Baby laying on change table wearing blue modern cloth nappy

Cloth nappies cost less than disposable nappies in the long run, but with rising energy prices effecting us all, it's more important than ever to consider how to keep costs down whilst using cloth.

Why are energy prices rising?

The war in Ukraine caused huge changes in supply and demand for oil and gas.

Russia was a big exporter of these fossil fuels, but the war caused many countries to impose sanctions and to ban import of these fuels from Russia.

This has been a contributing factor to prices increasing globally for oil and gas.

And if you're wondering why this impacts your electricity bill, the majority of Australia's electricity actually comes from coal and gas fired power stations.

How do energy prices impact cloth nappies?

By using cloth nappies, you have the upfront investment to buy a stash of nappies.

You then have the ongoing costs of running a washing machine and dryer.

It's these ongoing costs that contribute to your electricity bill, but there are ways to keep the costs down (more on this later).

What's cheaper, disposable nappies or cloth nappies?

Disposable nappies are single use items, and whilst the unit cost seems cheap on face value, this soon adds up when you're needing to buy new packs every time you visit your local supermarket.

By purchasing a stash of modern cloth nappies instead, you can wash and reuse them over and over again, meaning you need never buy more more nappies.

By using cloth nappies instead of disposables, the savings generally add up into the thousands, check out our disposable vs cloth nappy cost comparison for more info.

Remember that the price of disposable nappies will likely continue to rise as well; every disposable nappy made requires energy, water and transportation to get it onto the supermarket shelves.

How can I keep costs down while using cloth nappies?

If you're worried about whether you'll still save as much using cloth nappies with rising energy prices, here are our 5 tips to keep costs down as much as possible:

  1. Wash at low peak times. This may mean using the delay start timer on your washing machine to schedule washing during the night, or if you have solar then during the middle of the day. Check with your energy provider to find out when the cheapest time is to use the washing machine and schedule washes during these times.
  2. Avoid the dryer. A dryer (also known as an electric clothes dryer) is an expensive way to dry nappies and clothes, and this cost can easily be avoided altogether by line drying instead. Inserts can be placed to dry in full sun and nappy covers should be dried in the shade, as the sun can damage the water-resistant layers. We are fortunate to have free access to the sun, and on a hot summer's day in Queensland, this tends to work almost as fast as an electric dryer anyway. If you do need to use an electric dryer to help get inserts dry during wet weather, just remember that the nappy covers still need to be line dried as the heat can damage them.
  3. Use snap and wipe style nappies. This is the nappy system used by NappyLuxe and it means reusing the cover and swapping out the inserts when wet. By doing this, you reduce the amount of washing you need to do and therefore reduce your energy usage. 
  4. Follow our cloth nappy washing guide. By keeping your nappies perfectly clean and fresh with regular washing, you avoid the need to treat stains, rewash items, or do a full sanitise (which is recommended to restore freshness if the wash routine has slipped).
  5. Buy energy efficient appliances. We're not suggesting you throw out perfectly good appliances, but if you are in the market for for a new washing machine or electric clothes dryer, this is a great opportunity to choose one with a high energy rating. They do generally cost more, but you will be rewarded with cheaper energy bills and you'll soon start to save money.  

In summary

Don't let rising energy prices deter you from using cloth nappies. Unfortunately, prices are just rising everywhere at the moment. Use our tips above to keep cloth nappy costs down as much as possible. 

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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.

January 10, 2023 — Natalie Lassen