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What to do with old reusable nappies

Cloth nappies are such an environmentally sound choice and can be much more reliable than disposable nappies - no nappy leaks and no poonamis in cloth! Reusable nappies have a clear health advantage to your child.

Reducing the chemicals that are around your baby is vital and cloth is more comfortable too. But what to do with your old reusable nappies when you no longer need them?


When you no longer need your old reusable nappies, they can be:

Reuse old cloth nappies

Real nappies bought for your precious first born can be used for all the siblings that come along over the years. Treat them gently and they will last for your children's children too! You will save the most money by starting early with your first baby and then using them for the rest of your brood.

There are many different types and styles of cloth nappy. Newborn nappies, terry squares, prefolds, flats, fitted nappies, shaped nappies, all in ones, all in twos, pocket nappies, wraps, boosters, liners - ALL of these can be saved to use over and over again. To keep costs down go for one size nappies that can grow with your baby and can be used on toddlers as well as newborns!

You can even box your nappy bundle up for your Grandbabies -just be sure to store them somewhere that has a constant temperature if possible, they are best kept under the stairs instead of in the loft or garage.


Sell old reusable nappies

Cloth nappies, wet bags and reusable nappy accessories really hold their value - they are robust and built to last. When my son was a baby and I was building my stash I bought preloved nappies to use.

When he potty trained at 18 months I popped them in the washing machine, washed them and sold some of these nappies on for the same price I had bought them for and a few times for MORE!

If the print is deadstock and mummies want every print in a range they sell like hot cakes! Facebook, mumsnet, ebay, and vinted are great places to both buy and sell.



Gift old reusable nappies on

Gift your stash to a friend or relative who is interested in trying cloth. You will have the pleasure of seeing them in use and knowing that even using one cloth nappy a day saves around 900 disposables from landfill and reduces their household waste. If you have a large stash you can split it up and gift it on to a few friends. Cloth nappy libraries always welcome gifts of used nappies and cloth wipes too!

Start the love for reusables young by gifting them with preloved teddies to little ones as birthdays gifts.


Repair old reusable nappies

Make good and mend old worn out nappies. Loose elastic can be replaced with the help of youtube tutorials, broken or missing poppers can be replaced using a kam snap which are relatively inexpensive on amazon and easy to use.

Velcro can be picked clean with toothpicks or bobby pins or even sew fresh velcro on. Old wraps with leaky PUL can sometimes be resealed with a hot tumble dry and if that doesn't work they can be used as swim nappies.

If you are not crafty, find your local seamstress who may be able to repair them for you, this will be cheaper than buying new nappies. 

Cloth nappy libraries are happy to take worn out reusables off your hands to use as demo nappies.



Upcycle old reusable nappies

Cloth nappies can can be disassembled and repurposed. They have fabric, waterproofing and absorbent material that can be used around the home. A hot wash with some laundry detergent, oxi bleach or vanish will sanitise the nappies for use anywhere.

Muslin squares, prefolds, flats and boosters can all be used as cleaning cloths or even as washable kitchen roll. They can also be cut up and used for potty training or as family toilet wipes.

Microfibre boosters catch dirt easily so are great as dusters or mop heads. 

Cotton boosters are great to use for buffing mirrors and windows.

As bamboo and hemp are super absorbent they soak up spills really easily.

There are many patterns online to make cloth period pads. Old washable nappies have all the raw materials. They are simple to follow and can be made by even the most novice seamstresses.



Recycle old cloth nappies

When all other options have been exhausted, cloth diapers can be recycled in textiles recycling bins at your local tip or recycling centre.

If you enjoyed this we think you would like this blog on Making Reusable Wipes Easy!

As always, if you're unsure of what you need to make the switch, please do drop the team a line or use the online chat function. The team all use the products themselves and just LOVE to chat pee poo and periods, all day long, nothing is TMI and we all love to overshare based on our own experiences...




About the Author:  Kirstin is part of the Customer Experience team at Cheeky Wipes, which since 2008 has been selling the original reusable wipes kit. She is mum to 3 and loves the forest, the sea and the hills!

Along with the rest of our crack team, she spends most days talking about poo, pee and periods and loves a chance to overshare. The business was recognised with a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2021, celebrating their hard work over the last 13 years.