Post contains affiliate links – pictured items were purchased by me. I was not asked to write, nor was I compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. In my 4 1/2 years of cloth diapering, I have never used a diaper sprayer or disposable diaper liners. I thought I would “need” them when I started cloth diapering, but I was stressing myself out with the idea of all the things to buy, so I decided to wait. I figured I’d buy them when I felt I needed them, but I got by fine without them and never bothered. That said, I think they would make life easier, especially if you are hand washing!
There are many brands of disposable liners available, and prices range from about 5 cents each up to almost 9 cents each. Most are sold in rolls of 100 or 200, and there are a few that are available in 2 sizes. I purchased this roll of GroVia liners with affiliate credit ($10/roll of 200 – some of the least expensive available), but I have not used or touched other brands (Applecheeks, EcoSprout, Bummis, OsoCozy & others.)
Liners are designed to lay inside your diaper to make clean up easy. Some are marketed as flushable and some are not. Many are reportedly very sturdy (GroVia are) and can make it through one or more wash cycles to be re-used if only wet. I personally do not recommend flushing anything but a modest amount of toilet paper, whether you are on municipal water/sewer or a septic system. However, that’s a choice you’d need to make for yourself.
GroVia’s Bioliners are made of 100% natural Ingeo fabric, which is fragrance, dye and chlorine free, as well as breathable. They allow moisture to pass through, while catching solids. They don’t absorb moisture & thus won’t end up making your stay-dry diaper more “stay-wet.” They are quite large and may need to be folded or cut to fit many diapers, although some people just leave the edges sticking out.
In my opinion, they are not soft, but they are quite sturdy. I got a liner wet and had to really work to get it to tear at all. I have no doubt that these would hold up to anything your child dishes out.
I’ve often heard of people using Viva paper towels as liners. They are really quite sturdy, and though we don’t use many paper products, they are my paper towel of choice. I got hooked on them when they were $1.78 at my store & there were 75 cent coupons that doubled. I was paying 28 cents + tax for paper towels forever, and when the price went up & the coupons were scarce, I continued to buy them. They are certainly less expensive than diaper liners, but they cannot be washed & reused and they will make your child’s skin feel wet rather than allowing moisture to run through.
Another reason people use liners at times is to protect the diaper from diaper cream. Typically you’d want to double up in that case. Just for giggles I put a wet liner and a wet Viva paper towel on my counter, and slathered diaper cream on. This is of course a gross exaggeration since you would put diaper cream on baby, not directly on a liner pressed up against the diaper!
Liner on the left, paper towel on the right:
Not much of anything came through the paper towel, but you can see the smudge on the counter where the cream came through the liner.
Again, this isn’t how they were meant to be used, and it actually somewhat demonstrates that the GroVia will allow moisture to go through, keeping skin more dry than a wet paper towel.
Here is the back side of the liner (left) and paper towel (right):
So which is better? Depends on what you want to use them for, if you want baby’s skin to feel dry, if you think you’d use a whole roll of liners, whether you want to re-use them…
I’d like to compare all the different brands as well since this is my first experience with liners, but I’m not sure I want to spend $35+ on something I won’t actually use. 🙂
Have you used diaper liners or paper towels as liners?