Beware of False Cloth Diaper Prophets

I love cloth diapering.  I love my local cloth diapering community.  Really, cloth diapers are what I am passionate about.  Every single mommy friend I have cloth diapers.  Many of us have volunteered to help out with repair sessions of cloth diapers for the local chapter of Cloth for a Cause.  But what I’m seeing in the internet at large is troubling.  I feel like I need to issue a warning to the cloth diapering community at large: Beware of false cloth diaper prophets.

Cloth Diaper Prophets?  Really?

Beware False Cloth Diaper Prophets (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

I know, right?  Usually, whenever you read a warning to beware of false prophets, there’s nothing about cloth diapers mentioned.  It’s usually a religious warning taken from the Bible.

I’m not a Biblical person on the web.  I believe that religion is a private, spiritual matter… but in this instance, I cannot help but quote Matthew 7:15-20:

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

This sounds an awful lot like the “false diaper prophets” that I’ve run into as of late.  Quite frankly, the false diaper prophets are dangerous.  They may not lead you on a path of spiritual ruin, but they sure can lead the way to the destruction of your diapers.  And they can absolutely lead the way to the destruction of a local cloth diapering community if allowed to fester and spread.

Sheep’s Clothing?

Sure, a false cloth diaper prophet may have some reasonable ideas when you are introduced.  It’s not completely crazy and unreasonable to use a mainstream detergent.  (Yes, I hate Tide with the passion of a thousand burning suns, but there are people who have only been able to have success with that detergent.  If it’s Tide or sposies, then I’d rather someone use Tide.)

Ravening Wolves

The ravening wolf comes out when the false cloth diaper prophet makes her contempt of those who disagree with her known.  If someone disagrees with her ideas, then it must be that those who disagree are somehow “threatened or jealous that her diapers don’t stink.”  It ends up coming across as anyone who isn’t completely with her is against her.

Know them by their fruits

When cloth diaper manufacturers are coming out and stating that they disagree with a popular recommendation by the false cloth diaper prophet or are asking people to come forward and tell her how the false cloth diaper prophet’s advice has harmed their babies or their diapers, you’re seeing the fruits.  While, yes, some of the advice of a false cloth diaper prophet will be useful, just remember that even apples have toxic parts.  (Really, not every piece of advice is horrible.  Since I don’t have a fruit metaphor for this, I’ll just go with “even a broken clock is right twice a day.)  But at large, you’ll be seeing insulting, demeaning behavior that can easily tear a community apart.  You will find destroyed diapers laid to waste by bad advice from the false cloth diaper prophet… while the prophet blames the manufacturer or the recipient of her advice “for doing it wrong.”

Those are the fruits of a false cloth diaper prophet.  And in this case, I’d recommend casting the tree into a fire (or to be less Biblical, remove yourself from the false cloth diaper prophet’s sphere of influence).  And remember, there’s no One True Way of caring for your cloth diapers.

Have you ever been taken by a false cloth diaper prophet?

Image by debspoons |

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. This reminds me of Dr. Sear’s 7 Baby Bs of Attachment Parenting… one of the Bs is Beware of Baby Trainers! Self-proclaimed experts aren’t… well… experts!
    Lindsay Gallimore recently posted…Canadian Cloth Diaper Retailers: Shipping & Loyalty Programs ChartMy Profile

  2. I have no problem with people telling others what has worked for them, but you are right that people should be mindful of what they believe. Just because it works for one person does not mean it will work for everyone. For the record, I have used Tide, Purex, and Arm & Hammer with my diapers. I have had no adverse effects. I also bleach when necessary, but it should be noted that not all companies approve of that. Then again, you have Cottonbabies who will outright tell you to (sparingly) use bleach on BumGenius, Flips, and Econobum. ( ) Even Clorox has tackled this question ( ). That said, the choice of how to wash your diapers is up to the individual. It is up to them to research their options before blindly following someone who claims to know what is best.
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  3. I figure to each their own with cloth diaper laundry. I can’t imagine being a part of a group that talked cd laundering constantly. I agree with the poster above that it’s up to the individual to do research and build relationships of trust to know what advice to follow. I stick with cd safe detergent, primarily due to allergies and eco concerns, but I also don’t research every single manufacturer’s instructions.
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  4. Without trying to stoke a fire or get involved in this mess, I just want to go on record stating that cloth diapering (and associated laundry) is really not as complicated as all of these groups, etc. might suggest. I love cloth diapering as well, but not to the extent where I would belong to a group exclusively. Maybe it doesn’t bother me because I just see diapers as pee and poop catchers, that’s all. After trial and error, and the hardest water I’ve ever encountered, Tide works for our diapers, I’ve been known to bleach from time to time, and we’ve used disposable diapers at nighttime since my son was 9 months old. What works for everyone is different, and judging others in the cloth diapering community because of it is just another extension of the mommy wars. In the end, who really cares what anyone else thinks?
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  5. In any situation, we need to be careful of people who always feel they know more or better than you do. What drives me the most crazy is that there is so much more to washing diapers than just the detergent one can choose. The washer, the water type, the temperature, etc etc. Do you wash every day or every 3 days? There are just so many variables, I can’t imagine being able to address every single one of them correctly. When you get to the point that you think you are the god of laundry, you probably have lost sight of what is important.

