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Cloth Diapering and Homemade Laundry Detergent

Good day to ya! It is a good day, isn't it?

I was asked by my cute relative to share my experience with cloth diapering, and I thought, "Hey, those are two great ideas!" Two? Yes. Here's why:

1. I've used cloth diapers. On my kids, not on myself. Actually that's a lie... but I'll explain later this month in a different post. Now I've caught your interest, haven't I?

2. Getting suggestions for posts! The internet is awesome and allows me to see the number of views on my posts. I have been noticing that certain topics catch your interest more than others. I really want to post content YOU want to read about, and giving me suggestions for future posts is how we can make that happen! Shoot me an e-mail, or comment on one of my blog pages (Thrifty Llama, Sugar Llama, Literate Llama, and/or The 'Paca) with your questions and ideas. Even if it isn't answered via blog post, I will get back to you with an answer. Deal? Deal.

So, you may have noticed that I said "I've used cloth diapers," meaning I have in the past but I do not anymore. I made the switch to disposable because the cloth ones I bought leaked and I didn't like doing laundry so often. So I sold them. I was happy with my decision and wasn't ever going to look back! 

Until now. 

Now, I'm kicking myself a little bit because I collected some info from cute people that I like that cloth diaper their kids. I have a lot of cute, disposable friends, too (using disposable diapers, for clarification. Friends are not disposable), but this post is going to focus on cloth diapering. If you're real upset that I didn't interview you about your choice to use disposable diapers, I'm sorry. Can I send you an apology card in the mail?

I am going to do my best to be objective about this post, but I am human and I like to make jokes, if you haven't noticed. Speaking of jokes, I thought about naming this post "Caught Between Two Stools: To Cloth Diaper or Not To Cloth Diaper," but it didn't happen. So if you've read this far, congrats to you! You've had the privilege of reading my hilarious poop joke.

Here's what I have found from my interviews and personal experience:

Cloth Diapering Pros (according to the pros)

-Costs less than half of what you would pay for disposable diapers for each child, and can cost even less than that if you use cloth wipes as well
-Less landfill waste and chemicals
-Good for sensitive rumps, those with allergies, and helps avoid diaper rash
-Cute colors and prints
-Helpful with potty training kids because they notice that they feel wet sooner
-They have come a long way since safety pins and plastic pants, thanks to snaps and Velcro, diaper sprayers, and flushable liners
-There are a lot of options: one-size-fits-all, pocket diapers, all-in-ones, tri-folds, etc.
-No running out of diapers and having to go to the store
-Less blowouts

Cloth Diapering Cons 

-Not all cloth diapers are created equal as far as cost, quality, what your kids like, etc.
-Not as absorbent as disposables, meaning you have to change them more often--they're prone to leak if you don't (maybe that was my problem)
-The cost upfront is pricey. Cloth diapers run about $4 and up, depending on how many you buy, what type, brand, etc.
-Not as fun when you're out of the house or on trips due to carrying around poopy/wet diapers in your diaper bag
-May not have a supportive partner=more work for you
-Still messy to clean up
-Electricity cost and wear and tear on your washing machine
-Grey water (water pollution), and unless you're washing by hand in a bucket or something*, uses 30-135 extra gallons of water per week (1,560-7,020 gallons per year). I realize that's a pretty big difference, but it all depends on the efficiency of your washing machine**
-2-3 extra loads of laundry per week, plus special washing instructions, and special detergent (unless you make your own, like I do! Recipe in the footnotes)

Recommendations for Cloth Diapers (used by interviewees)

-Bum Genius
-G Brand
-Little Monsters
-Grovia All-in-One
-Nicki's Diapers
-Alva Baby (this is the kind I used but they leaked. However, they had great reviews online, so maybe it was just me)
And there you have it. The number of pros and cons are pretty equal, so you just need to decide what is more important to you. Most of my friends do a combination of both cloth and disposable, especially when it comes to bedtime and leaving the house. It's comforting to know you don't have to completely commit to one or the other, isn't it? 

