Yes, we used a diaper service for our son for the first 4 months and will do so again in May for our daughter.
It is an amazing thing
Re. chemicals and bleach, there are public health standards that a diaper service must adhere to b/c simply its the law and they are washing mass amounts of diapers all together in the same industrial washers *shrug* Its how they have to do it for sanitary reasons.
Our son is a very fair and sensitive skinned little guy and never once has he had a rash or was affected by any necessary use of bleach on the diaper service's part.
We did our research and our service here which is family-run and been around since the 1930's employs a very stringent and elaborate 11+ step process you could not even try to duplicate at home and that yes includes bleach. The bleach is not used in the last 4 or so steps so it is long rinsed away by the time it comes to your house. We never once smelled anything bleachy or bad-smelling and the prefolds are immaculate, clean, spotless and very soft.
I understand not using chemicals i.e. bleach when its in your private home and only touching your baby's bum but in a diaper service situation, you certainly want them to clean the diapers in the mandated, proper sanitizing way.
Once we got to month 4 with our son, we got our own stash and we launder them ourselves in either Bio-Kleen or Country Save and our woolies in Eucalan but yeah, we have no problem with how our diaper service cleans their diapers and are looking forward to not having to deal with all the hassle of newborn diapers- so many!
A plus of diaper services is that they further reduce one's carbon footprint b/c all your diapers are being washed all at once together with others so it uses less power and less water than if you did it at home.
Here's a stat quote on that...
"Commercially laundered cotton diapers use one-half the energy of home washed and one-third the energy of disposable diapers. Home laundering uses 2.5 times as much net water per diaper change than diaper service."
And a lot of diaper services like ours I know use trucks run on natural gas which is better environmentally too.
Anyway, if you have a service in your area, I say take advantage of it esp. if you live in an apt. and would have to use a coin-op machine.
We now live in a house and have an LG steam machine but we were in your position with our son and it was not easy.