When I started using cloth diapers, I had lots of questions. I have answered all of those questions plus additional customer questions in this section. If there is something you are wondering about that you don't see here, please e-mail!
How many cloth diapers should I get?
I recommend getting between 20-30 cloth diapers, closer to 30 for infants and closer to 20 for older babies and toddlers. Infants go through a lot of diapers per day - at least 10 and closer to 15 or sometimes more. I recommend getting enough to last 2-3 days. I know many people don't mind doing laundry every day, but if you are able to have enough to last 2-3 days, your cloth diapers will last a lot longer. And as we all know, one of the greatest benefits of using cloth diapers is that they can last through multiple children. You'll have to replenish your stash much less if you have more cloth diapers to begin with. If you are using prefolds and diaper covers, I would recommend getting at least 6 diaper covers, but 8-10 sure do make life a whole lot easier. You can re-use the cloth diaper covers before you have to wash them as long as your baby has not soiled them. Just let them air dry between changings.
Don't cloth diapers leak?
Many of you may be surprised, but NO, they don't leak! The cloth diapers that we carry have gussets around your baby's legs so they contain messes very well. You do generally have to change them more often than most people change disposables since some leave their children in disposables for 4+ hours. You are looking at changing cloth diapers every 1.5-2 hours as a general rule of thumb. I know a lot of people groan at having to change cloth diapers more often than disposables, but the point of a diaper is to hold wetness and poop. Even if the diaper only has pee in it, you still don't want to leave your baby sitting in that for very long, whether your baby is in a disposable or cloth diaper. If you would like some extra absorbency for heavy wetters, try adding a diaper doubler - truly amazing inventions!
What do you do with the poop in cloth diapers?
With newborns, their stool is not as solid as older kids, so just rinse it out in the toilet or simply put it in the wash if the baby is breastfed. I know this sounds a little odd, but breastfed baby's stool is completely water soluble and comes right out in the wash. For kids that are eating some solid foods, like the ones on your right, just drop the stool in the toilet! Very easy! A little unsure about this step? Try the flushable liners or a diaper sprayer!
What about stains? How do you get the cloth diapers actually clean?
The diapers do come very clean in the wash. You want to be washing your cloth diapers every other day or every 3 days at the most. If you do get a stain, simply expose the diaper to sunlight (a natural bleaching agent). Do not use bleach or other harsh chemicals as things chemicals are bad for your baby and also decrease the life span of the cloth diapers. If you are still having problems, try our Imse Vimse wash away stain soap. It works wonders!
What do I keep cloth diapers in until I wash them?
You simply keep your cloth diapers in a dry pail. I recommend getting a stainless steel garbage can for a dry pail instead of a plastic one since plastic does a *great* job of soaking up odors. I recommend putting a little bit of baking soda on the bottom of the diaper pail and then putting a diaper pail liner in the diaper pail. That way you can simply take the liner out, push the diapers out into your washer and then wash the liner as well. It doesn't get much easier!
Another option if you live somewhere that is very cramped is to put your diapers directly into the washer. Then run very short cycles to keep the diapers from smelling until you have enough diapers in there to run a full load. This keeps the diaper truly odor-free since they are rinsed so often.
Are there detergents that I should use for cloth diapers?
Yes, in fact there are. Try the Detergent Determinator to help you choose which detergent to use. You want to look for detergents that are free of perfumes, fragrances or dyes. The simpler the better when it comes to detergents. This also usually means, the cheaper, the better, which is something we can all appreciate!
Why should I buy these cloth diapers since these are more expensive than the ones I find in department stores?
Good Question! The diapers you will find in local retail stores are less expensive but much lower quality. Unfortunately, you will find that they will LEAK! Not only that, they will not last nearly as long as these will! We only carry very high quality cloth diapering products and you will find that ours DO NOT leak! They are much more absorbent and the sized diapers will likely last through multiple children if cared for. This is much more economical in the long run than buying lower quality cloth diapers just to find out you have to change them twice as often and they don't last nearly as long.
What can I put in the wash to get rid of any urine odor?
If an ammonia odor remains on your diapers, the most likely culprit is detergent buildup on the diapers. Try adding an extra rinse or stripping them. If there are any suds left in the washing machine after you are done washing the diapers, you need to do an extra rinse. Stripping refers to the removal of residue on diapers. To strip diapers, simply hand wash your diaper with your regular dish soap (gets the oils out). Add a bit of dish soap to the fleece, either rub the fleece vigorously together or use a medium bristle dish brush or hard bristle tooth brush to scrub the fleece. Turn it inside out and repeat on the other side. Rinse well, making sure that the water runs clear. You can also add some special cleaners like using 2 scoops Oxyclean or including about 1/2 cup of baking soda in the wash cycle of your washing machine. Then a little bit of distilled white vinegar in the rinse cycle. However if you have hard water you may notice that the diapers hold the vinegar. Also, less is more with vinegar. If you continually add a lot of vinegar, the diapers will begin to hold the smell of the vinegar. So make sure that you do not add more than ~1/2 cup in any given rinse cycle.
I've just bought these diapers and started using them and I'm having some problems with leaks. What do I do?
The trick with new cloth diapers is to wash the heck out of them! Washing them 7 or 8 times results in full absorbency for both the diapers as well as the inserts. However be sure not to wash your cotton/fleece diapers with your hemp diapers, inserts or doublers. Hemp naturally has a repelling oil that will result in your other diapers repelling instead of absorbing. Stick the cloth diapers in the wash with your other loads of laundry when you get them and then begin using them. You'll be surprised at the difference! Do the same with your hemp products (just not in the same load) and after washing each a few times, you can then wash them together.
If you are using prefolds and PUL covers and your covers are wicking, try putting them in the dryer on high heat. That will help the PUL re-seal itself.
I currently use a diaper service. What are the benefits of switching over to owning my own diapers?
This is a very good question since many people do use a diaper service. The distinct advantage of a diaper service is that you don't have to do the washing. However, the washing isn't difficult. If you can wash your clothes, you can wash your diapers! See our cloth diaper care section for lots of great information on that. The major downside of a diaper service is that you don't get to keep the diapers! If you purchase your own diapers, you can choose to sell them when you done using them, re-use them on other children or give them to friends! Plus, the sterilization process that many diaper services use often include harsh chemicals that your baby may be very sensitive to. Before beginning with a diaper service, be sure to learn what types of detergents they will be using and how they will be sterilizing the diapers.
What about using cloth diapers when I’m away from home?
Kiri and Morgan in happy heinys