Friday, September 3, 2010

Cloth diapering for people with WAY too much time on their hands.

Back in March, I wrote a little blog entry on Cloth Diapering For Busy, Tired People, wherein I explained that far from requiring martyr-like sacrifice on our part, we found cloth diapers to be convenient, easy, and basically, no big whoop.

Well ... it turns out that was because someone else was doing the laundry (we subscribed to a diaper service).

A few months ago, I canceled the service and starting washing my own.

"How is that going?" you ask.

I would love to be able to say, "It's great! It's easy-peasy and we're saving money! I don't know what all the fuss is about!"

But really, it looks like this:
1943 "Lynn Massman, wife of a second class petty officer who is studying in Washington, does the washing every morning."
Except my kitchen is not that cool. And my baby doesn't just chill out on top of the table (I look back with no small amount of nostalgia on the time when I could just put Joe down somewhere and he would stay there and look adorable ... if there was ever such a time). And I need that apron! And okay, fine, I don't actually boil my diapers on the stove top. (Maybe I should. Maybe that would get them clean?)

Now, I definitely don't want to discourage anyone from washing their own diapers. A lot of people find that washing their own is totally do-able. I seem to be facing several unique challenges in my diaper washing endeavors, namely:

  1. I live in an area with fairly hard water.
  2. I have a front-loading high efficiency washer, and cloth diaper washing is not an area where "water efficiency" is a desirable thing.
  3. I refuse to rinse poops off of diapers. Or use rice-paper liners. Or, dear heaven, dip and "swish" dirty diapers in the toilet. How do I put this? "Um ... hell no."
  4. My husband is even more adamant than I am regarding item #3.
  5. I am lazy.
So I am washing my own diapers. But it requires running every load through three or four different wash cycles. And then dealing with the fact that they are often STILL not clean. And I am not loving it.

And this is coming from someone who enjoys hanging her clothes on the line to dry.

You know those frugal/green posts about how effortless it is to be environmentally correct? The posts that urge that, indeed, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Alas, this is not one of those posts. Sorry. Anyway, I miss my diaper service. That's all.


  1. I wonder how much $ the water, soap and power costs to run every load 3-5 times, vs the cost of the diaper service?

  2. Well, it's definitely cheaper to wash your own. Not even comparable. For one thing, only one of those cycles uses detergent, and not much at that. The water and energy costs about $15 a month, instead of the $70/month that the service costs. It is a significant savings.

    But ... it turns out that $70/month is pretty cheap when you consider all of the labor and just he sparkling cleanness!

  3. Haha! We did cloth also and I found it easy-peasy also...with a diaper service. Yep, the idea of swish and scraping and doing loads of just diapers skeeved me out.

    Those cloth diaper butts are so cute! Kind of miss that. But not the diapers.

  4. Wait ... you're saying there is life beyond diapers? And cloth diaper butt?

  5. wahahahah! you are my sister by another mother.

  6. Dude. I have TWO in diapers.

    Moment of silence please...

    Are they still dirty after two loads because of the number 1 or the number 2?

    Here's the thing... keep a bucket full of water with about a cup of vinegar in it beside your toilet. The vinegar (acidic) is the opposite of pee smell (ammonia = very basic). Soak those diapers. Otherwise they get stanky. When you have a turdy one, flick and flush in the toilet. If it's too mooshy to flick, just let it soak in the toilet a while, leaving one clean corner kind of sticking out to grab later, then swoosh a bit and flush. Throw that in the bucket and wash right away.

    I wash a load of dirty diapers once and then throw in another load of other stuff for another wash through. Always works.

    Also, your fear of baby poop will lessen.

  7. Betsy: With all due respect (and I admit, much respect is due to a mom who CDs TWO children and flicks and swishes poo - much, much respect), it's comments like yours that send me running to ABC Tidee Didee Diaper Service, willing to pay TWICE what they are asking for clean diapers! SHEESH.

    (P.S. Not to quibble, but vinegar is not recommended if you have hard water. Supposedly, it actually makes diapers stinkier?!! Crazy world I live in.)

  8. hi there.

    yikes, a few cycles?
    we used liners. REEEEALLLY great, because i can tick all your items too. including the laziness. or as i prefer - i have a gazillion better things to do.

    but yes, liners worked magic. and 'dirty' is subjective. colour is ok. not the same thing as 'live' staining. lol

    do you have a bucket, with diaper soap? to soak them first.

    enjoying your blog!

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