February 2012

Everyone knows that Diaper Junction is one of my favorite places to buy cloth diapers, so I wanted to share their big news with you!

Diaper Junction’s New Diaper Service!
Do you live in Virginia Beach near Diaper Junction? Did you know that Diaper Junction has branched out and has expanded their offerings to include a Cloth Diaper Service?

Diaper Junction is located on the south side of Hampton Roads. Their Virginia Beach Cloth Diaper Laundry Service serves most areas of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, and Newport News.

About Diaper Junction’s Cloth Diaper Laundry Service: (from DiaperJunction.com)
As your favorite family-owned and operated cloth diaper retailer, Diaper Junction has been serving the cloth diapering community both locally, and virtually via the World Wide Web for more than 8 years. With over 10 years of cloth diapering experience, Diaper Junction is ready to embark in the next phase of serving our community and is proud to now begin offering a Cloth Diaper Laundry Service!

Throughout the years we’ve been committed to providing families with the cloth diapering options and support they need in order to use cloth diapers with success. Through our new Laundry Service we’ll be able to reach more families and add even more convenience for those who want to use cloth diapers.

Have questions about the service? Have questions about using cloth diapers? Not a problem! We provide support via phone and email and we even offer demonstrations to teach you how how to use our diapers and make the most of our service.

Need help making the transition from laundering your own cloth diapers to using our Laundry Service? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Whether you want to use the service temporarily and then begin laundering your own, use the service part-time, or you want to use the service full time, we’ll walk you through it every step of the way.


One Stop Shop!
We have a large in-stock supply of cloth diapers and all the accessories you’ll need! Stop by and shop our warehouse. Better yet, Diaper Service customers get free product delivery. Just order online and we’ll deliver your items on your delivery day!

Affordable Rental Options
We do not charge a flat weekly rate. Why pay for more diapers than you need? You only pay for the amount you order. Our “pay only for what you actually need” philosophy is perfect for those who only want to cloth diaper part-time or simply do not need a laundry service full-time.

We also offer a variety of packages to get you started. Want to just give our service a try? Sign up for our Test Drive Package. Want to take the plunge with great savings!?! We offer an all inclusive Deluxe Starter Package at a huge discount or you can start using our Cloth Diaper Laundry Service part-time for as little as $13 per week, including pick up and delivery!

Serving the community
We are extremely proud to tell everyone that we have teamed up with Chesapeake Service Systems, Inc to wash our diapers. CSS is a local non-profit laundry facility that employs adults with disabilities, autism and other intellectual disabilities. We are happy to support this organization in their mission to provide work opportunities in an environment that will stimulate development, improve the health and quality of life, as well as providing a sense of worth and dignity to this very special group of people.

To read more about Diaper Junction’s new Cloth Diaper Service and their prices please visit DiaperJunction.com.

FTC compliance: I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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washing cloth diapers

Washing Cloth Diapers

I almost didn’t post this since cloth diaper washing/detergent posts have been everywhere lately. However, since I’ve been thinking about this for 2 years, and working on it seriously for about 6 months, I’m posting it anyway!

I spent the first 6 months of my cloth diapering stint trying to figure out a wash routine. I had seen all the charts that told you which detergents were “safe” and which would cause your diapers to spontaneously combust (kidding.) I spent countless dollars and hours on detergents & stripping. What finally saved me was a detergent with pretty much all the “no-no” ingredients. Then I started to realize that all these companies said these detergents would damage your diapers, but did they really know? Some companies actually recommended the mainstream, “no no” detergents, saying enzymes were necessary to get your diapers cleaned.

I wondered, had anyone actually washed diapers in different detergents under controlled conditions? Before a company could justify voiding a warranty based on detergent, I would think they should have: washed 18 diapers at a time, every 3 days for whatever the typical life expectancy on their diaper is, checked after every 10 or so washes, Oh, and they would need to do this in soft water, hard water, top load HE, from load HE and standard top loading machines. Chlorinated city water & well water, with and without a water softener, and in different brand machines. Yeah. Too expensive and too much work.

