The Sputnik Washing Machine (a.k.a. The Wonder Washer)

This week I received my own Sputnik.

I will be testing washing nappies in it and post my findings through trial and error.  Bear with me 🙂

You can purchase the Sputnik at

It costs R399 and postage within South Africa is free (edit to add:  Please note that this was the price I paid in 2013, when I wrote this blog entry).

Here are some photos on the Doodlebums Diapers Facebook Page:  Sputnik Album

With the Sputnik washing machine it is advised to use warm water – this helps to create pressure in the Sputnik.  Please do not exceed recommended temperatures stated on the garment label.  Most nappies can be washed safely at 40°C.  A liquid detergent dissolves better than a powder detergent.

The Washing Instructions that comes with the Sputnik gives you a Load Chart, Washing Chart and Temperature Chart.


For washing nappies, the following applies:

“Very absorbent materials may require more water but do not exceed amounts listed.  If Necessary, reduce the size of the load.”

Our first Sputnik washing exercise went like this:

I took a few soiled nappies from my dry nappy bucket and weighed them.  It included various brands and nappies I used overnight on both my kids.  I normally rinse nappies used through the night.  So that made my load a little heavier I’d say.  In total it was about 7 nappies.  It included Cherub Tree pockets, Snugglybum pockets, Bumgenius Elementals, Snappy Nappy and a Bam+Boo Baby bamboo nappy (plus ultra night time booster).  This load weighed 2,1kg.

I put them in the Sputnik and then added 7 liters of cold water (I now know it should have been 6 liters and my load should have been smaller – one less nappy maybe).  Reading the washing instructions, 6 liters of water seems to be the maximum amount recommended.  I then rinsed my nappies for about a minute.  Drained the Sputnik.

Busy draining water after first rinse cycle in cold water

Busy draining water after first rinse cycle in cold water

Notice I had the water release pipe facing up.  Obviously it works better facing down.  I got distracted with those little hands helping me…

Once drained I added 6 liters of warm water (from tap) and 7,5ml Earthsap Laundry Liquid.

I then washed by turning the Sputnik for 2 minutes.  Drained the water (this time the water release pipe was facing down!).  Added 6 liters of cold water for a rinse.  I rinsed by turning the Sputnik for about a minute.

Obviously the Sputnik doesn’t have a “spin” option like with an automatic washing machine.  I removed the nappies and squeezed out excess water.  Then I did the sniff test with each piece of laundry!  Yes, I really sniffed them all.  Someone hand me a gold star…

All the nappies, except for one, smelled clean!  Because only one nappy didn’t pass the sniff test I would recommend either rinsing for longer or doing a third rinse cycle with new water.  I will test this and let you know my findings.  The nappy that didn’t pass the sniff test was a Bumgenius Elemental which was pooped in.  No stain problems (thank you Boerseep), but there was a hint of poop scent….  And that wasn’t the only poop nappy that was in this load.  I think the Snugglybum was pooped in too.  All “ploppable poops” by the way, in case you have got some murky looking laundry water in your mind’s eye right now.  Wrong mental picture! 🙂

I will update soon with more Sputnik nappy washing experiences!

Please let me know if you have any questions or things you’d like me to test in the Sputnik.


3 thoughts on “The Sputnik Washing Machine (a.k.a. The Wonder Washer)

  1. Hey Doodlebumsdiapers!

    I just want to find out how long it took for your machine to be deliver and which courier they used. Im still waiting for mine and my washing are piling up!

    Thnx for your help!

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