Why Cloth Nappies Leak & How To Fix It

Cloth nappies are well-known for their ability to leak, causing clothing to be damp and unpleasant.

It’s the reason many people give up with cloth nappies and a reason many don’t bother with them at all.

But what if I told you it didn’t have to be that way? Would you give it another go?

leaking cloth nappies

Why do cloth nappies leak?

Cloth nappies leak for many different reasons. Whether you’re washing them wrong, drying them incorrectly or just keeping them on for too long – all of these factors could cause your nappies to leak.

Incorrectly Washing and Drying Your Nappies Leads To Leaking Reusables

By incorrectly washing and drying your nappies, you may unknowingly be damaging them and their delicate layer of waterproofing.

Read my blog: How to Store, Wash, and Dry Cloth Nappies.

The Best Way To Wash Your Cloth Nappies

You should always wash your nappies at 60 degrees and on a long cycle. I do a cycle of just under 2 hours and if the nappies start to get a bit smelly I do a deep clean. A lot of modern washing machines have a baby hygiene or baby setting, this is perfect for your cloth nappies.

It’s good to do a quick prewash as well as a long wash, so your nappies are squeaky clean.

A deep clean consists of washing your nappies with no detergent This removes the build-up that is causing your nappies to smell and lose their absorbency!

You shouldn’t use bleach on your cloth nappies, as many people do, as it can damage the nappies. It’s also not a substance that should go near a babies sensitive bottom!

How Often Do I Need To Change Cloth Nappies?

After incorrect care of your nappies, the next most popular reason for leaking nappies is the fact that we just aren’t changing them enough!

Disposable nappies are made with a super absorbent pulp (which is also incredibly bad for the environment) as well as a lot of plastic. This makes them super absorbent and hold a lot of wee inside.

Cloth nappies are made with fabrics and natural materials. They cant hold as much as disposables do, so you need to use additional liners to increase their absorbancy and change them more often.

How Can I Make My Nappies More Absorbent?

Most brands of cloth nappies come with two microfibre inserts. Whilst these are great for soaking up the contents of the nappy, you may need to switch out for more absorbent ones if your nappies are leaking regularly.

  1. Charcoal Inserts
    Charcoal inserts absorb quickly and hold a similar amount to microfibre ones, plus a little extra. They may help with your leaking problem, but if you want to really improve the absorbency of your nappies you’ll need something a little more substantial.

  2. Bamboo Inserts
    Bamboo inserts are much more absorbent than charcoal and microfibre inserts. They can hold a huge amount and are great for heavy wetters. Do note, as they are more absorbent and hold more they take longer to dry than charcoal and microfibre inserts

  3. Hemp Inserts
    If you want to go all out on absorbency, you’ll want to choose hemp inserts. They’re great for boosting your nappies for night-time use and for the heavy wetters out there. They also take longer to dry than microfibre and bamboo inserts.

Combining your nappy inserts:

By combining the above inserts you can create some combinations of extremely absorbent nappies.

When you change up your booster combinations, you can get long-lasting cloth nappies that are tailored to your baby.

If you are experiencing a lot of leaking from your nappies after only a short amount of time, this could be due to incorrect pairing of your inserts.

For optimal effect, pair together inserts that have a high capacity and quick absorption rate. With the fast-absorbing insert closer to your babies bottom and a high-capacity one at the back (for storage!)

Bamboo and hemp liners are the ones to go for if you have a heavy wetter.

If your nappies are leaking and you find that the inserts in your nappy aren’t even very wet, your nappies may be damaged.

Nappies Still Leaking? They Could Be Damaged.

If you have tried all of the above and your nappies are still leaking, there is a high chance that your nappies are damaged. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to fix damaged nappies except repurpose them for swim nappies or reuse their parts.

If you follow the correct methods of care for your nappies, as discussed in this article, your nappies should last a really long time. They are designed to last years – care for them right and they should last.

Thanks For Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, it’s really great that you’re here!

If you have any questions at all about the content of this article or the rest of my blog do get in touch either via the contact form over here or in the comments below.

For a monthly newsletter (featuring exclusive content, products reviews, favourite new eco businesses and more) subscribe in the sidebar >>>>



1 thought on “Why Cloth Nappies Leak & How To Fix It”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *