has anyone used a diaper service? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 02-12-2010, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hubby and i have an old, coin operated washing machine in the basement of our apartment, accessible from the outside. we hang all laundry to dry and it takes up lots of space in apartment. we were thinking that cloth diapering would be much easier if we used a local diaper service-$19.50 a week for 70 prefolds. Anyone used one and care to share their experience?

Mama to L 5.12.10 ...Expecting another 1/1/12!

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#2 of 26 Old 02-12-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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I have not but wanted to...it seemed like there was only one around here, and that they needed a couple people in the same town to be able to do it, so I decided to forgo it. I wish a couple more would crop up around here!

Em, married to Alex, mom to Samantha (11 yrs) and Cullen (5yrs) and Maybe (5/16/2010) Trying to grow 4,000lbs of produce on .2 acres. See my blog!
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#3 of 26 Old 02-12-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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We looked into it and decided that it was counterproductive to much of what we were trying to achieve with cloth diapers, i.e. alleviating harmful chemical exposure for baby and earth.

Most diaper services use some pretty hardcore chemicals to clean the diapers and then use bleach to get the diapers white.

That said, there might be a "green" one in your area that does not. We don't have any in our area that met this criteria which is odd given how many "filthy treehuggers" live in the city

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#4 of 26 Old 02-12-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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As a shower gift (knowing we were not going the disposable route) I was gifted 6 months of diaper service. It was really nice. I really loved diapering and thought that having it all taken care of for me was really nice when I was a working mama and just trying to figure everything out. I can imagine in your place using a coin op laundry would make using cloth much more difficult. I would most definitely opt for a diaper service over doing all the work myself if I had to go to the basement to pay to wash dipes, and hanging them to dry every day (every few days). We wash our dipes and hang dry them at least once a week, but it's nice to have the speed of getting them though the dryer too. One of the things that *I* prefer about cloth is that I don't feel :bad: at all taking a barely wet diaper off and tossing it in the hamper. I'd rather have a clean fresh one on all the time. Not having to worry about when and how much the laundry will fit into the schedule is really helpful. Not to mention the times I've tossed my dipes in the washer before bed and let them soak all night and then run the machine in the morning.

We ended buying our own stash of diapers shortly before our gift was up because of an extended trip. We were leaving on the trip the day before our diapers were supposed to come (so leaving with a bunch of dirty dipes) and rather than buy disposables for the trip, we went ahead and created a stash and then stopped the diaper service shortly after.


I think in your case, if it is available it would be great for you!! It was awesome for me when I needed it!
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#5 of 26 Old 02-12-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Subbing because we're planning to use a service too. We have a washer/dryer and I'd sort of rather do my own, but DP is sold on the service and so I'm willing to give it a go and see how it works out...

Jen, L&D RN, CBE, CLEC who loves to knit.gif! I adore my modifiedartist.gifDP, treehugger.gifDD 10/98, & sweet new babygirl.gif5/10!!!
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#6 of 26 Old 02-12-2010, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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our other option would be to go to the laundromat once a week to wash diapers. diaper service would be once a week pick up as well. i like the idea of supporting diaper service/WAHM business but cost effectiveness is important as well..

Mama to L 5.12.10 ...Expecting another 1/1/12!

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#7 of 26 Old 02-12-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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I did! It was wonderful. We didn't have a washer/dryer for a while and this allowed us to CD when otherwise we wouldn't have been able to. It was very cost effective, and I adored how soft and broken in all the prefolds were. All we had to buy were a few covers and some Snappis.

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#8 of 26 Old 02-13-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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My MIL offered to buy us a year's worth of diapering service. But, I think something like this:

http://www.lge.com/us/appliances/was...mbos/index.jsp (WFS)

would be a much better use of money. Especially if you are planning on having more than 1 child and diapering for more than 1 year (uhhh, yeah).

Note that the above washer/dryer combo can be put ANYWHERE, do not need external vent source. You can put them in closets, etc.

This is what I am hoping to get for a baby present

Jenna, Mama to my little sprocket, born at home 5/29/2010
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#9 of 26 Old 02-13-2010, 03:02 AM
 
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My MIL offered to buy us a year's worth of diapering service. But, I think something like this:

http://www.lge.com/us/appliances/was...mbos/index.jsp (WFS)

would be a much better use of money. Especially if you are planning on having more than 1 child and diapering for more than 1 year (uhhh, yeah).

Note that the above washer/dryer combo can be put ANYWHERE, do not need external vent source. You can put them in closets, etc.

