Cloth Diapers – Best and Worst for Poo (Part II)

Yesterday, I put up a list for the best and worst cloth diapers for poo.  However, it got a little long, so I decided to split it into three parts before it became one huge tl;dr.  (Too long; didn’t read.)  Here’s the second parts!

Blueberry cloth diapersBlueberry cloth diapers

Blueberry cloth diapers are another wonderful, all around cloth diaper.  I love the beautiful prints, the angled snaps and the fact that I can stuff them to make them a fantastic overnight cloth diapering solution for Norton.  They won’t necessarily contain the scariest poops ever, but they are remarkably easy to clean, much like FuzziBunz and BumGenius.

Where to buy: Lagoon Baby (Canada), Cloth Diaper Addicts Amazon Store (US), Kelly’s Closet (US), Nicki’s Diapers (US/Canada)

Bummis prefold cloth diapers

Bummis prefold cloth diapers

Bummis prefolds and covers

Cleaning from the prefold is no problem, depending on the fold.  You just pick it up and spray.  Cleaning the covers?  Meh.  It’s got that same “be careful or the water will seriously bounce back at you” issue that I find to be common with the majority of covers out there.

Where to buy: Cozy Bums (Canada), Cloth Diaper Addicts Amazon Store (US), Kelly’s Closet (US)

TotsBots Easy Fit

TotsBots Easy Fit

TotsBots Easy Fit

This is just an “okay” diaper for poop.  It catches okay, and it rinses okay.  The only worry is that I have to be careful which end I hold the diaper to spray so that the all-in-one tongue doesn’t fall out.  For Norton, this is not an issue, but since Eudora poops up the back, there are times that poo actually gets in the little space above the pocket.  Gross.  Still a great diaper that has its advantages!

Where to buy: Cozy Bums (Canada), Cloth Diaper Addicts Amazon Store (US), Kelly’s Closet (US)

BumGenius Freetime

BumGenius Freetime

BumGenius Freetime

Now we’re starting to get into the “please don’t poop in these cloth diapers!” collection.  I love my BumGenius Freetime diapers.  They’re effective.  They’re easy to use.  They hold poop as well as the BumGenius 4.0.  But I hate cleaning them.  They’re an all-in-one diaper and the flaps kind of… well, flap when I try to clean one.  I seem to end up with either the poop oozing under the flaps or the wrong flap on top for poop purposes.

Where to buy: Cozy Bums (Canada), Nicki’s Diapers (US/Canada), Kelly’s Closet (US), Cloth Diaper Addicts Amazon Store (US)

Stay tuned for the rest of the list tomorrow!  Which cloth diapers do you find to be the most poop friendly?

Cloth Diapers – The Best and Worst for Poo (Part I)

Poop happens.  It’s a fact of life.  Or Everyone Poops.  However you look at it, it’s something that definitely has to be handled when using cloth diapers.  That being said, no all cloth diapers are the same and not all of them handle poop equally well.  Some handle poop just fine, but are absolutely horrendous to clean.  Sometimes, though, the best diaper for poo is also the worst to clean.

Here’s my poop preference, in order from “please poop in this” to “no pooping ever, please.” [Read more…]

The Evils of the Sanitize Cycle on Cloth Diaper Laundry

Image from Stock.xchng. Used with permission

Whenever you do cloth diaper laundry, the goal is to get your diapers clean.  Your cloth diaper stash takes a lot of abuse.  I mean, our kids pee and poop on those things… over and over again!  So with that in mind, you’d think that you want to get your cloth diaper laundry as clean as humanly possible, right?  And what can be better than sanitized or sterilized?

It turns out that when it comes to your cloth diaper laundry, just plain clean is generally good enough.  But then there are these beautiful, amazingly energy efficient front load washers.  And there’s that lovely “sanitize” button…  It seems like it should be the perfect solution, right?

It’s not.  While “sanitize” means to “render sanitary, free from elements such as filth or pathogens,” it’s not super kind to your diapers.  It can actually get far hotter than manufacturer specifications for some varieties of diapers.

I was curious about the temperatures, so I decided to start calling washing machine manufacturers after finding no hard and fast temperature information on sites with washing machine specs.  According to Maytag, their sanitize cycle renders clothes NSF safe.  NSF certified minimums for washing is 131F/55C.  But that’s just the minimum.  I couldn’t find any information regarding the actual temperature that the washing machine uses on sanitize.  The nice gentleman on the other end of the Maytag customer support line couldn’t, either.

