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Why Should I Cloth?

  1. You'll save money.
When you buy disposable diapers, you are throwing away money with each diaper change. Exactly how much you'll save will vary depending on what brand of disposable diapers you (don't) purchase and what brand of cloth diapers you choose. On average, a family choosing a mid-range brand of disposable diapers will save about $1000 if they cloth diaper.​
 
  1. You'll prevent waste.
Every baby wearing disposable diapers may generate as much as one ton of landfill waste before age two. Disposable diapers are a significant percentage of consumer waste and, according to reports from the EPA, represent the third most common consumer item in landfills.​
 
  1. It's more convenient.
Today's cloth diapers reflect designs created primarily by parents solving problems. In the cloth diaper industry, parents are usually frustrated with their current diapering solution before they start creating new products. Often, their final product is significantly better than the product they were currently using. This is entirely true when comparing cloth diaper functionality to disposable diaper use. Cloth diapers are more convenient simply because they work SO much better than the alternative.
  • Tired of blowouts? Disposable diapers are known for "up the back" and "down the leg" blowouts. These blowouts often ruin outfits for mom and baby. Worse, they also create a very challenging to clean mess in carseats, on blankets, and in bedding. Who wants to deal with that mess? Not all messes are avoidable, but, thankfully, most cloth diapers are designed specifically to prevent major blowouts.
  • Out of diapers again? When you buy cloth diapers, your diapers are always available. Just wash and go.
 
​4. Family disaster planning is the responsible thing to do.
Even for families who primarily use disposable diapers, it is wise to have cloth diapers on hand in case of an emergency. The average store is estimated to have three days worth of supplies on their shelves. Given a disaster affecting the supply chain in the United States, it could quickly become difficult to access a fresh supply of disposable diapers. Keep a pile of one-size cloth diapers on your storage shelf to ensure that your family is ready - no matter what happens.
 

​5. They are safer for your little one.

A baby can be sensitive to the ingredients used in diapers. From Kimberly Clark's 2005 Annual Reoprt: "Super absorbent materials are important components in disposable diapers, training and youth pants and incontinence care products. Polypropylene and other synthetics and chemicals are the primary raw materials for manufacturing non-woven fabrics, which are used in disposable diapers, training and youth pants, wet wipes, feminine pads, incontinence and health care products, and away-from-home wipers. "If needed, an information sheet about the specific ingredients in disposable diapers can be obtained from the diaper manufacturer at the request of your pediatrician. Using your pediatrician's advice, you should be able to choose the right diapering system. If you aren't sure about a particular product, call the product's manufacturer to resolve any questions before making a purchase.  Another issue frequently brought up in cloth diapering circles is dioxin exposure. According to a Mothering Magazine article, entitled "The Joy of Cloth Diapers" "Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers, and trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves." 

Washing Cloth Diapers

How do I wash my cloth Diapers?

 

  • Step 1: Start with a cold water rinse/wash with no detergent. This will rinse out any urine and solid residue.
  • Step 2: Next perform a hot water wash cycle with detergent. Do NOT use the sanitary cycle and be sure your water heater is not set above 120 degrees as temperatures hotter than that can damage your cloth diapers.
  • Step 3: Now do second cold or warm rinse, optionally you can add 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil as a natural antiseptic.
  • Step 4: Toss in the dryer on tumble/low - Tip: adding a dry towel or wool dryer balls can lessen the dry time.  Cover and pocket diapers outers should be hung dry. 

 

Important Information before washing your cloth diapers

Each diaper manufacturer has its own guidelines for care and use, including detergent recommendations. Please check with your manufacturer to avoid problems with warranties! Always use the highest water level setting that your washer allows. Water is your friend when cleaning cloth diapers!

A few cloth diaper washing tips...

 

  • Dump any solids (use flushable liners to make it even easier!) or spray with a diaper sprayer before putting in pail liner, wet bag, or hanging wet bag. Breastfed newborn poop is water-soluble and can be put directly into the washer.
  • Attach hook & loop closures to laundry tabs before washing to prevent snagging.
  • Add a wet towel to your HE washer to "trick" it into adding more water.
  • Line/air drying diaper covers and pocket shells can help extend the life of the hook & loop closures as well as the elastic (bonus- saves energy!).

 

How many times do I need to wash my new diapers before using them?

Diapers containing synthetic fabrics only need to be washed once before using them on your baby! Any diapers with natural fibers such as hemp, bamboo, or cotton will need to be washed and dried 5-6 times before use to strip the natural oils and reach full absorbency.

How often should I wash the diapers?

We recommend washing your diapers every 1-3 day to help prevent any smell issues or staining.

We suggest storing your soiled cloth diapers in an open pail or wetbag slightly open, where there is adequate airflow.

What type of detergent should I use on my cloth diapers?

Every manufacturer has different washing directions and warranties for their diapers, including which detergents are allowed and recommended so always consult that information first.

The general rule of thumb is to use a detergent that is free of any bleach or fabric softener. “Free and Clear” detergents are generally not recommended, as they often have additional cleaning agents in them that can cause buildup. We have had great success using Tide Original detergent.

