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Pay Laundry - Is Cloth Worth it?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok, so with DS we have used cloth diapers and have had a great experience. DS is almost done with diapers (hopefully ) but Baby#2 will be here in July sometime.

We moved this month and now have to pay for laundry. $1 to wash and $1 to dry.

How do I figure if cloth is worth it? I can line dry some (we live in the Midwest so the weather is iffy and is only warm enough to line dry 3-4 months out of the year). Is the wash time + dry time + newborn too much or totally doable?
post #2 of 17
How much would you be spending per diaper on disposables?

Is it coin-op laundry in your building (more or less) or do you have to drive to it?

I've been using flats and ECing (with cloth on the bum 24/7 it is not as scary as it sounded) and your break-even point there is somewhat different than with diapers that cost more (or dry slower) or with using more diapers in a day (I used the same number at first but at 5-6 months noticably fewer.) I've known someone who washed prefolds in a bathtub longterm and just knowing someone who did is enough to make me consider it (if the alternative is "pay a lot of money to throw things away" or "spend any amount of time in laundromats with small children")
post #3 of 17
We were away from home for 2 months once, and did this calculation (for us, at the time) and it was much more expensive to do cloth, and pay laundry. (we also had to do laundry like every 3 days, and it was a drive)

The main problem we had was other people's soap left over in the machines gave us crazy build-up. We never did get the courage to switch to disposables, but we did verify that it was more expensive to use cloth (we priced out disposables)

This was for a 14m old and a newbie, for older kids they use less diapers so it might be easier, I don't know.
post #4 of 17
We looked at the finances of CD pretty carefully (since honestly that is 75% of he reason we do cloth- sorry but I think sposies are way more convenient!) And the conclusion we came to was the with coin-op laundry it isn't worth it. Assuming you use cheap sposies, and not Pampers, you break even but have wayyyyy less work to do. That wins hands down with a newborn, IMO.

That said, if you hang dry cloth probably is slightly cheaper. You can hang dry even in the winter if you use flats or other quick drying options- we set our drying rack up in the bathtub or living room in the winter, and flats will dry overnight.
post #5 of 17
Do you already own the diapers? If not, what would you spend on diapers? How many do you have and how often would you need to wash them?
post #6 of 17
I have cloth diapered while washing coin-op twice, once with just one child (16 mo) and with two (newborn and 22 mo) while saving up for a washing machine the first time and waiting for a repair the second time. I also have traveled several times for weeks and used coin-op facilities too. $1 a machine is cheaper than my town too. My kids have sensitivities to all sorts of stuff and that is a contributing factor to my decision to cloth diaper but I have never had an issue with left over soap residue on the diapers. I think, if your breast feeding anyway, coin-op washing would be just fine since your diapers will washout very easily. I like flats for when I have to wash at a laundry mat because they do wash clean easier and they dry quicker. You can stuff pocket dipes with them too. When my first son was born I didn't have a drier to ran a line on a pulley across the ceiling and the flats dried very quickly there too. I would go for it.
post #7 of 17
I used a laundromat for cloth and didn't have a problem with it. I had a ton of cloth and would just go once a week. I would rinse them all out at home by hand to make sure they would come out clean in 1 wash. Spent about $4 a week to wash them.
post #8 of 17
I'm sure this idea sounds nuts to alot of people but we hand wash all our diapers and clothes. Every once in awhile I'll get fed up and throw everything in the regular laundry here but Monday and Thursday of a normal week I'm washing diapers. With prefolds its actually really easy. Just something to consider. Also I actually have found that in the winter in the midwest (we used to live in Michigan) its nice to hang dry laundry as it humidifies the uber dry air from the heater.
post #9 of 17
I think it's still worth it, especially in the summer when you can hang them outside. You can always do half and half too, and just see how it goes.
post #10 of 17
I think it depends if you already own the diapers (it sounds like you do)

If you already have a full stash of diapers and your ONLY expense would be for the washing machine...then you will save money.
post #11 of 17
I think it would be worth it if you owned the dipes already. What about something like this? http://www.amazon.com/BRAND-NOT-SPEC.../dp/B000BTDNEK

Then you don't have to pay for the coin-op washer and have the ease of washing in your own house
post #12 of 17
When I was using a laundromat, I calculated that it was more expensive to wash and dry cloth than it was to use disposables, and that's without factoring in the initial cost of the cloth diapers. However, my calculations were based on machine drying the diapers.

My experience with line drying prefolds indoors in the Midwest has not been great--I've had diapers still damp after two days of hanging indoors. And even outdoors, it takes all day. But if you could use flats, I bet it would be doable. I'm thinking of switching to flats myself partly because they do line dry so easily, even indoors.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok, so after reading through this and doing some math I have decided to stick with the cloth for now and re-evaluate as needed.

-I already own 70 newborn/infant prefolds ($0)
-I have large covers that I can trade down/sell for newborn covers ($0)
-It is really warm out and I can line dry for now ($0)
-Laundry is in the building so I don't travel = no gas ($0)

-I need a toilet sprayer (I forgot ours when we moved) ($45)
-Washing will cost $1 load + time
-Time - I hate, hate, hate doing laundry. DH stayed home when DS 1 was little and did it all so this will be a stretch for me - but as we are trying to save, save, save I think it will be worth it in the end.
post #14 of 17
Depending if you coupon and grocery game you can get diapers for next to nothing.... My 'buying point' is no more than 10c per diaper
post #15 of 17
I did it and I wouldn't again. Especially with a newborn- you don't have the time/energy to sit there and wash every couple days.

And you'll end up spending more anyway.
post #16 of 17
To me CD isn't about cost, it's about not filling up the landfill.
post #17 of 17
I've never used a toilet sprayer.
EBF poop? washer takes care of it.
Chunky eating real food (chewing optional) poop? Scrape off into the toilet with one of those dollar-store-type white plastic spatulas (wipe, wash :-b and store under sink someplace secure.)
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