I am so glad that you have come to my blog. Here my goal is to help you sort through the jungle of cloth diaper information. I have been doing research on cloth diapering since I began 4 years ago. I have used many types and brands, and I hope to take the information and experience that I have gathered to put it in to a blog that helps you with choosing something that works for your family. My main goal is to save you money, and I hope to do this by sharing with you what works, what doesnt, and what is just as effective but at a better price.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Disposable vs. Cloth breakdown

Photo credit: Kathy at My Little Sweet Pea.

I thought that you would enjoy seeing the breakdown of the cost of cloth diapers vs different disposable brands.  And actually her estimate of $800 is much higher than what you would spend if you were using covers and prefolds.  If you were using the econobum kit for $48.95 you get 3 covers, 12 prefolds, and 1 laundry bag.  When I began cloth diapering full time I had 3 covers and 8 prefolds and got by fine.  So all you would need is a diaper sprayer which I made for about $20 with this tutorial.  And finally 1 bag of detergent that lasted me about 4 months per bag at Rockin Green for $14.95. And then you are set! So you really could cloth diaper with a very small investment of $83.90! Then you would be on your way to saving cash by using cloth, my whole goal for you!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dirty diaper storage

This is one topic that I have not devoted a post to yet that I think is fairly important.  So just where do you put all of those smelly dirty diapers?  Well you will need a waterproof bag of some sort to hold the diapers, and a trashcan.  This doesn't have to be an expensive ordeal, but think about what room the dirty diapers will be stored in.  I put ours in the kids bathroom.  The reason being, is that if a diaper has poo, I spray out the diaper into the toilet and I want to put the diaper in the pail as quickly as possible.  But if you have a new born who is breastfeed it is possible to keep your pail in the baby's room, because these poopy diapers do not need to be sprayed out unless you want to.  If your baby starts formula or on solids you will definitely want to spray out their poo in the toilet. 

There are 2 types of home diaper storage solutions that I will tell you about today.  One is the hanging bag.  The hanging bag will hang on a door handle somewhere, thus there is not a need for a trash can.  Here is the one that Planetwise offers for $29.99.  This is a pricey bag but they offer cute patterns that you could match to your child's nursery.  The second type of dirty diaper storage is using a pail liner inside a trash can with a lid.  This is what I use.  I found a trash can with a lid at the grocery store for $7 and my pail liner by a company called Bummis for $16.  I have heard wonderful things about Planetwise's pail liner and theirs is $16.50. 

So think about where you are going to place your dirty diapers, and what solution will work best for your house.

Now there are some smells that can escape from your dirty diapers occasionally.  A good way to knock out those smells is to use an additive to your pail, like Rockin Green's pail freshener.  I have heard wonderful things about this product.  I have not tried it yet though.  Right now I add 1/2 cup of baking soda to my pail, and that works wonderfully.  I buy a huge bag, 13.5 lbs, from Costco for cheep cheep, that lasts us for a very long time.

Our pail with the Bummis liner full of dirty diapers

The Bummis bag has a draw string.  This is the size Large bag for $16

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Striping your Diapers

Now what do you do when you have finished washing your diaper and they are coming out of the wash still smelling, or the moment your baby pee's there is an overwhelming smell of ammonia, or worse yet, your child gets a horrible rash? Then you might to use more rinse cycles. Or your problem could be build up. If you are not using a detergent made for cloth diapers you might have to strip your diapers.  Striping your diapers refers to washing/soaking your diapers to remove build up left from detergents or water minerals. Some detergents work better than others, which is why I chose Rockin Green.  Rockin Green gives you the choice of 3 different formulas.  The formulas are designed for either hard, soft or regular water.  In San Antonio we have hard water so I use the Hard Rock formula.

If you decide to purchase Rockin Green then you will probably want to strip your diapers right away. You could purchase Rockin Green's new product formulated especially for striping out that amonia called Funk Rock. This will ensure that your diapers are free of any detergent or ammonia build up. I have not had any ammonia issues since I purchased my first bag back in May (2010). Before Rockin Green I was striping my diapers once a month. So what you will do if you dont have Funk Rock, you can use your Rockin Green detergent to strip your diapers, what the company likes to call Rockin a Soak. Here you can either use your washer if it is a regular washer, or your bath tub if you have an HE washer. In your regular top loader add 3 table spoons of detergent and put your CLEAN diapers in, and fill your washer up with hot water and let that sit for 3-6 hours. Then wash your diapers like normal with out using any soap. Then do a cold rinse. And dry your diapers like normal.