I would also like to point out that there's more than one right way to raise your kids. If someone uses a different type of diapering system than you do, be nice. It's not that big of a deal. They're not out to get you, or their kid, or your kids, or trying to ruin the world. Everyone's just trying to do the best they can with the knowledge that they have.

If you have any further questions, I can definitely try to answer them or find someone who can. You can surf the 'net and do your own research, too. 


*If you actually wash your cloth diapers by hand in a bucket, you're hardcore. *fist bump*

**If you want to know where I got my numbers from for the water use, let me know and I will provide my mathod (math method. I just made that word up).

Here's my laundry detergent recipe. I got it in my Textile Science class at USU two years ago and have been using it ever since! I'm sure it's safe on cloth diapers. We used it on ours along with the rest of our clothes and never seemed to have any problems.


Fill a clean, empty milk jug halfway with very hot water (I fill it up in my bathtub) and add:

3 Tbsp. washing soda (I use Arm & Hammer)
3 Tbsp. Borax (both washing soda and Borax can be found in the laundry section of most stores for a few bucks per box, and a little goes a long way!)

Swirl gently every few minutes to dissolve. 

Fill the jug the rest of the way with lukewarm water and add:

3 Tbsp. Dawn dish soap (I use the blue kind)

Put the cap on the jug and swirl gently to mix (if you put the soap in before the water, it'll bubble up quite a bit, so don't do that). 

Use 1 cup per load of laundry.

Thanks for reading! Hasta la pasta, ya'll.


  1. I'm just so lazy the thought of using cloth diapers makes me want to take a nap for 1000 years. I can get disposables for 10 cents a piece sometimes, and then I feel really great about myself for a few days :)
    Also, I almost bought borax to make a 'dry' homemade laundry detergent, and again, after looking at all the ingredients at the store and reading the recipe I wanted to take a nap and sell my soul to the laundry detergent people. Your recipe doesn't seem bad at all, though. Maybe I'll go for it now! Oh, can you use any dish detergent? or does it have to be dawn?

    1. Hahaha you are awesome. Where do you buy your diapers?! You should try the detergent! It's really so easy and I have less allergic reactions now. I think Dawn is probably what you'll wanna go with, but you can still buy the off brand of it.

    2. I buy there whereever. I'm not picky at all with brands. The last time I bought them was over 4 months ago. Target was doing a promotion - get 2 boxes of Up and Up (on sale already at the time) and get $30 gift card. Since I have a Target close, the gift card was a great incentive, and I always shop with their cartwheel app, etc. So that's when I got them for just under 10 cents a piece. I've been waiting for a good sale to buy them again. Do you follow Freebies2Deals? That a great resource that I subscribe to and usually grab my diapers when they let me know when the deals are.

  2. So for those who do use them or tried them, where do you start? Not preggo, I'm just a prepper :) It seems like there needs to be a reusable outside with a biodegradable liner like a big feminine pad to get the best of both words. Just saying.

    1. Those do exist actually they are called g diapers. They are quite expensive. But if you are just going to grow the liner away you might as well get the disposables. That's my opinion anyway. Also I like to get a liner that goes right on top of my pocket diaper. These are flushable and come on a big roll that will last a long time (200 per roll). No need to spray the poop but it still allows the pee to go onto the diaper.

    2. I started by doing research online and finding good reviews on cloth diapers. We got a 20 pack of pocket diapers and 2 other kinds plus extra liners from my mom for my baby shower and just used regular wipes. We never bought a diaper sprayer or those amazing sounding liners (which is making me want to cloth diaper again) or a wet bag, but if I do it again, I'm definitely getting all those things!

  3. You are so witty--I love your blog! Now you have me curious with your "actually that's a lie but I'll explain later" comment. Do you use cloth menstrual pads?

    1. Thanks! Hahaha no! You'll just have to stay tuned and find out (probably on the 23rd) :)


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