Cloth Diapering Cloth Diapers Microfiber

Do New Fluffy Microfiber Inserts Absorb Better than Old Flat Ones?

How do old microfiber #clothdiapers inserts absorb compared to new ones - via @chgdiapers

Logically, a new, fluffy microfiber cloth diaper insert will absorb better than an old, dingy flattened one, but I wanted to find out for sure!

Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 1 Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 2

First I took a nearly new and super fluffy insert, one that has been used for a few months and is in good shape, but not brand new, and an old, dingy flattened insert. All 3 are the same brand and size. I know this isn’t scientific; I just wanted a basic comparison!

Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 3

I put each one in 12 oz of water and waited approximately one minute.

Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 4 initial

Then I flipped the inserts over and waited another minute.

Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 5 turned over

Then I squished them down a little bit to give them another minute to absorb as much as possible.

Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 6 squished

Lastly, I perched them on top of the measuring cups to see how much water was not absorbed.

Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 7 dripping

Not surprisingly, the old insert didn’t absorb nearly as well, but there wasn’t much difference between how much the nearly new and still-in-pretty-good-shape inserts absorbed. (Keep in mind that microfiber is also prone to compression leaks, so don’t expect that your inserts will absorb and hold this much liquid. This isn’t meant to be an absorbency test, just a comparison! )

Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 8 newish Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 9 good shape but not new

Microfiber #clothdiapers inserts via @chgdiapers 10 very well loved and flat

What did surprise me is how quickly the new, fluffy insert absorbed. So much so that I wanted to show you.

Here’s another highly unscientific demonstration:

I wouldn’t worry about replacing all of your inserts, but if you’re finding that your older or secondhand diapers aren’t absorbing as well, and your inserts are very flattened, it’s something to consider.

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • February 10, 2014 at 9:01 am

    […] contains affiliate link. We confirmed that microfiber inserts lost absorbency over time, but what about rayon from […]

  • February 4, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    This is very, very interesting. This is why I love your blog. I honestly never would have guessed there’d be such a huge difference in the rate at which the inserts soaked up the water. Wow.

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