Some sanitize through steaming.  The temperature that water turns to steam is 212F/100C.  That’s also the boiling point of water.

Here’s the thing: while boiling will most certainly kill most things, it may also kill your diapers.  Rockin’ Green says to wash your diapers at a maximum of 150F/65C, but to stick with 130F/54C for every day cloth diaper laundry… with deference to the manufacturer instructions, of course.  The instructions on BumGenius diapers says to wash at 100F/40C.  AppleCheeks diapers say to wash at 140F/60C.  Rumparooz website says explicitly (and this is a quote from their website) “Washing your pockets on the sanitize cycle will void the warranty.”

If you really do need to hard core sanitize, you most likely will only need to sanitize your inserts.  That’s where the issues are more than likely to reside with your diapers in the first place.  The only time I would ever make an exception to this rule is under the same conditions that I would actually use bleach: if dealing with MRSA, a really bad nasty fungal infection, or something else that requires a “kill or cure” approach to getting your cloth diapers back.

Have you ever used the sanitize cycle on your cloth diapers?  How did it work out for you?

Premium Cloth Diapers versus “China Cheapies” – The Warranty

I’ve already done some looking at the benefits of choosing your premium cloth diapers versus the inexpensive cloth diapers made overseas (also known as “China Cheapies”).  There are pros and cons to going in either direction, but today, a cyber buddy posted about a brand new diaper (one of the China Cheapies) having a snap break.

A brand new diaper… with a snap broken in less than two weeks. Will your diaper manufacturer cover that? Or will they give you the runaround?

I’ve had snaps break.  I’ve had elastics fail.  With the snaps that broke, the diapers were heavily used in my cloth diaper stash rotation.  Really, it was disappointing, but it’s not like they hadn’t been work horse diapers.  (And now I have friends who have snap pliers, so I can get them fixed!)  With the elastics that failed, I’ve had three outcomes.  1.) It was a FuzziBunz one size diaper, so I didn’t have to worry about it because the diaper comes with extra elastics that can be fixed without sewing.  And it had been used for a couple of years, so it’s not like it wasn’t due to get a little TLC.  2.) It was a diaper that I’d had for at least a year, so elastics wearing out wasn’t unreasonable.  There are people in my area who can fix them (like Pearl at Cloth for a Cause).  3.) It happened with a brand new GroVia shell.  Actually, it was my very first GroVia shell, and I’d used it twice before an elastic actually broke in the washing machine.  Cozy Bums, my local cloth diaper retailer, replaced the diaper for me and took care of the warranty stuff.  (Best customer service ever.)

With the vast majority of my diapers, I have a one year manufacturer’s warranty.  That’s the warranty on GroVia diapers, Swaddlebees and Blueberry, and Cotton Babies products – Flip, Econobum, and BumGenius.  Happy Heinys has a different warranty depending on what it is, but elastics have a six month warranty and they’ll send you the materials to replace the elastics after that.  (Snaps are lifetime.  Hmm.  I really should have been better about keeping my receipts for my diapers!)  Rumparooz has a variable warranty similar to that of Happy Heinys.  Fuzzi Bunz now has lifetime warranties.

I don’t mind paying twenty dollars or more for a diaper when I know that the manufacturer stands behind what they make.

Some of the China Cheapies brands don’t have that same guarantee.  Sunbaby has a thirty day guarantee.  AlvaBaby (and its rebranded diapers) don’t have a date deadline.  I haven’t heard of people having great luck with getting anything repaired or replaced by other China Cheapies brands.  In fact, I tried a China Cheapies that I bought off of a daily deal site once as an experiment.  The diaper didn’t work.  I messaged the diaper company on Twitter and was ignored.  Fortunately, it was cheap, so I shrugged it off as “no big loss.”

I like knowing that my diapers are made to last.  I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the same quality or support from a diaper that I buy for five dollars as I would expect from a diaper that I buy for twenty-five dollars.  It’s where that old adage of one getting what one pays for comes in.

Have you ever had any warranty issues with a diaper company?  How was it resolved?

Yes, I’m a Cloth Diaper Collector. No, I’m Not a Hoarder

Recently, some of my fellow cloth diaper addicts have been wondering if we’ve crossed the line from addict into a hoarder.  I was really starting to wonder if that was me; I am extremely proud of the cloth diaper stash I’ve amassed and enjoy them fully.  I also know that when I’m having a really rotten day to the point that taking up smoking seems like a good idea, buying new fluff will make me feel better.  I learned something today from watching Hoarders while folding laundry. [Read more…]

Cloth Diaper Insert Absorbency Test #1

A couple of days ago, my friend Heather over at The Parenting Patch did a great cloth diaper insert absorbency test on some of her inserts.  She tested out Fuzzi Bunz minky, Best Bottom Hemp, Sunbaby Bamboo, and Alva Baby bamboo.  When I shared it on my Facebook page, one of my readers asked about BumGenius diaper inserts.  With that in mind, I figured I’d pick up where Heather left off and test some of my own inserts.

