May 8, 2010

Live & Learn: Protect Your Investment

It's almost been one year since we've switched to cloth diapers and let me say that I will never go back to the sole use of disposables again! I'm so very pleased with the money we've saved, the peace of mind, and being a better steward of the natural resources that are accessible. When you're trying to live a frugal lifestyle, cloth diapering really is the way to go. The last thing you want to do when you're trying to save money is to spend it on one more thing that's just going to end up in the trash. That is priceless at this point! Especially when you have more than one child in diapers at a time.

I have learned quite a few things over this past year of cloth diapering, though. The first thing being: Follow the dealer's laundering instructions! This is the most important way that you can protect your investment in cloth diapers! I can't emphasize this enough because this is the lesson I've learned as I've watched my diaper covers age so quickly in such a short amount of time.

Do not put your covers in the dryer! There would occasionally be a time when I missed taking one out of the mix when throwing them into the dryer and I noticed that there was no immediate negative response. So, for the sake of time and just being lazy, I've since always thrown my covers in the dryer. And now I've found out why and paid the price! It's only been a year since I've used these covers and look at the wear and tear! I plan on mending them before the new baby arrives (probably within the next couple of weeks).

I just bought a pack of 3 Thirsties Duo Wrap diaper covers from Simple Wonders Diapers and I love them! They have an adjustable rise and really durable velcro and just from using them once you know that it's a higher quality than the Kushies I've been using all year. I plan on buying more of these eventually. They're great!

Do not use bleach! One of the only things about cloth diapering is the smell of dirty diapers in the pail! It almost just knocks me over (literally!) when I dump my diaper pail in the washing machine. Only using detergent didn't rid the diapers completely of the unpleasant odor, so I began adding bleach to the first rinse cycle before washing or to the wash cycle itself (or even both). Bleach is a very harsh chemical and the new diaper covers I just bought clearly indicated that they should not be washed with bleach. Instead I've started using Baking Soda which has been approved for so many household, first aid, baking uses as well as deodorizing laundry. Click here for a great article I found on Diaper Hyena. I saw that Tide powder detergent is one of the best detergents for laundering cloth diapers - which is the detergent I've always used - click here.

Other things to consider that I haven't completely subscribed to yet, that I probably should:
Affixing the velcro onto the designated laundry tabs will prevent the fraying of other parts of the covers and aging them before their time. Plus, if they have laundry tabs, the maker knows how to protect their product. The Kushies diapers covers I purchased don't have laundry tabs included. :-(

Hanging the diapers out in the sun to dry will aid with deodorization and stain removal. I've done this a few times and it really does work to remove stains on my diaper covers. Plus it will save the energy of always using the dryer. We don't have a line outside to do this and I may not always want it visible as a lawn ornament. I will definitely hang my covers to dry, inside the house, but I don't know if I'll hang all my diapers in the future. It seems like more work to me - at least for now.

What other suggestions do you cloth diapering Moms have - things you've learned, things you love and ways you protect your investment?


Homebodies said...

I have had much less trouble with diaper odor since I started dry pailing my diapers instead of putting them in baking soda water. I put them in the pail until it is full and then prewash them, then wash them in hot water with an extra rinse at the end. Thanks for all you great suggestions!

The Culbertsons said...

I tried cloth diapering for a little while with Thomas, but then when I got pregnant with Josiah, I just couldn't physically handle the smells. Unfortunately, I became so dependent on disposables again, that I haven't went back. What kind of diaper pail do you use? Does it really hold in the odor? I really would love to save the $$, but the practicality of disposables make it nice. Plus, I think about having a newborn and doing cloth diapering could be overwhelming.