Using Cloth Diapers and a Diaper Sprayer
If you’ve decided to use cloth diapers for your newborn baby, you already know that the biggest challenge is keeping them cleaned and ready. Your first instinct when dealing with soiled cloth diapers is to wash them in your sink; unfortunately, sink-washing your diapers lets their contents soak into the water and stay there, which makes more problems than it solves.
Next, you might try dropping dirty diapers directly into a washing machine. While this is possible, you need to be sure of two things; you’re only washing a load of diapers and you have the right balance of detergent to clean them without leaving a residue of either fecal matter or detergent, both of which can irritate your baby’s skin.
What you really need is a way to effectively pre-clean the diapers beforehand for either method, and your best option is a designated cloth diaper sprayer. Of course, before we get into a sprayer, it might be best to start off with the basics.
What Are Cloth Diapers?
Not surprisingly, a cloth diaper is a diaper that’s made of cloth and is designed to be cleaned and reused, in contrast to disposable nonwoven nylon designs. At its simplest level, a cloth diaper is going to be a single layer of absorbing material in a square (called a “flat”) that is designed to be folded and then secured in place, either by something as simple as a safety pin or something as modern as a rubber fastener called a Snappi, and covered with some kind of waterproof outer shell.
However, the simple design of a single layer of cotton has undergone some major developments, and you now have choices like multiple absorbent layers, contoured cloth diapers, all in one or all in two designs that incorporate the waterproof and absorbent layers together, just like a disposable diaper, and even diaper liners designed to make cleanup just a bit easier . Because the market for cloth diapers is nice and open, there’s not really a “best” cloth diaper, except the one that is best for your child.
What Is A Cloth Diaper Sprayer?
In its most basic form, a cloth diaper sprayer is a spray nozzle you can screw into one of your water pipes (usually near a toilet) for the express purposes of pre-cleaning dirty diapers. Installation usually isn’t terribly technical; simply turn off and unscrew your toilet from the water pipe in the back, add a T-valve splitter, and screw one end into your cloth diaper sprayer, one end into the water pipe, and the other into your toilet.
Once it’s installed, operation is usually just pulling a trigger and spraying dirty diapers clean, letting the residue flow down into your toilet bowl. The SmarterFresh cloth diaper sprayer is popular amongst parents using cloth diapers for the first time. You can check out the reviews on Amazon.
For fancier models, you are going to get a few more options that will help you clean diapers off more easily. With adjustable water pressure, you can increase the power of your sprayer, getting your cloth diapers even cleaner before a wash. If you happen to get one, an optional bucket can secure to your toilet seat and secure your diapers in place, making cleanup that much more hassle-free. You can even find models that are anti-microbial, keeping the sprayer cleaner for much longer.
Why Use Cloth Diapers?
Using cloth diapers and cloth diaper sprayers is a solid choice for the environmentally conscious consumer, especially compared to disposable diapers. By cleaning and reusing sets of cloth diapers, you can keep part of the up to 20 billion disposable diapers out of landfills and stop using part of the 200,000 trees and 3.4 billion gallons of oil needed to make them. Instead, you can use well-made cloth diapers at a fraction of the price; with a little pre-cleaning and washing, you can save hundreds of dollars every year.
In addition to your environmental concerns, using natural woven fabrics against your baby’s sensitive skin can be much more comfortable than the plastics or nylon blends found in disposable diapers, which can make chafing and diaper rashes happen faster.
In contrast, what you get with cloth diapers are real, woven fabrics that can be incredibly soft exactly where softness is needed most. Also, because cloth diapers are designed for the long haul, you’ll find most of them are made with higher quality fabrics and designed with better fasteners than disposable models; essentially, like good adult clothing, they’re just made to last longer.
Whatever cloth diaper your baby needs, it’s a smart choice for both of you, as well as the environment. When you compare the quality, environmental impact, and overall savings of a good cloth diaper with disposables, you’ll find that the right cloth diaper will win every single time.
- Kevin Thill