Frequently Asked Questions
Washing & Drying
Travelling & Daycare
1. How does the PICO TANGO ‘One-size’ nappy system work?
Check out how it looks on real babies images here and it’s mechanism here:
For the newborn setting, flip down the top part outwards and attach the 2 snaps on the lower setting of the groin. You can leave these snaps attached for every use, no need to undo them to wash. Snap the shell closed at the waist. The ultra-soft TENCEL™ layer goes all the way to the top edge of the nappy for a super comfortable tummy. The elastic absorbent fits around the tiny bottom for a runny poo barrier.
As your baby grows taller, snap the vertical adjustment on the higher setting, to increase the nappy height and to accommodate more space around the legs.
As your baby continues to grow taller, unfold the top part and snap the booster in. The booster covers all the snaps for a super comfortable tummy. The top edge of the nappy should stay below the belly button.
2. I am new to cloth nappies, and I don’t know where to start!
Check our best tips for beginners in approaching the cloth nappy market. Keep it simple. You will need two things only:
– good quality reusable nappies
– at least one Wet Bag to store dirty nappies when you are away from home.
We offer a free trial kit for 15 days, to allow you to test the nappy absorbency, comfort and how easy it is to use. Please bear in mind that this will not be enough quantity for a full time transition into cloth nappies. If you’re not convinced, all you have to do is to return the product. Contact us to get your trial kit.
3. How many nappies do I need?
The number of nappies needed depends on the baby’s changing needs, and your washing/drying routine. For an average of 6 changes per day, washing every 2-3 days and line drying, we recommend a stock of 24 nappies. If you wash more often or tumble dry, fewer nappies may be enough. Each nappy comes with one booster, which absorbs enough urine to be used at night for a 2.5 year old toddler. There is no need to buy extra inserts or boosters, unless you have a really heavy wetter!
4. Will using cloth nappies save me money?
Disposable nappies cost parents an average of €2,000 per child.
- A full set of 24 PICO TANGO reusable nappies + 24 boosters + 2 large wet bags = €629.60
- Washing at 60 ⁰C with pre-wash once a month* = 0.79€ per wash = 23.7 € over 2.5 years
- Water + electricity = 0.59€ per wash
- Detergent = €0.20 per wash
Using reusable nappies costs €653.30 over 2.5 years, equivalent to 3 times less than disposables. You save €1,300 in total.
*Considering that once a month nappies are washed separately from normal clothing (eg. if the baby is unwell).
Wash at 60⁰C, 0.14662 €/KWh (average domestic price of the 5 cheapest energy suppliers in Portugal on 23 October 2022), pre-washing plus main wash on a A++ washing machine with consumption of 1 KWh. For remaining washes, nappies are washed together with normal clothing at 40 ⁰C.
5. Do I need to buy extra pads separately?
No. Our nappies come with an extra booster, which absorbs enough urine to be used overnight on a toddler.
6. Can I use the reusable nappies straight after birth?
Our nappy is designed to comfortably fit babies from 3 kg. At the smallest setting, the ultra-soft TENCEL™ layer goes all the way to the top edge of the nappy for a super comfortable tummy. The elastic absorbent fits around tiny legs for a runny poo barrier.
7. How long will my reusable nappies last?
Based on full-time use, following the recommended washing and drying routine, they are expected to last 2.5 years, or even longer. In that case you may use them on a second child or sell them second hand.
The lifetime of your nappies and boosters will depend on these important factors:
– Washing/drying frequency: This will depend on whether you are using them full-time or part-time, and how many nappies you have for rotation between washes.
The more nappies and boosters you have for rotation, the less washing they will be subject to. Washing more regularly is more hygienic; however the nappies will wear out sooner.
Spacing out the washing longer than 3 days will result in urine and faeces wearing down nappies. Nappies will be the most washed items in your home, going through hundreds of washes per year, especially if you have a smaller stock.
– Detergent used: Using enzyme based detergents with frequency will wear them out sooner.
– Drying routine: Line drying will extend the lifetime of the nappy, while tumble drying will wear them out sooner.
8. How often should I change the nappy?
During the day, we recommend changing the nappy every 3 hours on average, for a good hygiene routine.
9. Can I use this nappy at night?
The nappy was designed thinking of babies who sleep on their tummy or on the side. The booster has most of the absorbency at the front, where babies wee the most, for maximum protection.