This is what I am hoping to get for a baby present
Hey, that looks sweet. How do you think the long cycle time and steam (instead of water) will do for diapers?

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#10 of 26 Old 02-13-2010, 05:23 AM
 
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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 so convenient.
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.
Good luck!

Happily married with two tots (babyboy.gif J 10/18/08) & (babygirl.gif T 5/03/10) 

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#11 of 26 Old 02-13-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by OrchideZ View Post
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.
Good luck!
I am confused by the natural gas part. That's a huge contributor to a large carbon footprint. Do you mean it's "cleaner" than diesel fuel? Diesel is not the culprit as much as the old engines it's being processed through in most areas. I'd much prefer a company use biodiesel or a hybrid/diesel combination if they are interested in being earth friendly.


I see the point about washing en masse but I think it can really only counter the fact that they have to wash repeatedly and they are using industrial chemicals which leech into the earth, kwim?

Jenrett, I've never seen anything like this! How cool.

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#12 of 26 Old 02-13-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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Hey, that looks sweet. How do you think the long cycle time and steam (instead of water) will do for diapers?
I have no idea....I have never washed diapers before!

OrchideZ - good info, thanks!!

Starfish....isn't that neat? I was looking at frontloading washer/dryers, my DH said that LG was the best brand, and I stumbled across these!!! My biggest problem with laundry is that I forget to move the stuff from the washer to the dryer for a day or two and it gets all moldy smelling....this seems to mitigate that!

Jenna, Mama to my little sprocket, born at home 5/29/2010
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#13 of 26 Old 02-13-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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Starfish....isn't that neat? I was looking at frontloading washer/dryers, my DH said that LG was the best brand, and I stumbled across these!!! My biggest problem with laundry is that I forget to move the stuff from the washer to the dryer for a day or two and it gets all moldy smelling....this seems to mitigate that!
It's seriously neat for sure. I have the same issue that you do with remembering to shift the laundry

I really hope you get it as I want to know all about it! That sounds really selfish; I mean I really hope you get it b/c you want it

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#14 of 26 Old 02-15-2010, 03:44 AM
 
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Starfish: Compressed natural gas is cleaner burning than both gasoline and diesel and produces 80% less ozone forming emissions than gasoline does.
Here is a link if you wanna read up on it.

Re. chemicals that leech, our diaper service only uses one (aside from the necessary bleach) that is a mold inhibitor and the amount they use is 1 ounce for every 100 pounds of laundry. We found that proportion to be a-okay with us.
As for the amount of water used, their machines use less than most home washing machines do b/c its done on a mass scale and they also use reclaimed water.
If you or any other mamas wanna know more about energy saving, diaper services and the health benefits of cotton, etc. you can email them over at dy-dee diapers.com. They are most forthcoming and eager to answer questions! I definitely always recommend using a diaper service if you are lucky enough to have one in your area esp. for the newborn phase and also if your only other option is a coin-op. Anything to avoid Pampers I say

Jen: We have the LG steam washer and dryer (separate not in one machine but same concept) and I thank my lucky stars for them every single day.
I have heard on my local mama's group neg things said re. front loaders but they are never LGs. Apparently, some other brands have a stinky, mold issue so I say, if you are gonna get a new set, go for the LG.
We wash our son's diapers on the sanitary cycle using only 1/2 scoop of Bio-Kleen powder (HE machines not only use less water but 1/2 as much detergent) and a scoop or so of Oxo-Brite and they come out immaculate looking and smelling fresh. The washer and dryer also have a nifty child lock feature. Believe me, we need this. Our son is always trying to push the buttons and lights little monkey that he is!

Happily married with two tots (babyboy.gif J 10/18/08) & (babygirl.gif T 5/03/10) 

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#15 of 26 Old 02-16-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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OrchideZ - I am glad to hear the good review about the LG! We were just looking at them yesterday....Sears has a 25% off sale through today, unfortunately, we don't have the $$ today I hope we can get one though!! Even if it's not an all in one

Jenna, Mama to my little sprocket, born at home 5/29/2010
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#16 of 26 Old 02-17-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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We used a diaper service with DD for about a year. It was GREAT! Once a week you put your load of dirty diapers outside in the evening and in the morning you discover instead of it a bag of clean diapers. They were doing the delivery at 5am.
I started washing my own diapers after DD was a year old.

We are definetely going to do the diaper service again with this babe. Whatever can make our life a little easier, I say - go for it!