If you do not have any Rockin Green you can buy samples for $.75-.80 which has 4 table spoons in each bag, with $1.00 shipping.

Things to remember:
  • Do not use fabric softners in the washer, or drier sheets in the drier
  • You can use a dryer ball
  • Do not use a diaper rash cream, or medicated ointments with out a barrier like a flushable liner, Kushies, IMSE liners, Grovia
  • Or if you do use a diaper rash cream make sure it is for cloth diapers like this one Magic Stick
  • Wash your diapers every 2-3 days.  Any longer than this you will have build up issues.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Review of Sun Smarties Adjustable Swim Diaper

Originally submitted at One Step Ahead

Save money and save Mother Earth, with our adjustable, reusable swim diapers! Nothing contains leaks better, thanks to its personalized custom fit. Best of all: no more soggy (expensive) disposables! Made of soft, peached microfiber, with an absorbent terry lining and waterproof inner coating. UPF ...

Great swim diaper
5out of 5
Gift: No
Pros: Lightweight, Breathable, Strong Seams, Soft, Easy To Put On
Describe Yourself: Parent of Two or More Children
I am a cloth diapering momma and this diaper most closly resembles a diaper cover. Though it is shaped the same and even appears to be made of PUL (water proof material cloth diapers are made with) it is not waterproof even with a prefold on under it. Not that this is what I wanted to use it for but I want other cloth moms to know that.
But the function of the diaper as a swim diaper is wonderful. It has gussets which hold in the poo nicely. It is easy to put on and take off. If you are trying to decided between this and the reusuable pull up type swim diaper, consider this; if your baby poops with the pull up kind of diaper you are going to have to pull down making for one messy diaper change, especially if their poos are on the soft side. Go with something that can be removed more like a diaper because it will be a lot easier to change the child.

Rocking Green Cloth diaper detergent REVIEW

A picture of just beginning a soak in Rockin Green Hard rock. These diapers were all "clean" before I put them in the hot water with 6 tbs of Hard Rock. The water was also clean and clear when I filled the tub. Then when I started to throw in the most stained and smelly diapers, and the water immediately got cloudy, yellow and smelly! I will post an after picture as well of the clean diapers and dirty water.

Well, I am finally getting a chance to review the Rockin Green Cloth Diaper detergent line. I started out with 2 samples of Classic Rock, in Vanilla Buttercream and Peppermint Mocha. When they arrived I found that the two scents had come to smell very similar. But I read later on their facebook page that this was common to happen when the samples are mailed together and in the small sample bags. But from what I could tell both were pleasant fragrances and mild. They wern't as strong of smells as I was hopping for but still were nice.
The night that I got the samples I took every cloth diapering product that I had and did a gigantic soak in the bath tub full of steaming hot water. I had some very stubborn synthetics that I was on my last rope with, and had discontinued their use because of staining and smell, and really had no hope for. So Rockin Green put them to the test!
The soak lasted about 3 hours and I used half of the bag on them which was about 7 tbs! This is a huge tub that had over 50 diaper pieces to be cleaned, in hard water, so a decent amount of detergent was needed. After the soak was over I took all the diapers to the washing machine for another hot wash. I used no detergent on the first wash cycle. But on the second wash cycle I used 3 Tbs. I transferred the things that can be dried in the drier and the rest hung dry.
I waited in anticipation of the results!
When every thing had finished drying I put them to the smell test! Every thing smelled wonderful. My synthetic inserts were still discolored but they have never smelled so good! I think they probably still need a few more good washings to really become as absorbent as they can be but I think at this point they are usable again. I now use prefolds and love them so I wouldn't use the synthetics for anything other than a booster (more absorbency).

