Do I Need To Strip Wash?
Only if there is a reason for it.
There is a lot of talk around about strip washing nappies. This is something that may need to be done if you have a greasy or oily build up in your nappies. It is not something that should need to be done regularly. If you are taking the right precautions and washing your nappies correctly.
I am going to give some information that you can use as a guide but always check with the care label or your supplier or the manufacturer before you start playing around with them. The brands know their nappies inside and out, in fact they are their nappies experts and are always the best people to approach when troubleshooting nappy problems. I have seen some beautiful nappies wrecked because people were constantly stripping them when they didn't need to.
Firstly if you are washing your nappies correctly then there should be no need to strip wash unless you have been using barrier creams or nappy balms on your baby's bottom or you have been washing your nappies with a fabric softener or a detergent that has a fabric softener in it.
Barrier creams and nappy balms are generally oil or fat based. Even the most natural oils that some parents use like Cocoanut oil, will build up in your nappy overtime, especially if you always wash on cold. It is not possible for oils and fats to break down in a cold wash.
So if you are using something on your baby's skin, I would suggest regularly washing on warm to help prevent it from building up in the layers of fabric or on the stay-dry liner like the one in a pocket nappy.
You can tell if you have a build up using a simple test method. If you are using pocket nappies, hold the fleece under a dripping tap or if you think it is in the absorbent layers of any nappy or insert, hold that under a dripping tap. If the water beads on the top of the fabric and does not get absorbed, then you most likely have a greasy build up in your nappies or on the stay dry layer.
With a pocket nappy, if the stay-dry layer has a build up, it wont allow the liquid to reach the absorbent layers underneath. If it is built up in the absorbent layers, it wont be able to absorb any moisture so it will repel it instead.
If you have been using Fabric softeners or a detergent that has fabric softener in it, then this will prevent your fabrics from being absorbent because it puts a coating on the fabric to make it soft and this prevents the fabric from being absorbent, especially if it is used regularly. So you will need to strip wash them.
What I recommend to do for stripping
It is actually quite a simple solution but it will take a bit of time. Try to be conscious of over water consumption too.
Try it with one nappy first. You don't want to do this to all of them and find out that it is not the problem.
Get the nappy and wet the area that has the build up. If it is a pocket nappy, wet the whole liner area. If it is an insert or nappy, wet the whole thing.
Get about a teaspoon of dish washing liquid (with no hand moisturizers) and smear it across the area. Rub the fabric against itself to make the whole area really soapy.
Leave it to sit all nice and soapy for about 10 - 15 mins.
This allows the de-greaser to infiltrate all the layers.
Give it a quick rinse under the tap or in a bucket of warm water.
Pop it through the wash without any extra washing solution or detergent.
Dry it as per your normal routine and hopefully this has fixed your problem.
Please take care when doing things to your nappies as if you use harsh products it can drastically shorten the lifespan of your nappies. Always check the manufacturers information first as they may have a different method that they suggest.
I don't suggest this stripping method if your nappies are just smelly I have some other information for you here