Sophie, wife to DH, AP mama to DD1 (12/07) and DD2 (04/10)
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#17 of 26 Old 02-17-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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We used a diaper service with dd. Loved it. We received roughly 70 cloth diapers a week for about $20. It was worth it for us because at the time we lived in an apt. and it would have cost us a fortune to take it to the laundromat. I loved it, and I'm thinking of doing it again for this baby.
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#18 of 26 Old 02-17-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Here, i can only find 1 diaper service company and they are about $24 a week, and DH said I'd have to sell all of my CD stash before we could consider this LOL.

I know the health/earth benefits of this, but it does make it the same cost as disposables at this point.

I think we'll stick with our own diapers, I do have plenty of them, and figure out which ones we like the most.

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#19 of 26 Old 02-17-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OrchideZ View Post
Starfish: Compressed natural gas is cleaner burning than both gasoline and diesel and produces 80% less ozone forming emissions than gasoline does.
Here is a link if you wanna read up on it.

Re. chemicals that leech, our diaper service only uses one (aside from the necessary bleach) that is a mold inhibitor and the amount they use is 1 ounce for every 100 pounds of laundry. We found that proportion to be a-okay with us.
As for the amount of water used, their machines use less than most home washing machines do b/c its done on a mass scale and they also use reclaimed water.
If you or any other mamas wanna know more about energy saving, diaper services and the health benefits of cotton, etc. you can email them over at dy-dee diapers.com. They are most forthcoming and eager to answer questions! I definitely always recommend using a diaper service if you are lucky enough to have one in your area esp. for the newborn phase and also if your only other option is a coin-op. Anything to avoid Pampers I say

Jen: We have the LG steam washer and dryer (separate not in one machine but same concept) and I thank my lucky stars for them every single day.
I have heard on my local mama's group neg things said re. front loaders but they are never LGs. Apparently, some other brands have a stinky, mold issue so I say, if you are gonna get a new set, go for the LG.
We wash our son's diapers on the sanitary cycle using only 1/2 scoop of Bio-Kleen powder (HE machines not only use less water but 1/2 as much detergent) and a scoop or so of Oxo-Brite and they come out immaculate looking and smelling fresh. The washer and dryer also have a nifty child lock feature. Believe me, we need this. Our son is always trying to push the buttons and lights little monkey that he is!
Bleach is on my top five chemicals to avoid. Again, I think there are some diaper services that will do as much as they can to be green, but those are not as plentiful as those that don't and aren't.

I think we just don't agree on this topic, which, obviously, is just fine

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#20 of 26 Old 02-17-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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We didn't have a washer for a while when dd was a baby and I had two in cloth diapers. Unfortunantly, both of them have very sensitive skin and the bleach that the diaper services use would have ripped up their poor little bums, so I ended up having to wash all the diapers in the bathtub for about 2 months until we could afford to replace our washer.

Tara - nurse and wife to a nurse, mama to four, Izak (7/28/99), Liam (9/25/06), Freya (5/28/08) and Luna (5/19/10)
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#21 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 04:26 AM
 
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OrchideZ - I am glad to hear the good review about the LG! We were just looking at them yesterday....Sears has a 25% off sale through today, unfortunately, we don't have the $$ today I hope we can get one though!! Even if it's not an all in one
Yeah those all in ones seem so futuristic and dreamy! Our LG set is pretty amazing though. I was happier the day we got those than when I got my antique engagment ring
We love it so.
ps- funny story relating to diapers and wash...I could not find my purse today for anything. I looked everywhere. Everywhere! Then tonight I was doing the diapers and when I went to dump the dirty diaper bin into the washer, I heard a distinctive jingle jangle of change, realized my purse was in the hamper thanks to my toddler. I guess he thought it needed a good wash.

**My son speaking about bleach is a very very fair towhead with sensitive skin...his daddy is a strawberry blonde who also is very sensitive. That is the main reason we do no PUL and only use organic fabrics for his diapers and exclusively wool covers as well as wool sleeping pads. We only bathe him in Weleda Calendula wash. You get the picture.
Anyway, we exclusively used our diaper service for his first 4 months and he NEVER had a rash or a hint of a problem. We would not have stayed with it had there been any issue or smells. I am very sensitive to smells and never detected any hint of bleach. I asked them and they said according to federal laws, they must sanitize to standards b/c diapers are washed all together and must be absolutely clean. They use the bleach earlier on and there are over 11 steps to their wash process. The bleach is rinsed out and then rinsed out and then rinsed out...etc. etc. you get the point. Not the same at all as it would be for someone to use bleach at home in a small load.
I guess we will just have to disagree on this point b/c frankly, I would not be comfortable with using a "green diaper service" if there is even such a thing legally. Just b/c what is fine when it involves only my son's excrement at home is one thing but in huge bins and bins of a bunch of people's poopy diapers, is quite another. I would especially want the diapers to be sanitized and clean when it comes to mixing your baby's poop with other poop.
The diapers we get are of the softest cotton ever and so fresh and immaculate...we will be using them again for our Pixie come May.