So I thought the next best thing would be a database of actual user experience, rather than a star rating based on ingredients & conjecture. This was the basis of my cloth diaper detergent survey. In hindsight, I should have asked more yes/no and/or multiple choice questions, so I could let Google docs summarize for me and make assumptions based on that. Instead, I did lots of “fill in the blank” type questions so respondents could tell me more. This means I had to read a zillion responses. :-)

My ultimate goal is to analyze & compile the data based on what is most and least likely to work in different water & washer conditions. Hire a programmer to create an SQL database so I can enter the data, then allow users to select one more options (water type, washer type, detergent type) and see a list of what is and isn’t likely to work for their situation. Unfortunately I don’t have the time or money to invest right now, but still hope to do so in the future.

For now, I just wanted to share with you what I learned, and what surprised me the most is that nothing surprised me! I’ve been cloth diapering for about 2 1/2 years update, 4 years and still feel the same, no spontaneously combusting diapers (which is peanuts compared to people who have cloth diapered for a decade or more) and it seems that my experiences and conclusions about detergents, wash routines, stripping & additives are nothing unique. I have not “scientifically analyzed” the results, this is simply a summary based on sorting and reading survey results.

94% of respondents report no damage to their diapers
. Those who selected “yes” for damage to their diapers were unsure as to whether the leaking, repelling, fraying, delamination etc. was due to detergent. Less than 1/4 of those people were using a “no-no” mainstream detergent. The remainder were using detergents that are recommended on “the lists” etc.

What do I do with a diaper when I change it?

If your baby is breastfed, simply store until wash day. Otherwise, shake solids into the toilet & store (I use a piece of TP to scrap what’s not “ploppable” and the rest goes in the wash.) Optionally, you can use a diaper sprayer on difficult to remove solids. You can use a kitchen size trash can with a liner or a zippered wet bag to store dirty diapers. I find that smells are minimized by leaving your pail open a crack. I prefer to remove pocket inserts as I put them in the “pail” so I can shake the whole thing into the washer without having to touch them again.

How often do I wash & how many do I wash at once?

Every 2-3 days is optimal. 18-24 diapers in each load works well; they need room to move around, but also need to agitate against each other to get clean. Washing less often may leave you with too many diapers to wash at once, and it may be more difficult to get them clean after they have been sitting.

How do I wash them?

The most common successful wash routine is a rinse (warm if your washer has it) followed by a hot wash (with detergent) and a double rinse. In a standard washer use a slightly larger load size than you need (don’t go overboard, you can use “too much” water – diapers need to agitate against each other and the washer’s agitator). In an HE washer, add a wet towel to the load to trick your washer into adding more water. (Note – since HE machines add water based on the weight of the load, adding the wet towel will ONLY add additional water to the first cycle, not the rinse.)

61% of survey respondents have standard top load machine, 33% have a front loading HE and 7% have a top load HE.

machine type

Should I add anything to the wash?

Commonly used additives included Biokleen Bac Out, baking soda, bleach, Borax, Oxiclean, Crunchy Clean Oxygen, vinegar, tea tree oil, washing soda and Calgon. Use caution and only use when necessary. The most successful wash routines are the simplest!

Do I need to “strip” my diapers?

diaper stripping

49% of respondents to strip their diapers, even if their detergent is working well. 40% don’t strip, and 11% selected “other.” People strip because of microfiber stink, ammonia smell, repelling and other issues. Some people commented that they didn’t necessarily need it but didn’t think it would hurt, or were seeing if it would help with baby’s rash, thought it was a good idea since they shared a washer, were stripping preventively and so forth. “Stripping” varies from a soak and/or extra rinses, to some bleach, Calgon, dawn or similar added occasionally. (I find that with the proper detergent & wash routine, you should not need to strip your diapers)

What detergent works best?

formula

73% of survey respondents use powder detergent, 27% use liquid and a few use soap nuts.

Finding the detergent that works for you is trial and error based on your washing conditions, but many people with very hard water have great results with Rockin’ Green. It seems that RnG either works marvelously or doesn’t work at all (several reported that it worked initially, but led to stink & repelling.) All Free & Clear, Arm & Hammer, Charlie’s Soap, Crunchy Clean, Country Save, (these 5 seem most commonly used with top loading standard machines) Eco Sprout, Ecos, Eco Nuts, Tiny Bubbles and homemade detergent were most commonly used successfully by survey respondents. (There were others, but for now I’m listing only those which appeared more than a handful of times.)

The most successfully used standard detergent is Tide. Overwhelming numbers of families with all water & washer types have great results with it. I realize many want to avoid the chemicals it contains, and no, we’re not sponsored by P&G in any way! :-)

What are the most common water types?


50% of survey respondents have hard water, 19% have soft and 31% are “other” (don’t know, average, varies etc.) 12% have a water softener.