It holds 350 mL of urine, which is enough for night time for most babies up to 6 months.
Adding the booster makes it absorb almost 600 mL of urine, which is enough for night time for most children up to 2.5 years.
10. Do I need to place liners between the nappy and the baby skin?
No. We use TENCEL™ in contact with the most delicate area of the baby, which is globally recognized for being hypoallergenic and extremely breathable. In avoiding using extra liners you’ll save money, time and the environment.
11. Can I use this nappy on a baby with very sensitive skin?
Yes. Our nappy is suitable for babies with very sensitive skin. The transfer layer is made of 100% TENCEL™, which is naturally hypoallergenic. It has the ability to absorb and get rid of urine very quickly, creating a difficult environment for odours and bacteria to grow. It helps the baby to feel dry and comfortable. This is very important to prevent rashes as the most common reason being skin in direct contact with wet material for prolonged periods.
12. Can I use barrier creams on my baby when using cloth nappies?
Barrier creams containing zinc or petroleum tend to settle on the top layer of the insert, which creates a barrier to liquids, not letting them penetrating the fabric. For this reason, we recommend not using any barrier cream, as the nappy may leak.
Washing & drying
13. Do I have to pre-wash the nappies before the first use?
Yes. Pre-washing is needed to increase absorbency during the first period of use. The organic cotton fabric is unbleached, and thus contains natural oils that need to be released in the wash. Before its very first use, we recommend pre-washing them 4 times at 30 ⁰C, without softener. Only a small amount of detergent is needed in the first wash.
14. How do I deal with the poo? What if it's a poonami?
– Exclusively breastfed/formula fed babies: The poo is soluble in water, so just place the dirty nappies in the bucket until machine washing.
– Once solid food has been introduced: Dispose excessive poo into the toilet (stretch the dirty nappy over the toilet and most of the poo drops off). Then place the dirty nappy inside the bucket until they are washed.
– If you encounter an extra sticky poo, grab some toilet paper to remove the excess into the toilet. Don’t bother to remove 100% of it, there will be marks left, wich is where your washing machine comes into its own. It will wash away the dirt.
15. How do I store the dirty nappies before each wash? And for how long?
Keep it simple. Any bucket with holes (size around 20 L) will be enough to store the dirty nappies inside. No rinse, no soaking, and no mess. We recommend washing every 2-3 days to prevent odours and stains from settling.
Just place the dirty nappy inside the bucket until they are washed.
If you decide to use a bucket with a lid, instead of one with holes, it will be more prone to smell like urine when you open the lid. In that case, we recommend adding 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to neutralise the odour.
16. How do I wash the reusable nappies?
Keep it simple. Wash with your normal laundry of light colors at 40 ⁰C, 1200 rpm, to extend its lifetime.
Use a good detergent and no softener. Softeners align the surface fabric fibers towards a horizontal angle, becoming soft to touch. This seals the fibers and blocks the penetration of urine into the fabric, leading to nappy leaks.
Make sure you select a setting that includes a cold pre-wash, especially if it is going to be followed by 60⁰C and the baby is eating solid food. Protein based stains can be very difficult to remove if high temperature is applied directly on them.
Wash at 60 ⁰C when:
- Your baby is sick, to ensure that bacteria and viruses are effectively killed.
- The nappies are very soiled.
- Your baby is sharing nappies with a child from another household (eg: childcare nappy schemes)
17. Do I need a specific detergent?
There are laundry detergents that have been formulated specifically for use with cloth nappies. Although these can be great to use, they can be a little expensive, and are not really necessary. Choosing between powdered or liquid detergent is really just a matter of preference.
Please note that many detergents available in supermarkets contain enzymes. Enzymes help removing protein stains by eating them, but in doing this they also eat some natural fabric fibers around the stain. Our absorbents are natural, so to prolong the lifetime of your nappies, we recommend using a non-enzymatic detergent.
We have tested Skip Eco Active (liquid), which is non-enzymatic, and can recommend it.
Make sure that you don’t add too much detergent. Detergent in excess compromises the absorption of inserts, can cause skin allergies and if it continues to build up in the insert after every wash it can react with ammonia present in the baby urine, and cause strong smells. If at the end of the rinsing program there are still bubbles in the water, it’s because too much detergent was used.
