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Many people hear the words “cloth Diapers” and they envision their mothers’ and grandmothers’ descriptions: folding a huge piece of fabric, fastening it with pins (don’t prick the baby!), covering the diaper with bulky rubber pants that crack and yellow with wear, and soaking the dirty diapers in huge pails of bleach-water (what a mess!). Well, erase all those images and thoughts from your mind, because modern cloth diapering has come a long way!
Today there are many wonderful cloth diapers on the market. They have been designed with modern, busy moms in mind, and make it easy for EVERYONE to use cloth diapers, (not just the hippies)!
We have come to a point as a society where we need to figure out ways to reduce our garbage and cut back on spending. It is estimated that a household that uses cloth diapers reduces their amount of garbage by 1 TONNE per baby, compared to a household that uses disposable diapers.
I like to compare diapers to dishes:
Disposable dishes are convenient for use at parties, but we don’t use them on a daily basis in our homes. Washing dishes takes a lot of time and energy, but we do it every day. The disposable dishes are the exception. Likewise, disposable diapers can also be the exception. They can be used occasionally for convenience, but they are a very wasteful product to use on a daily basis. And doing a couple extra loads of laundry per week isn’t a big deal!
Even if you don’t care about all the garbage that disposables produce, consider this: It is estimated that a family that uses cloth diapers saves about $2000 compared to a family that uses disposable diapers. Imagine what you could do with all that extra money!
Cloth diapering has made a huge comeback in recent years and the trend continues to rise. If you are unsure about cloth diapering, I encourage you to at least take a look at the products that are out there. Once you see how cute, colourful, and easy to use they are, you might feel less intimidated!
Let’s make cloth diapering become the norm again, not the exception!
About the Author
Margaret Deneau Owner and operator for Sweetheart Diapers & More, the Cloth Diapers and Baby Boutique. Located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and servicing all of Canada with it’s online store. Sweetheart Diapers & More has been in business since 2008.
Antibacterial – Antifungal (contains Tea Tree Oil), rapidly relieves Dry, Cracked, Itchy, Irritated Skin. Offers healing support for Athlete’s Foot, Nail Fungus, and Jock Itch. Great for Diaper Rash and Skin Abrasions. No first aid kit should be without this all-purpose healing balm!…
What detergent do you use to wash cloth diapers and/or baby clothes? Anyone try Rockin’ Green detergent?
Just curious which detergents other moms and dads are using out there for cloth diapers/clothes. I have heard good things about Rockin Green detergent, but haven’t tried it.
With cloth diapers it really does make a difference what detergent you use. Any detergent that contains fabric softeners (Dreft), or optical brighteners and other additives can cause the diapers to become less absorbent (in other words, make perfectly good diapers leaky). Some babies are super sensitive to enzymes and can get really bad rashes when the enzymes are acitivated by urine. The vast majority of the time, when a parent tells me their cloth diapers no longer smell clean when washed, it is a detergent residue problem.
Natural soaps and any bar soap will ruin diapers. Natural soaps are made with oils. They will leave a residue on the fabric.Just like the soap scum on your tub, these will leave invisible residue in the diapers. Over time they become less absorbent and they start to hold odors. I have sold handmade soap for almost 3 years. I would love to say it is safe for diapers – but I have seen many lovely diapers ruined with soap residue. It is REALLY hard to get out once it is in the cloth..
Water is also different in different places. A detergent that works great in one kind of water can cause major problems for others. Some people do fine with things like Tide, but for most parents these detergents cause major problems. Using a detergent with additives can also void the warranty on most brands of diapers.
We use and love Allen’s Naturally. One quart lasts us 128 loads – so it works out to less than 10 cents per load. If you have a front loader it will last almost twice as long. Buy a gallon and it will drop the price even more.
I am currently testing Rockin Green for my cloth diaper review site. So far it is performing better than many other brands recommended for diapers – but it is not as good for us as the Allen’s Naturally. I think in normal city water it would work great, but we are on a well so we have more problems with detergent than most other people.
Bleach is not only bad for the environment, it breaks down the fiber and elastic in fabrics. So, it will wear out your diapers prematurely. It can also leave a residue in the fabric that can cause really bad rashes for a lot of babies. I rarely recommend using bleach in diapers – it will void the warranty for most brands. However, BumGenius says it is ok to use 1/4 (and only 1/4 cup) of bleach once a month to get rid of odors in diapers. I almost never find this necessary if you are using good detergent.
There is a list of detergents and what additives they do or do not contain on my web site, as well as a lot of other information about washing cloth diapers.