Cloth Diapering Laundry Essentials – How to Save the Most Money Using Cloth Diapers without the mess or the grossness of it!
A while ago I posted how I haven’t spent a penny on laundry all year, and that statement is very true! I have 3 sons who make a LOT of laundry on their own. Add in my husband who goes through 2 full outfits each day that get filthy at work and my clothes that are covered in dirty little hand prints and food smudge each day, and we’re easily looking at 1-2 loads of laundry each day.
On top of that crazy hot mess that is my laundry routine, my two youngest sons are in diapers. CLOTH diapers to be more specific.
I can honestly say that even with the addition of the cloth diapers, I haven’t spent a penny on my laundry. The more people I talk to, the more it became clear that more people want to know how to save the most money using cloth diapers. And, really, it isn’t tough!
I made a video of how I wash my cloth diapers to show you how easy it is (and how not gross):
My favorite part of how to save the most money using cloth diapers is to make my own detergent. I use 1 tbs. of my homemade detergent per load of diapers.
My detergent “recipe” is:
With each load of diapers, I use 3 drops of four thieves oil and 3 drops tea tree oil. I wash them on hot for 2 full cycles on “heavy duty.” Some people have different wash cycles that they use for their machines, but mine is old and has very basic settings. See what works best for you.
Never use fabric softener. It makes the diapers less absorbent and basically makes them useless.
There are a few hacks for how to save the most money using cloth diapers, and one of them is to keep your diapers in good shape. The diapers can be completely clean and still have a stain.
DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH! It makes the diapers less absorbent and it’s not the best thing to have against a baby’s tender parts. Sun the diapers outside. It’s better than any bleach I’ve ever used.
Not to mention it keeps them smelling nicer. And can you say “free?”
Every once in a while, I add 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide per load if they’re a particularly “gross” load of laundry. I let them sit and soak for a little while to let the peroxide do its job.
My number one rule that I didn’t follow for a long time: air dry as much as you can! The plastic lining on the backs of the diapers will start to break apart or peel off of the cloth. It’s just a mess.
Hopefully, you’ll have enough diapers in your stockpile, that you won’t need your cloth diapers washed and dried immediately. It might take longer, but it will make your diapers LAST longer.
If you can’t air dry the liners, do not use dryer sheets! Try these instead. Dryer sheets add a lot of chemicals which should be avoided on a baby’s tiny little bum. Not only that, but they compromise the diapers’ ability to absorb. Again, it basically ruin the diapers’ integrity.
Don’t dry the actual diapers themselves in the dryer. The diaper covers (the outermost piece of the diaper that has the plastic lined fabric with the snaps or velcro) should always be air dried. If you dry them in the dryer (not like I’ve ever done that…ok, that’s not true…), the liner wears out and the diapers fall apart much faster than if you were to just air dry.
It’s not as fancy as it sounds. We have hard water and it’s tough for the diapers to get super clean. Almost all cloth diapers come with microfiber inserts and they’re so difficult to get really clean. I recently started using bamboo inserts and I really like them, but I haven’t used them for long enough to really know if they’ll have the same long term issues that the microfiber ones have.
I set my washer on rinse and spin to get any gross stuff out of them. Then I soak the diapers and liners in hot water, 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup oxiclean and 3 drops each thieves and tea tree oil for 6 or more hours.
Cold hard facts:
This is everything I know about how to save the most money using cloth diapers. In my first post about cloth diapers, I mentioned that I spent around $250 for my cloth diapers for my 2 sons (true story). Add in the fact that I still haven’t spent money on laundry detergent in a year, and I’m well below the cost of disposable diapers for 2 children in diapers!
There are plenty of other protocols when it comes to cloth diapering and I’ll save that for another post. I hope this works as well for you as it does for me!
Here’s the full list of what you need to cloth diaper your little ones:
- Diapers (around $30 for 6 of them – you will need 3 or more orders of them)
- Diaper pail bag
- Drying rack
- Diaper sprayer (you can get away without buying this, but it does make cleaning them off)
- Washing soda (get this at the store; it’s much cheaper. But take a look at what it looks like so you know)
- Wool dryer balls
These cloth diapering supplies will save you money