the humidity and rainy season can also make drying laundry a difficult task.

Those who have a tumble dryer can speed up the process (for inserts only, more info on this below) if needed, but not everyone has this option.

Even if you do have a dryer, let's not forget the energy consumption and costs involved.

Let's therefore take a look at the makeup of cloth nappies and how each component is best dried.

Cloth nappies are made up of a water-resistant outer cover and multi-layered absorbent inserts.

Some cloth nappies can also have a disposable bamboo cloth nappy liner added, but as this is an optional extra, we'll leave this out of the equation for now.

These 2 components each have slightly different drying instructions, so we’ll break it down into 2 separate parts.

How to dry your cloth nappy inserts

Super absorbent inserts means multiple layers that need to dry.

NappyLuxe inserts are made up of 6 layers of material and are likely one of the thickest items in your house you’ll be washing and drying.

We therefore recommend making use of the highly effective, free, and eco-friendly drying tool that Mother Nature provides to us all - the sun.

When the weather is warm and sunny, your nappy inserts can be hung out in the sun and you’ll find them dry in no time.

A top tip for NappyLuxe inserts is to point the bamboo side towards the sun instead of the soft microfleece stay dry layer.

However, when the sun’s not out and the weather is cold and rainy, your inserts may struggle to dry fast.

Here’s a few tips to try in this scenario:

  1. Line dry inside - simply by relocating your clothes horse inside instead of outside, you’ll find there’s less moisture in the air during wet weather and your inserts will dry quicker.
  2. Use a fan - try placing your clothes horse in front of a fan, this creates air flow between the inserts to get them dry nice and fast. If you have air-conditioning you can also place them in front of this either on fan, cool or dry mode. Top tip: if you're worried about moisture in your house leading to mould, dry mode will help prevent this.
  3. Tumble dry - we don’t recommend this as a first port of call as it’s not as eco-friendly as line drying. Especially as inserts are so thick, you’ll find they take a long time on a high heat to fully dry, which uses a lot of energy. This will also increase your electricity bill. However, if you do have a tumble dryer, it makes a great back up option. If you do want to use the dryer, we recommend line drying the inserts for a while and then relocating them into the dryer to finish off the process. This helps to minimise how much energy you’re using and still get your inserts dry quickly.
  4. Buy additional cloth nappy insert packs - many cloth users accept that inserts take a longer time to dry than the covers and compensate by having additional inserts in their stash. These can be snapped onto the covers while the other inserts take longer to dry.

How to dry your cloth nappy covers

These are made of 2 layers of PUL which is the water-resistant part that keeps wetness contained inside the nappy.

The covers should not be dried in the tumble dryer or in direct sunlight, as the heat can damage the PUL and effect the water-resistant properties.

These should be line dried in the shade either inside or outside.

They are relatively quick to dry so it’s unlikely you’ll have any issues even when the weather is cold or wet.

However, if you do find they’re not drying as quickly as you’d hope, try points 1 or 2 above by moving them inside or placing them in front of a fan. 

These drying tips should help make your cloth nappy journey seamless with a continued supply of dry nappies. 

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Meet the Author

Natalie Lassen

Black and white photo of Natalie with her daughter cuddling

Natalie, Founder of NappyLuxe, is an eco-conscious mother and entrepreneur who discovered the benefits of cloth nappies for her family and the environment. With a mission to create the ultimate cloth nappy, she spent years researching and testing various designs before launching NappyLuxe - a range of high-quality, easy-to-use, and ultra-absorbent cloth nappies. Natalie is passionate about sharing her experience and expertise, helping parents make informed decisions and embark on their own sustainable parenting journey.

August 05, 2022 — Natalie Lassen