The future of Cloth, Part IV of ? Ease of Care and use

by Maria Moser on December 16, 2010

in Cloth Diapering

>This is part 4 of my ramblings on the future of cloth diapering!  See Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you missed them!

I want cloth to be easier.  I know that if I just gave away all of my cloth diapers when I was finished with them, I’d still be ahead financially.  However, I’d like for minor repairs on diapers to be easier for people like me.  I can sew a button and so forth, but I don’t have a sewing machine, and I’m really rather intimidated by the idea of diaper repair.

I have a post in the works to do a step by step Bumgenius refresher using just a needle, thread and scissors.  I am OK with the Velcro replacement, but I’m thanking my lucky stars that my elastic doesn’t need to be replaced!!  With the Bumgenius 4.0, Cottonbabies somewhat acknowledged this by making the elastic slightly more easy to replace.  It still scares me.  My Fuzzibunz “one size” diaper actually came with spare elastic and you can replace it with no sewing and no seam ripping!  I would love to see more diapers like that!!

When thinking about closure tab replacement, I’d love to see the tabs and Velcro strips of diapers (securely) snap or hook on and off.  This way you could swap them out for new as they became worn and swap Velcro for aplix as it suits you and your baby.  I wish I were skilled at photoshop so I could demonstrate exactly what I mean.  I’ve seen a WAHM diaper who had snaps applied through the Velcro strip on the front of the diaper, so you could secure the snaps or secure the Velcro, but that’s not quite what I mean.  I imagine the front of the diaper having say, male snaps.  The Velcro strip would have female snaps on the back, so you could snap it in place.  The snap closure tabs could be removed and replaced with Velcro tabs as you wished.  Then the Velcro could be removed and go back to snaps.

Lastly (I think) I want more diaper companies to recognize that washing needs to be easy.  The only reason I didn’t cloth diaper my son from birth was the detergent issue.  Not everyone has “safe” detergents readily available to them.  Shipping them becomes quite costly, and even if they were available locally, the first detergent you buy won’t necessarily work for you.  My max price for detergent stockpiling pre-cloth diapers was about $2.99 at most.  So going to $10-$15/bottle was a huge leap.  Not to mention then having $100 worth of detergent that didn’t work sitting in my cabinet, or having to “waste” it on regular clothes!

I would love for companies (or someone with lots of time and money) to put diapers to the test in many mainstream detergents.  Truly put them to the test, not just say they are a “no-no” because of some chart made based on ingredients. There are a few companies out there that specifically recommend “regular” detergents, but most say it will damage your diapers and/or void your warranty.  Who wants that?

I have spent a lot of time and money on detergents, followed by battling the stink that ensues.  I firmly believe that the right detergent is one that gets your diapers clean and stink free, doesn’t cause them to repel, and doesn’t give your baby a rash.  Obvious ingredients to stay away from are bleach, optical brighteners/whiteners or anything that may eat away at the PUL or Elastic.

My other thought was that diaper manufacturers should offer a low cost “sampler” of detergents that they recommend, so you can try them before you purchase.  The problem is that it has taken me several weeks (sometimes months) of using a detergent before it became clear that it wasn’t the one for me.


If you didn’t cloth diaper all of your children, or didn’t start right away, what stopped you?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mommy Is Green December 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm

>I am so with you on the detergent thing. I'm about to try another detergent myself. And you're right, it is very costly! Sometimes the diaper stink is enough to make people give up. I can rarely find good oxygen bleach locally to strip my diapers with, let alone an actual cloth diaper detergent. Shipping cost is what I loathe more than anything.

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2 Amy December 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm

>I'm with you all the way on this post. I now stay away from diapers that I will have to replace velcro on because, without a sewing machine, it is very time consuming. The whole detergent thing gets me too. We've found after trying a few others that RNG works for us, but by the time you add the cost of shipping it is extremely expensive.

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3 Anonymous December 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm

>I didnt start until he was a month old. I had a c-section and was too sick to take care of the diapers. Plus I had never done it before so I was nervous. It can be overwhelming with all the choices out there. I think Rockin' Green is awesome detergent. I was using Charlie's and we had a problem with stink. Now we have no problems. I also heard that Country Save is good..but I plan to stick with Rockin' Green.

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4 Beth @ Sand To Pearl December 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm

>With my first we didn't even consider cloth diapers. All I could think about cloth diapers were the old school ones my baby brother used to use and I always imagined when my brother had diarrhea and all the grossness running down my dad's leg. But then I met a great woman who used pocket diapers and she explained how easy they were. I wasn't too into it, but when my son came around and we were trying to keep the cost down we looked more into them and I made them myself. Now we're big fans, I've even going to be teaching a few women how to make cloth diaper this next month. I think more people would use cloth diapers if they were more informed, they really aren't much more work then disposables.

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5 debra92691 December 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm

>I never found the right detergent Rockin Green came very close and it is what I generally use with some additions I always add a 1/2 cup of vinegar and a 1/2 cup of baking soda with my laundry detergent every time I wash my diapers. Why? The vinegar counters the amonia in the urine which can leave residue and cause burning to the skin. The baking soda negates the crazy smells that can seems to attach themselves to the diapers. It is my tried and true way of cleaning my diapers and has worked for several years now. About the closures on diapers I have to say I have completely given up on aplix. I can not get it to last and work well I have actually paid someone to take off the aplix on all my diapers that came with it and attach snaps instead. For me it just works better snaps last longer ( I have never had an issue, they keep the diaper looking nicer and they are harder for my little ones to take off when they feel like naked time.

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6 Hannah December 16, 2010 at 7:25 pm

>I think that the more people use cloth diapers, the more demand there will be to have the diapers themselves, and the appropriate detergents, locally available.I recently moved to a metropolitan area of 250,000 people (the biggest "city" I've ever lived in), and am able to get Country Save at ONE store. I love recommending cloth to people, but I want to warn them to be "careful" about detergent, without scaring them off.

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7 Hannah December 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm

>Oh, and as the percentage of people using cloth diapers creeps up, the more easily you will be able to find a local person willing to replace the velcro or repair your diapers. I know that I would be willing to do it for cheap or free for a friend.

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8 Paige April 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm

(Disclaimer: I am a hybrid momma! We use sposies AND CD; breast milk AND formula; baby wearing AND strollers. Gasp!)
I didn’t start CD with my son until he was about 6 or 8 weeks old. Partially it was for fit reasons- I didn’t want to spend a lot of $ to build a stash of NB diapers. Even more so, I gave myself permission to rest instead of do laundry. Adjusting to a newborn (in my case, a baby who spent time in NICU) can be so overwhelming; I didn’t want to put the pressure on myself to have to keep up with laundry on top of that.
Maria, I love your vision for the future of CD! The only thing I would add is a hope for the CD community to chill a little. We need to love and embrace our friends who choose to use sposies. They are not bad people, or bad parents. They are sweet friends who just choose to put their time and energy into different areas of child care and rearing. :)

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9 Maria Moser April 19, 2014 at 8:40 pm

As long as we’re wishing, how about the Mom community in general chills a little bit? ;-)

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