If you've taken good care of your cloth diapers, you can expect that they'll last you through more than one child. The cost savings are astounding when you factor in the longevity of cloth diapers. With proper care and storage, you can assure that your investment will continue to save you cash AND cover your next baby's bum.
Follow these steps to protect your investment:
1. Take proper care of them: Make sure you're following the recommended washing instructions on the label. If you've got several different brands with different recommendations, just follow a basic wash routine (rinse cold, wash hot with detergent, rinse cold). Try to line dry your cloth diapers as much as possible. This keeps the elastic stretchy longer and puts less wear and tear on the diaper's fabric. Use the least amount of additives as possible (vinegar, baking soda, bleach, etc.) There are times when some of these things are needed, such as yeast bacteria, but use them sparingly, as they create additional wear on your diapers.
2. Repair any diapers as needed: Cloth diapers won't last forever, but you can keep them looking and working their best by taking the time to repair any damage. Clean out your aplix tabs by either picking out the lint or running the teeth of a Snappi through it. If you've got pilly aplix you can freshen it up with a pair of scissors. Just be careful! If you lose a snap or the aplix and elastic are shot and your diaper is still under warranty, contact the company to see if they will replace them. If you're out of the warranty period, many companies offer "refresher kits" where you can replace the elastic or aplix yourself. Replacing snaps require a snap press, so if you don't have one of those available, there are many WAHM's out there that do diaper repair for a very small fee.
3. Store your diapers until you need them again: Do a soak and a couple extra rinses the last time you're washing them before storage. You want to make sure you'll have clean smelling diapers for your next child. You can really store them any way you like, just make sure that they'll be protected from the elements. A plastic storage box with a lid works great for short term storage. It's probably best to keep them away from excessive heat and/or dampness, so a closet or even under the bed would be okay. A breathable fabric bag would be ideal to avoid any musty smells if you were to store them for a long time, e.g., several years.
4. Sell or donate what you don't want or need: If you're done having children you can sell or donate your stash to someone else who needs it. It's a great way to recoup some of the costs or to help out a family in need. There are many cloth diaper banks popping up who will accept your used cloth diapers. Plus, it feels good to pass them on! I just lent out my newborn stash to a friend!
What will you do with your diapers after your little one potty trains? Save them for another child? Sell them and start fresh?
Bio: Jenny is the writer behind the blog, According to Jenny, where she shares her thoughts on being a semi-crunchy mama of 2! She lives in beautiful Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 kids, Grady-born in 2010, and Haley-born in 2012. She's an avid baby-wearer and cloth diaper addict. You'll find a little bit of everything over on the blog-reviews and giveaways, too!