If you have hard water, we suggest using a liquid water softener (commonly found in the laundry care aisle at most discount chain stores).

How do I strip my cloth diapers?

There are a few methods that can be used, and we always recommend starting with the least severe.

  • First Try: Run several hot washes without any detergent
  • Then Try: Use a couple drops of Dawn blue dish soap to hand wash your diapers in your bathtub (instead of your regular detergent) and run extra rinses to get rid of any suds
  • Lastly Try: Use a soft toothbrush and some dish soap to gently scrub the diaper if you notice that there is build up on your diapers

 

How do I remove the poop stains from my cloth diapers?

Good news! With proper care, your diapers should have minimal staining. Some people prefer to use a liner to help prevent stains, but washing diapers every 1-3 days and removing solid waste before washing (if baby is not exclusively breastfed) works well to prevent stains.

The sun is also your best friend when it comes to stain fighting! After washing, simply lay or hang your clean, but still wet, diapers in the sun for a great whitening effect - a 100% natural bleach. :)

We DO NOT recommend using bleach, stain removers, borax, Bac-Out, Biokleen, or Oxy-Clean as they may damage your diapers.

I have an HE washer, what do I need to do differently?

With an HE washer the amount of water is limited to the weight of the laundry load. This often means that cloth diapers don't get the amount of water necessary to get clean, since they are so absorbent and soak up water that is meant to wash them! You can trick your machine into adding more water by adding a wet towel to your load. Make sure your washer is always set on the highest water setting as well and that you only use HE specific detergent.

My cloth diapers smell...what do I do?

You may not be using enough detergent and you have urine buildup because your diapers are not getting clean.  Add more detergent and make sure your washer's water level is set to the highest setting. You may also find it helpful to start your wash routing with a quick cold wash to ensure all urine and solid matter is flushed out prior to your full wash with detergent.

My cloth diapers smell and they are leaking

You may have some buildup from minerals, creams or laundry additives. First do a deep cleaning of your diapers. Start with clean diapers and run several hot washes with 2x the amount of detergent you'd normally use. Follow with 2-3 hot wash cycles without detergent. We also do not suggest using any additives like fabric softeners, OxyClean, vinegar, or dryer sheets.

What happens when someone uses diaper cream in my diapers??

The best way to remove diaper cream mishaps is to use a soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of dish soap to gently scrub it out with warm water. This will remove the majority of the cream, although some staining may occur depending on how much got on the diaper.

My natural fiber diapers are crunchy and scratchy.

Mineral or urine buildup can often cause diapers to become stiff and crunchy. If you have hard water, try adding a water softening agent like Calgon or Raindrops to your wash cycle. Check with your diaper manufacturer first. You may also need to increase the amount of detergent you are using. It is also possible that your diapers are crunchy from line or rack drying. Tumble dry your diapers for 10-15 minutes with a damp towel after removing them from the line or rack to "fluff" them.

 

-Blog courtesy of Nicki

Cloth Diapering 101

If you're new to cloth diapering, it may be overwhelming to choose a style or know how to use it.  Here is a quick crash course on the different styles and their benefits:

1.  Pocket Diapers (aka all-in-two)

Pocket diapers consist of a waterproof pul cover that is attached to a thin liner to go against baby's skin.  There is no absorbency in the pul and liner itself.  One end of the diaper has an opening where you will be able to slide the insert of your choice to absorb baby's mess.  Inserts come in various absorbency levels in materials like cotton (normal), micro fiber (strong), and bamboo (strong).

Pocket diapers are great for parents who like to customize their absorbency based on activity or length of wear.

 

2.  All-in-One Diapers

All-in-one diapers also have the pul and liner combined though they go one step further in combining the inserts to create a one-piece cloth diapering system.  No inserts are needed for all-in-one diapers, though some brands provide a pocket under the sewn in layers if you would like to add more layers than are provided.  Newborn diapers are typically all-in-one.

All-in-one diapers are the most convenient way to cloth diaper since they give the parent minimal pieces to wash and hang, and they are virtually "no assembly required" diapers.

 

3.  Diaper Covers

Diaper covers come in a variety of styles all by themselves.  All diaper covers consist of waterproof pul only.  Some are made to create a waterproof cover for a cloth diaper that models the old-fashioned style with which you typically relate cloth diapering.  There are also styles that have flaps where the parent can slide the ends of an insert in to hold it in place in the cover.  Finally, there are covers that have inner snaps where a compatible insert gets snapped into place inside the cover.

Diaper covers are the most affordable way to cloth diaper because the same cover can be used all day unless the diaper is soiled.  The cloth part of the diaper can be removed after each diaper change, the pul wiped clean, and a new cloth placed in.

 

4.  One-Size Diapers

Most cloth diapers are one-size, meaning they have snaps to adjust both length and width, allowing the diaper to grow with your baby until potty-training.  This means you are able to buy diapers ONCE and reuse them until baby is out of diapers.

 

5.  Sized Diapers

Some diapers come in newborn size, providing a smaller fit for new babies.  Others come in actual small, medium, and large sizes.

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS OR WOULD LIKE HELP MAKING A DECISION, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EMAIL US!

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