Testing Jamtots, BumGenius, large Blueberry, and small Blueberry inserts

Testing Jamtots, BumGenius, large Blueberry, and small Blueberry inserts

I tested four inserts: a BumGenius 4.0 large microfiber insert, a Blueberry large microfiber insert, a Blueberry small microfiber insert, and a Jamtots hemp insert.

My testing method was a bit different than Heather’s method.  (This was just the easiest, most scientific way for me to be exact.)  I started out with my four inserts.  I weighed each insert dry.  After that, I soaked each insert in a liter of water for two minutes, then allowed the insert to dip for one minute.  I then weighed the wet insert.  To test how compression would impact each insert, I gently squeezed out the extra moisture from each insert and again weighed it.

Some metric conversion stuff for you: one liter of water is approximately a quart.  I used the scale to weigh the wet inserts because one milliliter of water weighs one gram, so it was just the most simplistic method I could think of.  Oh, and a cup of water is roughly 250 milliliters.

Jamtots:
dry weight: 58 g
soaked weight: 219 g
wrung out weight: 164 g

So the Jamtots absorbed 161 mL of water, which is roughly 2/3 of a cup.  After I squeezed out the extra water, there was 106 mL remaining, which is just under 1/2 a cup.  The Jamtots insert held roughly twice its weight in water after compressing!  For the compression test, the Jamtots lost 34% of the moisture.  I believe I squeezed the Jamtots most vigorously since it’s harder to tell by feel with the Jamtots insert.

BumGenius 4.0:
dry weight: 63 g
soaked weight: 311 g
wrung out weight: 221 g

The BumGenius 4.0 insert absorbed 248 mL of water in two minutes, which is just short of a full cup of water!  However, it’s microfiber, so it is more prone to compression than the hemp insert tested above.  After wringing out the extra water, it was down to 158 mL remaining, which is roughly 2/3 of a cup.  Had I been more vigourous with squeezing out the water, I probably would have lost more water.  What this demonstrated is that while microfiber is extremely efficient at absorbing moisture very quickly, it’s quite prone to compression.  After compression, there was a 37% reduction in absorbed moisture.

Small Blueberry:
dry weight: 41 g
soaked weight: 255 g
wrung out weight: 128 g

The small Blueberry insert absorbed 214 mL of water in two minutes, which is essentially 9/10 of a cup of water.  Again, it’s also microfiber, so the same details after wringing out apply.  After wringing out, I was left with 87 mL of water, which is just over 1/3 of a cup.  That amount of compression was more in line with a baby truly compressing the diaper.  After compression, there was a 60% reduction in the absorbed moisture.

Large Blueberry:
dry weight: 73 g
soaked weight: 377 g
rung out weight: 241 g

In two minutes, the large Blueberry insert absorbed 304 mL of water, which translates out to over 1 and 1/4 cups!  Again, it’s microfiber, which makes for a super fast absorption rate, but the same compression issues still apply.  After wringing out (again, more vigourously than the BumGenius wring out), 168 mL (or just under 3/4 of a cup) remained.  That’s a compression loss of 45%.

Ultimately, the winners for most absorbed after compression were:

1st: Large Blueberry
2nd: BumGenius 4.0
3rd: Jamtots
4th: Small Blueberry

Disclosure: Some links are Amazon affiliate links.  Should you buy an item from one of them, I will receive a small commission, which is used to support Cloth Diaper Addicts.

Cloth Diaper Laundry and Bleach

Would you use this on your fluff?

Getting your cloth diaper laundry routine just right is a very personal thing.  There are a lot of factors that can influence the perfect cloth diaper laundry routine: water type, washing machine, number of diapers washed, the type of diapers, your kid’s deposits, and how you handle those kid’s deposits.  That’s just for the normal stuff.  Then there are the other things that come up.

Sometimes, I see a post in a group or community that suggests that one use bleach on cloth diapers.  I wince when I see that.  You see, using bleach on cloth diapers depends entirely on a few things.  (I’m realizing that “It depends” is a common answer when one is first using cloth diapers.  How maddening for the beginner or the curious!) [Read more…]