Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I started out washing with just the detergent we had - Kirkland liquid with no scents and dyes.  I noticed the diapers smelled bad when "wet," so I decided to see if I could find another inexpensive option.  I looked up the detergents on Pinstripes and Polka Dots, and took a list with me the next time I went to the grocery stores.  Unfortunately I couldn't find any of the BEST ones at our stores.  So, I made a second list.  On my second list, I had Purex Hypoallergnic, and since I found that one I bought it.  It only had one "issue" - brighteners, so it was worth a try.  It worked fairly well, but I wanted something that would travel well.  So, I looked again.  I read that Planet should be available at grocery stores, so I emailed them and asked for a list of stores in my area.  Then I went looking, and didn't find it.  They had said to call, so right before our trip, I called a store I hadn't tried.  They had it, so I got a bottle.  It was hard to find since the store only had the small bottles of liquid, but it had no "negatives" when it comes to cloth diapers, so I gave it a try.  While using it, I thought to compare prices.  It costs about the same as detergents I can buy online, so I kept that in mind when I made my next diaper purchase.  In the meantime, it worked well, and I didn't have a huge stinky pile of diapers the morning before I washed.

Then I wanted to buy a few pockets with my birthday money, so I added a bag of Rockin' Green to my cart as well.  Well, as luck would have it, the bag I received was most likely recalled.  So, I got a second bag free.  I am using the first bag for rinsing covers in the sink and for cleaning other non-diaper things.  There was some rash issues with that batch due to concentration error, so I don't want to use it for normal washings.  At first I didn't see any big improvement over Purex.  I think the smell is slightly less, but it isn't a huge deal.  But, I like that it is a powder, which is better for traveling.  Also, because of the research, I changed by washing routine some.

Here is how I wash my diapers in my LG front loader:
1. Normal quick cycle on cold with 1/2 tbsp of RnG.
2. Full normal cycle on warm with 1 tbsp of RnG - with the soil level on high.
3. Normal quick cycle on cold with no detergent.

I line dry most of the time to save the dryer, and because it is almost as fast.  My plan is to stick with RnG most likely for the diapers and use Purex for all other laundry (once I am about of the Kirkland). 

And, if you don't use cloth diapers yet - here is what to watch out for:
1. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets in your machines.  These will lead to build-up on your diapers, which equals repelling.
2. Avoid scents and dyes as much as possible since these can be irrating and can leave a little build-up as well.
3. Enzymes in general are not recommend.  Some brands of cloth diapers say they are fine, but most say do not use them.
4. Brighteners hide the stains and can leave a build-up, so again avoid them if possible.
5. Make sure no soap is left in the diapers.  The soap is what causes the stink issues!  That is why I do an extra quick cycle with no detergent.  If you have a front loader, watch the drain water just before the spin cycle for bubbles (i.e. soap).  If they are there, do another rinse.
6. Covers normally should not be dried in the dryer because the heat will wear out the elastic and PUL.  Occasional drying is fine (once every 1-2 months is recommended to seal the PUL).
7. Inserts (and prefolds, etc) can be bleached periodically to sanitize.  I do it about every other month after the normal full cycle.  I just remove all covers first.  Then I run another full cycle with hot water and bleach.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pocket Diapers

I now have four pocket diapers. The first one I got was a FuzziBunz with my order of Econobum and swim diapers from Kelly's Closet. Then, I decided to order a hook-and-loop pocket in hopes of getting my husband to put it on our daughter the one night a week he watches her (while I take our son with me to church). I decided to go with BumGenius 4.0 based on price and reviews. I then also added a TweetleBug snapped pocket to my order to get to $50 for free shipping. Since I spent over $25, I used the coupon for a free one-sized diaper as well, and I got a Kawaii hook-and-loop. I am using the pockets for bed time, and they are working well. I had to add a Thirsties Hemp insert in my son's because he has become a heavy wetter at night, but my daughter just needs the standard double-stuffed pocket.

I don't see to many important differences in the four pockets. They each have their own unique aspects, but they all work about the same for us. They are all about the same size completely open, and that is what is most important in my book. Here are the smaller differences:
  • FuzziBunz uses adjustable elastic to change the rise/fit, and the other three use the snap-down system that most one-sized diapers use.
  • TweddleBug is actually a sleeve diaper - with an opening in the front and back of the pocket. This means you don't have to unstuff before washing (which is nice). The others are all standard pockets with just an opening the back.
  • As for the back opening, the FuzziBunz and TweedleBug are just a simple opening. The Kawaii has elastic on the liner as well as the cover, and the BumGenius has a flap to hold the inserts in.
  • The Kawaii laundry tabs (for the hook-and-loop) aren't placed as well as the BumGenius. One is way too close to fully function. This is the one thing I don't like about this diaper.
  • TweedleBug has two snaps, and the FuzziBunz has three for waist closure. The BumGenius snap option also has only two snaps. The third snap does give me a better leg fit on my skinnier son, but it is a little harder to get it on him (since he wants to go, go, go).
  • The TweedleBug inserts and BumGenius inserts are almost identical, with a snap to change sizes and a thin newborn insert. The FuzziBunz has two inserts of different length but equal thickness, and the Kawaii has two inserts about the same length and thickness. The snap on the insert is necessary for the TweedleBug since it is a sleeve (I bet the insert woudl peek out otherwise), but other than that they are interchangeable.

I lvoe the pocket concept, and I would love to have more of them. But, they are more expensive than preoflds and covers. The Kawaii's run almost $10, the TweedleBugs almost $13, and the BumGenius and FuzziBunz almost $18. Since you have to launder the whole diaper after each wear, I would need about 25 in my stash if that is all I had. But, I was able to buy 24 prefolds and 6 covers for about $125. That is about half the price! So, I might slowly add one or two pockets into my stash, but I don't think I would go completely with them at this point.