Frequently Asked Questions

General

Hygiene

Washing & Drying

Travelling & Daycare

Sustainability

General

1. How much can I save with Pico Tango cloth nappies?

Disposable nappies cost parents an average of €2,000 per child. You can save about €1,400 per child on average.

Using our reusable nappies costs less than €600 over 2.5 years, equivalent to 3 times less than disposables. 

Here are our costs deconstructed:

  • Full set of 24 Pico Tango reusable nappies + 24 boosters = 569 €
  • Machine washing with your normal clothing at 40⁰C every 2-3 days = 0 €
  • Machine washing separately at 60⁰C once a month* = 0.80€ per wash = 24 € over 2.5 years
    • Electricity = 0.41 € per wash
    • Water = 0.17 € per wash
    • Detergent = €0.22 per wash

* Wash at 60⁰C, 0.14662 €/KWh (average domestic price of the 5 cheapest energy suppliers in Portugal on 27 April 2023), pre-washing plus main wash on a A++ washing machine with consumption of 1 KWh.

2. How many nappy changes a baby needs per day?

Babies have very delicate skin so their nappy needs to be changed as soon as they wet or poo themselves, to prevent nappy rash.

The number of nappies newborn babies need per day depend mostly on how often they poop, usually after every feed, with an average of 8 to 12 nappies per day. As they grow, the frequency of nappy changes reduces. You can expect a child with 2 years old needing 5 to 6 nappies per day.

3. How many reusable nappies do I need?

The number of nappies needed depends on the baby’s changing needs, and how often you wash them. For an average of 6 changes per day, washing every 2-3 days, we recommend a stock of 24 nappies. Each nappy includes and extra booster, which absorbs 550 mL. There is no need to buy extra inserts or boosters, unless you have a really heavy wetter!

4. I am new to cloth nappies, and I don’t know where to start!

Check our best tips for beginners in understanding the cloth nappy types, materials, do’s and don’ts.

If you are in the area, we offer a free Test Drive of our nappies and wet bag at NorteShopping in Porto to allow you to test the nappy fit, absorbency, comfort and how easy it is to use when you are outside.

To start your nappy routine you will need two things only:

– good quality reusable nappies

– a dry pail to store them before washing

– at least one Wet Bag to store used nappies when you are away from home.

 

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.

Hygiene Routine

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

1. Why is pre-washing needed before the first use?

Our organic cotton fabric is unbleached, which means it contains the natural oils from the plant. These oils need to be released from the fabric in order for it to become absorbent.

2. How to pre-wash before the first use?

Before its very first use only, we recommend pre-washing our reusable nappy 4 times on long cycles (2 hours) at 30-40 ⁰C, without softener. You can wash it together with your whites and light-coloured clothes. Only a small amount of detergent is needed in the first wash. When the colour of the absorbent fabric turns white, you can be sure it is absorbent.

3. Baby made a poo. What do I do before washing?

Exclusively breastfed/formula fed babies: Poo is soluble in water, so just place the soiled nappy in the dry pail until machine washing. Add a cold pre-wash before the main cycle.

– Babies eating solid food: Dispose the poo into the toilet (stretch the dirty nappy over the toilet and the solid poo drops off). Place the soiled nappy in the dry pail until they are washed.

– If you encounter a sticky poo: Don’t bother to remove it 100%. Grab some toilet paper to remove the excess into the toilet. Naturally, there will be marks left. The machine cold pre-wash will wash away any remaining dirt.

4. How to store the nappies before washing?

Keep it simple. A dry pail is the safest, easiest, best-smelling option that lets your washing machine do the work.

It is “dry” because there’s no rinsing or soaking them in water.

It consists of:

1. Storing them in a plastic bucket or laundry basket with holes (size around 20 L) until they are washed.

2. When you have enough for a wash load, empty the content of the dry pail into the washing machine.

The holes will allow for airflow, minimising ammonia buildup. This set-up will be less smelly than a lidded bucket with no holes. A plastic bucket is best because it’s easy to wipe, won’t rust, and when you’ve completed your cloth nappy journey, you can repurpose the basket for general laundry use. 

If you decide to use a bucket with a lid, 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.

5. Why is 'dry pail' the best solution to store used nappies before the machine washing?

It’s easy

Do nothing. Let your washing machine do the work.

It’s better for your nappies

Soaking dirty nappies in water creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Dry pailing prevents bacteria buildup that can break down the natural fibre fabrics in absorbent inserts.

 

It’s less smelly

Concentrating smells in a closed, lidded bucket would only intensify odours when you open it. A dry pail with good airflow is the best option because it will reduce odours or at the least, make them far less offensive.

There’s no drowning hazard

As soaking is not required, it eliminates the risk of drowning.
6. How long can I leave them without washing after being used?

We recommend washing within 2-3 days to prevent odours and stains from settling.

7. How to wash my reusable nappies?

Keep it simple. You can wash your nappies together with your light coloured laundry. 

1) Cold pre-wash (optional) – only needed for soiled nappies. This removes excess soiling from the fabric, so that the main wash done in clean water produces the best results.

2) Main machine wash:

– Cycle lenght: About 2 hours. Quick wash modes tend to use less water and may not clean the nappies as effectively.

–  Temperature: 40 C

– Centrifugation: 1000 to 1200 rpm

– Detergent: Don’t use too much detergent. If you have a 3/4 full drum use a 3/4 dose, half a drum load then use detergent for a half load. Detergent in excess builds up in the absorbents, which compromises its absorption capacity and can cause skin allergies. At the end of the rinsing program you shouldn’t see detergent bubbles in the water. If you see them, it’s because too much detergent was used. No softeners, bleach, vinegar or stain removers.

Wash at 60 C when:

  1. Your baby is sick, to ensure that bacteria and viruses are effectively killed.
  2. The nappies are very soiled.
  3. Your baby is sharing nappies with a child from another household (eg: childcare nappy schemes)
8. Do you recommend a specific detergent?

Among many detergent tested in our nappies, Skip Active Clean and Skip Eco Active have the best results. These are liquid and non-enzymatic detergents.

Choosing between powdered or liquid detergent is 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 organic cotton absorbents are natural fabrics, so to prolong the lifetime of your nappies, we recommend using a non-enzymatic detergent.

9. Why I shouldn't use softeners in the washing?

Softeners align the surface fabric fibers towards a horizontal angle, becoming soft to touch. This seals the fibers which may block the penetration of urine into the fabric, leading to nappy leaks.

10. How to dry the nappies and boosters?

Line drying: Wash at 1000 – 1200 rpm. Turn the absorbents inside out before hanging, to promote airflow and shorten drying time. 

Tumble dry: on a low cycle only.

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.

Sustainability

22. What are the benefits of PICO TANGO reusable nappies?

ECONOMICAL

Household savings

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.

ENVIRONMENTAL

Waste reduction

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.

Resource use

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.

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