Next in line to test is Rockin Green's newest addition, Hard Rock. Hard Rock has been formulated for hard water, which Houston has. I was so excited for this detergent to come out because this was my initial draw to this company in the first place. With Hard Rock I only need 1 TBS per load vs 2-3 for Classic Rock, and now I can cut out using Calgon water softener with each load, saving me more money.
On a whim I ordered Hard Rock in Grape Soda, which has fragranced my laundry room with a lovely smell. I think I will like any fragrance that they make in this line. Next order I think I will go with Mango Sorbet, sounds nice and summery :)
Again I have not been disappointed with this formula. This has worked just as well on the diapers. My diapers do not come out smelling like the particular fragrance but they have no smell at all which is a good thing when it comes to cloth diapering.
When washing my diapers I do a quick rinse on cold. Then my second cycle is a hot cycle with 1 tbs of Rockin Green. Simple as that. My old washing instructions, though they worked, had a few more steps . So this has simplified every thing a little bit.

My over all opinion I am in love with this soap :) I think you will like it if you give it a try. Remember if you are not sure about diving in head first with the stuff they have samples you can buy for $.85 with $1.00 shipping. On the big bag the shipping was around $5.00. Hard Rock is $15.95 and Classic Rock and Soft Rock is $14.95. I do know why there would be a price difference in the two but it could be the price of the ingredients or it could be, because it is new. Anyways pick the formula that works for you water type and go with it. To help you determine your water type Rockin Green has these great test strips for $0.60

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Line drying

So now that spring has arrived and, summer is looming, I was inspired to try out line drying. I hadn't really considered it, because our climate tends to be rainy, but we definately have some sun shiny days. I picked up a retractable 8 foot line and clothes pins from the grocery store, for a few dollars the other day, and decided to give it a go. I hung the line in the corner of our yard and screwed it into the wood posts.

I was thinking that line drying will be yet another way to cut costs. With our summer heat comes very high electricity bills, so the use of the drier 2-3 times a week for the cloth diapers will help to reduce costs.

Another benifet of line drying is getting rid of staining on your diapers. I dont really have problems with stains because I use a diaper sprayer on those poopy diapers. But that new born poop will stain and the sun can fade a lot of that out.

So far so good with the line drying. My prefolds are not going to be quilted and fluffy like they are when I use the drier. Rather they will be flat and stiff. But in the end it doesnt really matter how stiff they feel when you use a fleece liner on top of the prefold, for wicking away moisture.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Introduction in background about me

Welcome to my new blog, Saving Cash by Using Cloth! The purpose of this blog is first and foremost introduce you to the world of cloth diapers. Secondly how to do it in the most cost effective way. Many people are drawn to using this form of diapers to do their part in helping the environment one diaper at a time. And yes this is an after effect, but my motivation stems from our situation in life. I first started dappling in using cloth diapers when my second child was 18 months old. My husband had just been accepted into medical school, after being in the job market for 4 years, and I knew that we would be taking a serious cut in the amount of money we would have to work with. So I did things that seemed drastic at first but are now just second nature.

First, I learned how to cut my husbands hair which saves us countless dollars bi-weekly! And I also cut my own and children’s now. The next biggest monthly expense we had was diapers. I have to say my husband was not on board with my choice to cloth diaper one bit! In fact his stance was if the child was wearing a cloth diaper then he would not change it. Which at first I don't blame him. The diapers I had were messy and not efficient or very absorbent. It took a while to find the diapers that could go a few hours between changing's and hold in the messiest of messes.

It has been trial and error from that first moment up until my 3rd was born. At this point I got serious with the diapers. My husband was now in medical school and my two other kids were completely diaper free. So I resolved to not buy many if any disposable diapers. I bought one box that was never opened for my second child, because he potty trained at the age of 24 months before he needed them.

Starting out I was given a bunch of size 1 diapers for baby #3 so I made sure we used those up before I started him on the cloth because they are only in those little sizes for a few weeks. By the time he was ready for a size two diaper is when I started with the cloth. At that point most size small cloth diapers are going to fit perfectly. I find it to be expensive and a waste to invest in the tiny tiny cloth diapers because they grow out of them so fast unless you have a very adjustable diaper. Those newborns bottoms will be much smaller than you will ever expect them to be.

I will have a series of posts on picking a diaper, cleaning and care of the diapers, and websites and links that are helpful. Ok on to my recommendations.