Rockin’ Green, Tide, Eco Sprout, Country Save, Crunchy Clean, Charlie’s Soap, Arm & Hammer & All are often reported as working well with hard water.

Rockin’ Green classic or soft rock, Tide, Country Save, Crunchy Clean, Arm & Hammer and All are often used successfully by people with soft water.

Tide powder ingredients (PDF) include water softeners while Tide liquid ingredients (PDF) do not. You can logically assume that the powder may work better for hard water, while the liquid might rinse out more cleanly in soft water. That said, I have a water softener and use powder with no trouble.

How much detergent do I use in my machine?

This is also trial & error & varies based on your washer, water, and how many diapers you’re washing. I recommend starting with the same amount you’d use for a clothing load the same size. If your diapers aren’t coming out smelling clean, up the amount a bit. If you are having to do too many rinses to get the majority of the suds out, cut back a bit. You don’t need to rinse the diapers a dozen times until every.single.bubble. is gone. Generally, you should be using the recommended amount of detergent for the load size (1/2 the lowest load line for a very small load of diapers, not a washer full.) It’s very rare that a miniscule amount will get diapers clean.

If you want to know all about the science of laundry, check out Bummis Laundry Science. Check out the RDIA’s detergent database to search for detergents that meet your needs.

Do any of the survey results surprise you? Will it change your method for washing cloth diapers?

Information is based on opinion & survey results. Change-Diapers.com is not liable for any damage or injury that may arise from your diaper washing routine!

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lifefactory glass water bottle 1

Without going into great detail, I wanted a reusable bottle that wasn’t plastic or metal (that leaves glass, LOL!) and was easy to sip without a straw. It also needed to be easy to clean, and I preferred not to have to unscrew a lid each time. I’d heard of Lifefactory glass baby bottles, and I happened to be browsing around the time their flip tops were introduced. They were (and still are at the time of my writing) part of Amazon.com’s buy 3 get 1 free promo, so I bought 4!

lifefactory glass water bottle 2 silicone sleeve lifefactory glass water bottle 3 dw safe usa made

They have a silicone sleeve to make it easier to grip & less likely to break (though they are still glass of course!) You don’t have to remove the sleeve to wash the bottle, and the whole shebang is dishwasher safe.

lifefactory glass water bottle 4 measurements

They are available in 22 ounce bottles and 16 ounce bottles. I pre-ordered all 4, but only the 22 ounce bottles arrived. The 16 ounce bottle hasn’t shipped yet.

lifefactory glass water bottle 5 thick glass interch tops

The tops are interchangable between sizes, and you can buy the tops separately.

lifefactory glass water bottle 6 flip top

The flip top moves all the way back out of the way, or just push it back a little bit. The handle makes it really easy to carry.

I haven’t broken one yet and the water tastes great. The opening could stand to be a tiny bit bigger. I like the oval shape (I don’t dump water on myself) but it kind of makes a “glug glug glug” noise as the water comes out.

The 22 ounce bottles (including flip cap and sleeve) are $24.99. 16 ounce bottles are $22.99. The bottles with the standard screw on caps are cheaper, and Amazon’s prices are a little less all around.

I love these & I wish they had a thick glass “cup” with sleeve for kids who are too big for sippies but not quite big enough for regular glasses!

FTC compliance: I purchased the pictured items at normal retail prices, with a promotion available to the general public. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Cloth Diaper Giveaway Roundup

Every Friday I list cloth diaper giveaways, along with giveaways for cloth diaper accessories & baby wearing goodies. Hopefully you are entering & winning!

If you’d like me to list your cloth diaper, accessory, baby wearing (etc.) giveaway next week, send a link and description to maria at change-diapers.com, or Fill out my contact form for readers.

abbys lane giveaway

My Bumgenius, Tiny Tush & Planet Wise Giveaway (sponsored by Abby’s Lane) ends 3/6 RC

knickernappies

My Knickernappies cloth diaper giveaway ends 3/8 and is open to the U.S. and Canada RC

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

*Prizes from Fuzzibunz (no set end date, ends at 25k fans) Entry is through Facebook app, must “like” them on Facebook to enter

*Buns Up Baby Diaper from Just Add Cloth (ends 2/24) RC

*Ergo Baby Carrier from Eco Crazy Mom 25 mandatory Facebook “likes” (ends 2/24) RC

