Disposable Nappy Disaster – What to do if you’ve washed a disposable nappy by accident

It's like something from your nightmares - you've washed a disposable nappy by accident and now you're faced with a load of washing that's potentially ruined, right? Never fear, we've got a quick action plan to save your clothes and your sanity!

Have you ever washed a disposable nappy by accident in your washing machine?

Honestly, when I first heard of a friend doing this – I was like, what?  How could you ever do that – don’t you check what you put in the washing machine?  Like seriously girl.

Fast forward to having 2 boys and OMG I can totally see how it can happen.  In fact, I’ve done it twice now!

Oops – I washed a disposable nappy by accident

I don’t even remember how the first time happened.  This time though, we’d come back from a night away in Perth and I was putting clothes from our suitcase straight into the wash.

When I pack, I always pack in sets of clothes, complete with undies and nappies as necessary.

Somehow, a clean nappy was still with the clothes and it got missed as I tossed them in our front loader (ok, so maybe I was being lazy and instead of putting away the clothes they didn’t wear … I put them in the machine … come on, you’ve done it too, right?).

What to do if you wash a disposable nappy by accident

So I thought I’d share how I cleaned it up quickly and easily!  I have to say it was definitely much easier to clean up in our front loader than the last time which was in a top loader.

So the biggest part is don’t panic – act quickly!

  1. Take all the wet washing out of the machine.  Hang it outside, flicking as much of the residue from the clothes as you go.  I did this on the lawn.  They were still fairly coated but it did get rid of some of the nappy crystals.
  2. Once the washing is hung, scrape out as much of the residue as you can from your washing machine.  I remember with my top loader, this was harder.  With our front loader, it was all bunched in one spot and was pretty easy to scrape out with paper towel and dispose of it in the bin.  If you have a lint filter in your machine, check that too and clean out if necessary.
  3. Run your empty machine on a hot cycle to clear as much of the residue as possible.  My machine goes to 90 degrees so that’s what I ran it on.
  4. Once the clothes are dry, you’ll notice they are covered in lint and still have a residue on them (they’ll feel quite stiff).  Flick as much of it as you can off and then pop back in your machine to rewash.  I did this on a cold setting.
  5. If you have a dryer, pop the clothes in the dryer this time as it’s the easiest way to remove lint.  I hung the clothes out til they were nearly dry, then popped them in the dryer to reduce the length of drying needed but you could put them in straight from your washing machine.
  6. If you use your dryer, make sure you clean the lint filter out as it will be very full when the clothes have finished.

I honestly had 3 of my “good” shirts in this batch of clothes, one being a good black blouse and when it came out of the machine it was almost white. I honestly nearly cried.  But I’m happy to say that all of the clothes, including my nice blouse, are all as good as new!  I wish I had taken photos so I could show you – but I didn’t actually think about sharing this until days later!

And I will certainly remember to check more carefully next time I unpack a suitcase … well, I’ll try anyway!

Have you had a disposable nappy disaster and washed a disposable nappy by accident?  Come and tell us about it.  You might even like to join our Facebook Group.

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