My First Experience with Used Cloth Diapers

During these past few weeks, I joined a local CD group ( Lehigh Valley Diaper Circle. Seriously, this group is awesome. Judgment free and so helpful with CD’s!) I also asked Sara, owner of Ju-Ju Monkey, for help.

When you are new to cloth diapering, every day of using them offers something new to learn. I began noticing spots and red staining on my newly purchased diapers. Then a leak here and there. I tried stripping once, but it didn’t seem to help. (Looking back, my stripping method wasn’t correct) During these few weeks, I began to fully understand the pitfalls of incorrect laundering and using wrong detergents/products. I was sad. Sad that I spent money on these diapers not knowing how they were handled and washed in their prior life. Sad that I didn’t have more experience in troubleshooting the problem. Sad that I work full time and didn’t have the extra time to strip, strip and strip these beauties.

My journey into cloth diapering began by doing an internet search for “cloth diapers Lehigh Valley”. I didn't know anything about them, and was honestly drawn to them initially because they were so cute and ‘cool’. My search showed that there was a store local to me, Ju-Ju Monkey. And the best part? They had a newborn diaper rental program and class – how fitting for me!

I took the ‘101’ class with Sara, and began my rental. The first few months of my sons’ life were trial and error with cloth diapers. I never took to the prefold/cover method, and loved my pockets and AIO’s. Once I returned the rental products, my crazy diaper obsession began full force.

I purchased some diapers brand new, and some used. I searched high and low for my favorite brands (which were Blueberry Simplex AIO at the time). I found about 2 dozen of them on an online swapper group. My eyes gleamed in delight as I was the first commenter to say I wanted them.

A few clicks with Paypal, four painfully long shipping days, and the package was here. I raced to the porch and ripped open the box. More fluff to add to my neatly organized stash. I washed the diapers before using, and a few weeks went by.

To my delight, she offers a diaper stripping service. I passed off my crunchy, leaky and stained diapers to Sara. About a week later, and all I can say is WOW! The diapers were soft again and stain free. And the best part? No leaks! Back into rotation they go.

I took away a few things from this experience.

  1. Find a true professional to consult for laundry advice. Sara is a board member of the RDA (Real Diaper Association) and Treasurer/Board member of the RDIA (Real Diaper Industry Association). Online boards and communities are great for many things, but not for CD laundry advice. Stick with science and facts…not what has worked for Jane Doe for the past 5 years. Type of washer, water, diapers and fabrics all play a HUGE role in getting down a good wash routine.
  2. Buyer beware on used diapers. Yes, I could browse online swap sites all day for diapers. Yes, sometimes the prices are awesome. Yes, it IS addicting. BUT…these all come at a cost. I spent time, frustration and money on my ‘used’ diaper deal after purchasing them. Will I ever buy a used diaper again? Without a doubt. But I will certainly buy new and from a local retailer as much as I can. Supporting locals is the way to go!
  3.  It’s ok to screw up. It happens. You get caught up in the rush of buying online and reading the laundry advice of 47 different Mom blogs. But luckily, there is always a professional to help get your diapers back to square one. Check out the RDA here for tons of helpful info.

About the Author

Tara is a full time working Mom to one little boy born 06/2013. She was a mainstream style parent pre-baby who turned crunchy soon after he was born. She loves baby wearing and cloth diapering. Her and her hubby live with their 2 Chinese Crested dogs in the Lehigh Valley.


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