*Dry Bunz Diaper from Zephyr Hill Mandatory Etsy Favorite (ends 2/24) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*Bumgenius Freetime from Modern Cloth & Life With My Littles Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/24) RC

*Lotus Bumz Diaper from The Tree Huggin Mama (ends 2/24) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*Beco Baby Carrier from Daily Mothering Mandatory Facebook “like” (ends 2/25) RC

*Thirsties Duo AIO from Daily Mothering (ends 2/25) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

Rumparooz Cover from the Mom’s Milk Boutique Blog (ends 2/25) RC

*Cloth Wipes from Water Rolls Uphill Mandatory follow and Facebook “like” (ends 2/26) RC

*Mabu Baby Diaper from Shaky Mommy (ends 2/26) RC

*Incredibella Diaper from Zephyr Hill Mandatory Facebook “like” and email subscription (ends 2/26)

*Rockin’ Green Detergent from Contemplate Cloth Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/27) RC

*Fuzzibunz Diaper from A Mommy’s Blessings Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/27)

*Bumgenius Diaper Sprayer from Kissed by the Moon & Conservamom Three mandatory Facebook “likes” (ends 2/27) RC

$15 Kelly’s Closet GC from Changing Diapers & Chic Momma Mandatory Facebook “like” (ends 2/27) RC

*$15 Country Drawers GC from Dibs (ends 2/28) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*$20 Ultimate Green Store GC from Stuff Parents Need (ends 2/28) RC

*Boba Baby Carrier or Wrap from Mama on a Green Mission Mandatory Facebook “like” (ends 2/28) RC

*gDiapers Starter Kit (ends 2/29) Form entry

*Boba Baby Carrier from Peace Love & Poop (ends 2/29) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*Flip, Fuzzibunz, Thirsties etc. $100 Prize Package from Cloth Diaper Revival (ends 2/29) RC

*Babykicks Fitted from so Easy Being Green (ends 2/29) RC

*gDiaper from All Things Diapers & Padded Tush Stats (ends 2/29) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*Couture Fluff Diaper from Padded Tush Stats (ends 2/29) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*Oeko Popo Cover & Insert from Padded Tush Stats (ends 2/29) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*GroVia Trainer from Padded Tush Stats (ends 2/29) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*Applecheeks Diaper from Padded Tush Stats (ends 2/29) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

Bumgenius 4.0 from Kissed by the Moon and Life With My Littles Mandatory GFC follow (ends 2/29) RC

Ones & Twos Diaper from The Maven of Social Media (ends 2/29) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

GroVia Trainer from The Maven of Social Media (ends 2/29) RC

Kushies Diapers from Parents Connect (ends 2/29) Daily entry, must register

*Booty Buns Diaper from Measuring Flower (ends 3/1) RC

Seven Slings gift set from Eight Days a Week Mom Mandatory Facebook “like” (ends 3/2) RC

Tender Tush GC from Life With My Littles Mandatory GFC follow (ends 3/2) Open worldwide RC

*Booty Buns Diaper from Daily Mothering (ends 3/3) RC

Lil Helper Diaper, Wet Bag & Wipes from On Being a Mom Two mandatory Facebook “likes” (ends 3/3) RC

Bummas Wipes from Emily Reviews (ends 3/3)

Thirsties Duo AIO from So Easy Being Green (ends 3/4) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

Thirsties Duo AIO from According to Jenny (ends 3/4) Open to the US. and Canada RC

*Sunbaby Diaper from Green Mama Jama Mandatory GFC follow (ends 3/5) RC

*Fuzzibunz Diaper from First Time Mom Mandatory Facebook “like” (ends 3/5) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

Rumparooz Diaper from Mama B (ends 3/5) RC

Perfect Bum Diaper from Contemplate Cloth Mandatory GFC follow (ends 3/5) RC

Eco Posh Fitted from The Green Nursery and Dirty Diaper Laundry (ends 3/5) RC

Baby by Danish Wet Bag from Trying To Go Green Mandatory GFC follow and Facebook “like” (ends 3/5) RC

Charlie Banana Diaper from The Gnome’s Mom (ends 3/5) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*Booty Buns Diaper from Mommy Kat & Kids (ends 3/7) RC

Sprout Change Wool Cover from Greenie Beanie Bottoms and Under the Apple Tree (ends 3/7) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

Fuzzibunz Diaper from Mama on a Green Mission (ends 3/7) RC

Applecheeks Diaper from Manager to Mom (ends 3/7) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

