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 ūüôā

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¬įC. ¬†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 Рone 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! ūüôā

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.