  6. My issue with lots of these groups is 1. They are really not open to any other suggestions or idea. So their way is gospel and I think not. The CD community is diverse in all things from favorite diapers to wash routines. It is a shame that those who use Tide and bleach can’t seem to get along with those of us who use Country Save, Rockin Green and DON’T bleach. 2. It is really overwhelming for someone new to cloth. I am ashamed of some behavior I have seen in groups. I would never invite someone new to cloth because I feel like they are just going to be like ” What the heck” and throw in the towel right away. These groups make CD a lot more complicated than need be. I wash with Country Save, Nature Clean or Rockin Green, I don’t bleach and I don’t use additives… somehow my diapers are clean, smell clean, and are stain free. These groups would lead a newbie to believe that you HAVE to bleach, use mainstream detergent and soak your diapers. BTW in 22 months of CD I never soaked my diapers in anything.

  7. This is all so frustrating to me. The whole drama between diapering camps. All I know is that I have ammonia burns on my baby’s bum that I have never bleached, have only used Rockin Green and am ready to throw in the towel. So much conflicting advice. :/
    I may just end up using sposies and use my new ellabellas as a cover. I am that annoyed with all of this.
    It shouldn’t be so hard – so why is it??

    • It shouldn’t. Part of the problem is that there is no one true way because there are just so darned many variables to take into consideration.

      Ammonia burns are from your diapers not coming clean and the ammonia building up. I’m guessing your diapers smell like ammonia, too? If you want to PM me on Facebook, I’ll be happy to sit and troubleshoot with you to get this fixed. But I can tell you that using an oxygen bleach like OxiClean can help you get the ammonia situation resolved. I’m so sorry you’re having a tough time. 🙁 Don’t give up.

  8. I think that what many people forget is that when you’re talking to others who cloth diaper on the internet, they’re not on the same water system. Hard water, soft water, well water, chlorinated water, and water softeners all change how your detergent is going to react. Water is not pure H20 when you’re getting it out of a tap. I tend to go with Country Save because it’s super cheap at my local co-op. Generally works out to about 9 cents a load and I don’t have to pay any shipping. And it works for me. If you have a local cloth diaper store it’s a good idea to see what they recommend as it will have a greater shot at working since they’re using it and their water is most likely not too radically different from yours.

  9. I cloth diapered our first two kids but certainly don’t proclaim to be an expert!.
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  10. I love cloth diapering! I have used bleach to get rid of yeast before but don’t regularly use it. I use Charlie’s laundry detergent because we have really hard well water and I wanted to use the same detergent on our clothes that I used on my diapers. But I use flips and prefolds. That’s it. No pockets or something that requires a special wash cycle for me.
    Erin S. recently posted…Tuesday’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Hop 3/11 #goodeatinPLMy Profile

  11. I’ve also been dealing with ammonia burns and have been treated very rudely by those who love their Tide and bleach. I’m also about to forever give up on cloth diapering. I don’t think it’s worth it when you can’t get the blisters to stop. I did a hot water soak and rinse with nothing added and they came clean for the first time. I have heard that using baking soda and essential oils works great for some, but when I even mention it people get all upset and act like I’m disgusting for even mentioning it. I haven’t tried the baking soda, but I know when I did a hot soak for hours and then let the machine finish its cycle,it was the first time my diapers came out clean smelling since I first bought them For some reason that makes people mad. I’m afraid to use any detergent on my diapers again because the rash is so bad, but I don’t want to use diapers that aren’t really clean either.

    • Oh, no! What does your wash routine look like? (Including detergent, water temperatures, etc.) Do your diapers have any smells? Let’s see what we can do to help you fix your troubles.

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