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Thread: Cloth and diminishing returns

  1. #1

    Default Cloth and diminishing returns

    So I got my second cloth prefold from Changing Times, and can't wait to try it out. I have two cloth prefolds, and as they were what I wore as a baby, I seem to be, as a DL, attracted to them. Here's my query:

    Since I only use cloth about three times a week, is there diminishing returns here? I wear disposables regularly. And when I do wear cloth, since I wear so seldom I wash them in the morning with two or three towels...hardly a full load. I got them in part to cut down on land fill use etc, but does all the extra water and electricity, in your experience, justify their use?

    Any response/advice appreciated.

    Oh, btw, I look amazingly like my picture/icon whatever. The proper word fails me.
    Last edited by xtrabulk; 04-May-2013 at 04:56. Reason: Additional info

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrabulk View Post
    So I got my second cloth prefold from Changing Times, and can't wait to try it out. I have two cloth prefolds, and as they were what I wore as a baby, I seem to be, as a DL, attracted to them. Here's my query: Since I only use cloth about three times a week, is there diminishing returns here? I wear disposables regularly. And when I do wear cloth, since I wear so seldom I wash them in the morning with two or three towels...hardly a full load. I got them in part to cut down on land fill use etc, but does all the extra water and electricity, in your experience, justify their use? Any response/advice appreciated. Oh, btw, I look amazingly like my picture/icon whatever. The proper word fails me.
    You look amazingly like your AVATAR. I wear cloth (with plastic panties) exclusively. In my experience, the extra water and electricity are a pittance. Besides, cloth simply works more effectively than disposables, IMHO.

  3. #3

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    Without studying the costs after a few months it's hard to tell, but in the long term you'd still probably end up saving money. You are able to keep wet cloths in a wet/dry bin up to three days fine by the way, so if you want to cut down even more wash on the 3rd day by the latest. If it's a messy cloth it's a day max in my opinion but that's different.

  4. #4

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    Depending on local utility costs and the efficiency of your setup and how pricey of a detergent you use, you should expect to spend between $1.00 and $1.75 per load of laundry for electricity, water, and soap. Keep in mind that roughly 70% of electricity in the US is from coal so theres that to consider. The dryer is the biggest hog of electricity (I'm assuming its electric and not gas) in the equation (it runs on 220v), hang your diapers up to dry and it'll definitely be worth it.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrabulk View Post
    So I got my second cloth prefold from Changing Times, and can't wait to try it out. I have two cloth prefolds, and as they were what I wore as a baby, I seem to be, as a DL, attracted to them. Here's my query:

    Since I only use cloth about three times a week, is there diminishing returns here? I wear disposables regularly. And when I do wear cloth, since I wear so seldom I wash them in the morning with two or three towels...hardly a full load. I got them in part to cut down on land fill use etc, but does all the extra water and electricity, in your experience, justify their use?
    Well, first off, I hope you enjoy the Changing Times prefolds. They're my current favorite. I recommend five prep washes (at least) to get them fully quilted up and shrunk. And if you're pinning, you'll definitely be wanting to use the soap trick (store pins in a bar of soap) or the hair trick (run the pins through your hair first), as the twill is more difficult to get pins through than gauze. Or perhaps you ordered some Boingos from Changing Times also. They're great.

    Anyway, to answer your question...

    Yes. The less you use your cloth diapers, the less the apparent savings will be. But that's not to say that you aren't justifying their use. You like them and you're using them, right? Justified. It's nice to be able to say that one's choice of diaper is economically and environmentally sound, but as DLs we aren't often blessed with the ability to look at these things so objectively. I know I can't! Truly, honestly, these things have no bearing on what I wear. Rather, I wear cloth diapers because I'm attracted to them, and that's really all there is to it. Totally justified, IMO.

  6. #6

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    I've been wearing my Dependeco AIO's with a stuffer everynight since the first of the year. I have definately saved money. I don't have laundry facilities so I have to hand
    wash and air dry mine. I'm l lucky all my bills are paid so all I have invested is my cost of detergent and time which I have alot of.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BabySarahLauren View Post
    You look amazingly like your AVATAR. I wear cloth (with plastic panties) exclusively. In my experience, the extra water and electricity are a pittance. Besides, cloth simply works more effectively than disposables, IMHO.
    Same here, I wear only flannel cloth diapers with babyish plastic panties at bed time. Nothing beats it for leaks, comfort and costs.

  8. #8

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    I remember these debates from the 80's when my kids were little. Disposables were then just displacing cloth. The producers of disposables published studies that concluded they were cheaper, trying to overcome consumer reluctance. When you looked at the figures closely, they included things like amortizing the cost of the washer and dryer. (Well, maybe if you didn't use cloth diapers you could get by without a washing machine. Ever hear of paper dresses?)

    So, what's cheapest? Cloth/line dry. I have the good fortune for this to be a realistic option for me about half the year. What's most efficient/environment friendly? Probably diaper services. (They used to have them back in the 80's.) But I really don't think I could manage to use one for myself (or my kids, come to think of it) even if they did still exist.

    Soap and water are cheap. Plastic doesn't cost much, but isn't cheap in any realistic accounting. Dryers are very expensive.

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