18. May I use stain removers to minimize stains?
We don’t recommend using any stain removers, bleach, vinegar or additives. These are too harsh on fabrics. Instead, wash nappies every 2-3 days to prevent stains from settling. Line drying your nappies in the sunlight is a great way of removing eventual stains naturally.
19. How to dry the nappies and boosters?
Line drying is the most economical and ecological way, plus the sunlight helps to remove any eventual stains. You can also tumble dry them on low, especially in cold and humid regions. Ensure your nappies are completely dry before storing away.
Traveling and daycare
20. How about when I want to go out or travel?
Our Wet Bag makes it practical and hygienic. Place the dirty items in the wet bag until washing time. It is lightweight and water resistant, keeping the external environment dry and free from odours. It also comes with an external pocket to carry clean nappies or a changing mat.
We have two sizes available
- The small size holds 4-5 nappies and 4-5 boosters inside, and is ideal for short journeys.
- The large size holds 8-10 nappies and 8-10 boosters inside, and is ideal to leave at a full-time daycare.
For practical changes when going out, we also have a portable Changing Mat lined with TENCEL™ for superior comfort.
21. Can I use the reusable nappies at daycare?
More and more nurseries are using reusable nappies. Our nappy is ‘All-in-One’ which is the easiest type when it comes to practicality and fast changing. Make sure you hand them a wet bag to store dirty nappies temporarily until it’s collected at the end of the day.
22. What are the benefits of PICO TANGO reusable nappies?
A full set of PICO TANGO nappies, plus wet bag, plus accounting for washing costs for 2.5 years is still 3 times less when compared with disposables. You save €1,300 in total.
Making circular economy happen
By purchasing products made of upcycled marine plastic, you are putting circular economy into practice.
Due to its complex synthetic composition together with biological material, recycling disposable nappies is not financially viable. They take hundreds of years to decompose. In 2017, it was estimated that 6.7 million tonnes of disposable nappies waste was generated in the EU-28, which typically end up in landfills (87%) or are incinerated (13%).
Considering 6 nappy changes per day as a minimum (a newborn can use 12 a day), that´s 180 nappies per month, and 5400 nappies in 2.5 years, equalling over 1 tonne of waste.
Less crude dependency
It takes over 1,500 litres of crude oil to produce enough disposable nappies for a baby until they become potty trained (at 2.5 years).
Cleaning our oceans
Ocean pollution is one of the biggest threats to the health of our planet.
Our nappy shell fibers are 100% SEAQUAL certified. For every kilo of SEAQUAL® YARN, 1 kilo of marine litter has been cleaned from the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Learn more about this brilliant initiative at seaqual.org
Reduce CO2 emissions
Disposable nappies result in a carbon footprint approximately 550kg of CO2 equivalents used over 2.5 years a child is typically in nappies. Swaping to reusables results in a reduction of 40%, equivalent to some 220 kg of CO2, over the 2.5 years. This reduction is possible by washing nappies in a fuller load, outdoor line drying all of the time, not washing above 60°C and reusing nappies with a second child.
Single-use baby nappies use 20 times more land for production of raw materials and require 3 times more energy to make than cloth nappies.
23. Why we don’t use bamboo viscose
Our policy is to use only sustainable fabrics.
Despite many stores advertising bamboo nappy inserts and liners as an ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘natural’ fabrics, the reality is the manufacturing process that transforms bamboo tree to a soft fabric is subject to harsh chemical processing which is harming to the environment and the communities near production sites. Even if the bamboo was responsibly grown and harvested. The process is called viscose/rayon and it involves an open loop, using high quantities of toxic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) and carbon disulphide. Unfortunately, many times these chemicals are released untreated into the environment, severely polluting the soils, rivers or lakes nearby, and harming the health of manufacturing workers and local communities.
In fact, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which is the world’s leading standard for processing textiles, won’t certify the chemically processed bamboo (viscose/rayon), stating:
“Almost all bamboo fibre used in industrial textile production is not natural bamboo, but is a product for which the cellulose has been regenerated through a viscose/rayon process and can, therefore, not be considered as natural or even organic fibre, even if the bamboo plant was originally certified as organic, in the field.’
24. Why we don’t sell disposable nappy liners
Some people find nappy liners may a practical way of disposing the poo from soiled nappies. However, the touch of TENCEL™ is much softer and comfortable for the baby’ skin than disposable liners. Plus they are manufactured using the viscose/rayon process, which can be very pollutant to the environment as mentioned above.