Washable nappies

Washable nappies can be reused time and time again. They are a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to disposable nappies. We offer a cashback incentive to help you with the costs.

There are various styles of washable nappies, these are explained in full on the Go Real website. The most common type is made from natural materials (like bamboo fibre or hemp) and has a flushable, biodegradable liner. The liner is where any waste is collected, so the bulk of it goes down the toilet rather than on the nappy itself. These nappies have no chemicals or gels, making them soft and comfortable for your baby.

Washable nappies

What are the benefits of washable nappies?

  • Washable nappies are made from natural materials and don't use chemicals or gels.
  • Bamboo - which many washable nappies are made from - is up to 60% more absorbent than cotton.
  • Washable nappies save you a lot of money - especially if you have more than one child.
  • By using washables, you will reduce the amount of disposable nappies that are thrown away every day.
  • Babies who use washable nappies tend to become potty-trained quicker than those who use disposable ones. Disposable nappies create artificial dryness, so babies don't associate relieving themselves with wetness in their nappy. Washable nappies will make them more aware of this connection.
  • You can buy washable nappies made in adjustable sizes, so you can use the same one no matter what size your baby is.
  • There is no connection between washable nappies and nappy rash. 

Are washable nappies more expensive?

8 million disposable nappies wasted annuallyBabies typically need their nappy changing 5,000 times in roughly 2.5 years. 

If the average disposable nappy costs 15p, this amounts to £750. Expensive brands will set you back even more. 

Washable nappies tend to be less expensive in the long-term. A full kit (including 10-15 nappies, packs of wipes, storage boxes, and packs of liners) can cost around £250. However, once it is bought, you don't then need to buy much else.

The nappy liners are the only thing that need to be purchased more than once, and these typically cost £2 for a pack of 100. The additional washing costs will increase electricity and water bills, but even considering this cost, washable nappies will be roughly half the price overall of disposables.

If you go on to have other children, you'll save even more money. That kit of washables can be used again and again, so when you get to your second or third (or fourth and so on) child, the savings will continue.

Furthermore, you can buy washable nappies that are 'nearly new' - worn only a few times before baby has grown, or simply the wrong fit. These are perfectly hygienic (if washed properly between uses) and will perform just as well as new nappies. Nearly new nappies will be sold at a lower cost to brand new ones, so this is an even more cost-effective option.

Derby nappy library

If you would like to give washable nappies a go on a trial basis, contact the Derby Nappy Library. You can rent a washable nappy kit for a week to see if you and your baby like them before buying any yourself.

Are washable nappies more hassle than disposable ones?

Many of us think of washable or 'cloth' nappies as being DIY; that you have to fold them up yourself and wrestle with a safety pin to keep them in place.

Nowadays, washable nappies are much simpler than that.

The average washable nappy is fastened with poppers or velcro. When the nappy has been worn, you can store it in a secure box. Some people like to use this box to soak them in a solution of water and tea tree or lavender oil. They then go in the washing machine - alongside your other laundry.

‌How do I dry a washable nappy?

Washable nappies drying on a lineYou can dry washed nappies on your washing line - or however you would air-dry your other laundry.

Putting washable nappies in a tumble drier will lose their absorbancy, so it is best to dry them naturally.

The sun's UV rays will also act as a natural steriliser, keeping your washable nappies as clean as possible.

Washable nappies cashback scheme

All Derby residents who buy washable nappies can benefit from our cashback scheme. We offer £25 cashback when you spend over £50 on washable nappies and covers to help you with the costs.

To claim, you will need to send us a completed washable nappies cashback form, along with the receipt of your purchase. We will accept multiple receipts showing more than one purchase, adding up to £50 - this does not all have to be spent in one transaction to qualify for the cashback scheme.

Please note that this offer is valid for one use for each baby you have.


Contact details

Post address:
Washable nappies
Derby City Council
15 Stores Road
DE21 4BD
Phone: 0333 200 6981
Minicom: 01332 640666
15 Stores Road
DE21 4BD