$10 Diaper Junction GC from Earth Faerie Momma Mandatory Facebook “like” (ends 3/9) RC

Softbums Omni from Brookie’s Baby Bargains (ends 3/9) RC

WAHMies diaper from Daily Mothering (ends 3/10) RC

Sunbaby Diaper from Daily Mothering (ends 3/10) Open to the U.S. and Canada RC

*Ones & Twos Diaper from Natural Parents Network (ends 3/11) RC

*Softbums Echo from Green Mama Jama Mandatory GFC follow (ends 3/12) RC

Cloth Diaper from Eco Crazy Mom (ends 3/15) RC

Baby K’tan Carrier from A Nation of Moms (ends 3/16) RC

GroVia Trainer from Happenings of the Harper Household (ends 3/16) RC

*giveaways that have been listed in a prior week’s roundup
RC Entries collected via Rafflecopter
GD Entries collected via Google Docs Form

You may enter any “family friendly” giveaway in the linky below. The form Blog name – Giveaway Item – Ending date works well. Please at least include the item and end date, and link directly to the giveaway.

View my where I list my giveaways post, to find more places to link up your giveaways!

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Knickernappies 1

Last year, I reviewed the Knickernappies one-size cloth diaper. My son was 23 months old and about 22 pounds when I posted my Knickernappies one-size cloth diaper review, wearing the medium rise setting and next to smallest snap setting. Be sure to check out that review for all the nitty gritty details, measurements, and photos of my son at that size!

Prices have gone up a little bit since I posted my original review, but you can get the diaper with small and large microfiber inserts for $21.95, or with small and large loopydo inserts for $26.95. Loopydo inserts sell for $7.49 each separately (worth every penny BTW) so $5 extra for two is a great deal!

Knickernappies 4 side Knickernappies 5 back
Knickernappies 6 inner

I received a diaper in Knickernappies’ very first print, Ooga Booga! It’s adorable of course (I do love Ooga monsters!) and I love the matching inner.

Knickernappies 7 sml Knickernappies 8 sml

While the diaper comes with small and large inserts, they are available in small, medium & large. I’ve been using Superdo inserts at night for two years, and I continue to sing their praises! The small inserts fit in my mini one-size diapers that are a bit wider through the crotch, the mediums fit in most small one-size diapers, and the larges are what I’ve been using since my older son was in mediums (he’s still using them now in the large setting.)

Knickernappies 9 superdo loopydo inside

Both the loopydo and superdo inserts are hemp (6 layers for the superdo, 2 for the loopydo) sandwiched between 2 layers of microfiber.

Knickernappies 10 loopydo micro Knickernappies 11 superdo
Knickernappies 12 superdo loopydo micro

The loopydo is barely thicker than a microfiber insert alone, but far more absorbent. The superdo was a lifesaver at night for us, getting through every night dry. I had tried two microfiber inserts with a hemp doubler, but they were so thick, we ended up with leg gap. Thick insert + 12 hours of use=a little stinky, so I used to bleach my inserts once per month (I don’t need to anymore since adding Oxiclean to every load.) Bleach isn’t good for natural fibers, so after two years, there is some wear on the hemp of my superdos, but they still work fantastically!

Knickernappies 12-2 superdo micro Knickernappies 14 micro duperdo in diaper
Knickernappies 13 micro superdo in diaper

Of course, all that absorbency makes the diaper a little bit fluffier! Above is a diaper with a microfiber insert and one with a superdo.

Knickernappies 16 leg 10 lb 10 wk old w fs micro insert Knickernappies 17 ooga

Above is my son at 10 weeks old and around 10 pounds. It fits him with no leg gap, and is quite trim for a o/s diaper on such a small baby. He’s wearing the blue with a large microfiber insert & the ooga with a small loopydo.

Knickernappies 19 on 29 lb 2 yr 9 mo old
Knickernappies 20 back Knickernappies 21 side

My older son is now 2 years & 9 months old, and about 29 pounds. He’s wearing the largest rise setting, but it hits him quite high, and he has two snap settings to go. He has tons of room to grow!

Giveaway: One winner will receive a Knickernappies one-size diaper in their choice of color (subject to availability), with Loopydo inserts. The retail value of this prize is $26.95. Entries go in the Rafflecopter form.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC compliance: I received the pictured diaper at no cost. I was not otherwise compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.

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