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Ask Erika: Help! My cloth diapers are balding!

Help! My cloth diapers are balding!

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Q:

I have two sets of unbleached cloth diapers. One set was purchased brand new about 4 years ago, and the second set was purchased used a couple of weeks ago. The second set is very new but beginning to bald and look worse than my 4-year-old diapers! Can you help explain why this is?

A:

Cloth diapers that are made with natural fabrics (cotton, bamboo, etc) will eventually begin balding and wear out. Balding can occur for a few different reasons, but the most common would be from repeatedly washing your diapers.

The balding process happens as the natural fibers weaken, from repeated washing, and fall out. Some of this evidence can be found in your lint trap of your dryer. If you stop to think about it, a set of 24 Mother ease cloth diapers used in rotation are washed (on average) every other day. Multiply this by the average time a child takes to potty train (2 ½ years – if you’re using One Size diapers), and a set of diapers will be washed around 450 times! Now just imagine what a pair of jeans would look like if you washed them that many times!

If the balding of your diapers start prematurely, there are a few possibilities:

  1. Sufficient quantity of diapers – Mother ease recommends having 24 cloth diapers – you will use approximately 10 – 12 diapers with a newborn (less as they grow older) to allow for full wash loads (you need enough hot water, detergent, and agitation from the diapers to effectively clean) leaving you with just enough diapers until these are cleaned and dried. If you have less than 24 cloth diapers, you will wash more often, increasing the wear and tear on the diapers – wearing them out quicker.
  2. Double rinse – a lot of parents like to add extra rinses – to make sure no detergent is left etc, but this adds yet another cycle where the diapers are abused – shortening their life expectancy.
  3. Additives/Detergent – This would only affect our natural fabrics (organic cotton, unbleached and colored cotton and bamboo). When laundry detergents or additives containing sodium percarbonate or hydrogen peroxide (alternative bleach) are combined with uric acid and ammonia, a reaction occurs causing the natural fibers to dissolve from your diapers. This leaves you with reduced absorbency and ill-looking diapers. Unfortunately, once this process has begun, there is nothing that can be done to undo it. Read our complete washing instructions.

The Mother ease difference:

When I began designing our cloth diapers, I needed a fabric that held a lot of liquid, absorbed quickly, was simple to launder, and soft! But, also durable enough to withstand being laundered many times.

After searching for years through fabric supply stores, I eventually gave up and had a local knitter develop my very own custom fabrics to accommodate everything I needed the fabric to do!

We add a polyester core to the Bamboo and Cotton fabrics which help to completely control the shrinkage and add durability to our fabrics. The polyester core never touches your baby’s skin. Read more about the fabrics we offer.

Our Organic Cotton does not have this polyester core. When this fabric begins to bald and wear out, you will see holes in the diaper. Because there is no polyester in this fabric, this diaper does not endure as long. We recommend having at least 24 Organic Cotton diapers in order to last through one child. Some parents are able to use them longer, others are not.

In the Wizard line, we offer a Stay Dry fabric, which keeps your baby feeling dry and comfortable and also never looses any absorbency! This fabric also would never bald. The Stay Dry fabric uses a microfiber core.

With Mother ease Diapers, you can be sure that they are designed to last. Take it from our years of testimonials from parents like you, telling us time and time again that not only one child was put through the same set of Mother ease diapers, but many children were!

If you have a question you’d like answered, contact us. We’re always happy to help!

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