Happily married with two tots (babyboy.gif J 10/18/08) & (babygirl.gif T 5/03/10) 

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#22 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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What I did not mention, was that we tried the diaper service and it made my kids bums raw and red within hours of putting them on them. They have such sensitive skin that they cannot even tollerate wearing the 7th generation sposies and the cloth has to be made with certain fabric or they break out. My mom cleans her bathtub with bleach water (very dilute) and rinses it a ton, to the point that there is no bleach smell, or anything. My kids can't take a bath in her bathtub at all or they break out. Besides even if it is rinsed out of the diapers well enough to leave nothing to cause a rash, it is still awful on the environment.

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#23 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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What I did not mention, was that we tried the diaper service and it made my kids bums raw and red within hours of putting them on them. They have such sensitive skin that they cannot even tollerate wearing the 7th generation sposies and the cloth has to be made with certain fabric or they break out. My mom cleans her bathtub with bleach water (very dilute) and rinses it a ton, to the point that there is no bleach smell, or anything. My kids can't take a bath in her bathtub at all or they break out. Besides even if it is rinsed out of the diapers well enough to leave nothing to cause a rash, it is still awful on the environment.
I think it depends on the diaper service you use. Some are better than others. We fortunately here in the Los Angeles/Pasadena area have a great one that has been around and still family-run since 1938.
Sorry you had such a bad experience. That sounds severe. We don't use bleach in our house either so can't imagine what that would be like in a bathtub. We can't use 7th Gen either. My son broke out for the first and only time in his life wearing those once.
I wanted to reiterate though...using a diaper service which uses a touch of necessary sanitizing measures like bleach mid-cycle of over 11 steps is much better on the environment than using disposables are. The carbon footprint is significantly reduced over washing at home so for you and a few others who have posted, a service isn't an option.
The OP stated this was her only option as she lives in an apt. building with coin-op machines.
I think she should go for it.

Happily married with two tots (babyboy.gif J 10/18/08) & (babygirl.gif T 5/03/10) 

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#24 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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I think it depends on the diaper service you use. Some are better than others. We fortunately here in the Los Angeles/Pasadena area have a great one that has been around and still family-run since 1938.
Sorry you had such a bad experience. That sounds severe. We don't use bleach in our house either so can't imagine what that would be like in a bathtub. We can't use 7th Gen either. My son broke out for the first and only time in his life wearing those once.
I wanted to reiterate though...using a diaper service which uses a touch of necessary sanitizing measures like bleach mid-cycle of over 11 steps is much better on the environment than using disposables are. The carbon footprint is significantly reduced over washing at home so for you and a few others who have posted, a service isn't an option.
The OP stated this was her only option as she lives in an apt. building with coin-op machines.
I think she should go for it.
I'm sorry... You are right, it is better to use a diaper service than disposable if you can! And it is all about progress not perfection right? Lol... we all do what we can when we can. Heck the months of Nov and Dec I used paper plates a whole lot because I was too sick to wash dishes...

I really shouldn't have commented at all, because it had nothing to do with the OP's post in the first place. I was just stating my issues with diaper services etc. Thanks for bring this back to topic!

Tara - nurse and wife to a nurse, mama to four, Izak (7/28/99), Liam (9/25/06), Freya (5/28/08) and Luna (5/19/10)
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#25 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jenrett View Post
OrchideZ - I am glad to hear the good review about the LG! We were just looking at them yesterday....Sears has a 25% off sale through today, unfortunately, we don't have the $$ today I hope we can get one though!! Even if it's not an all in one
Sears has layaway.

We've never used a diaper service, but the only caveat I see is the 70 diapers/week...IME, that would be cutting it close, especially the first few weeks. Other than that, if I were in the position of not having my own washer/dryer easily accessible, I would definitely go with a diaper service...and $19.50/week is a great price. Back when we used sposies, we would spend at LEAST that, and usually much more in the earlier days of constant diaper changes.

jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 3 amazing little girls, an awesome little boy, and a baby girl making her debut at the end of this summer.

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#26 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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My MIL offered to buy us a year's worth of diapering service. But, I think something like this:

http://www.lge.com/us/appliances/was...mbos/index.jsp (WFS)

would be a much better use of money. Especially if you are planning on having more than 1 child and diapering for more than 1 year (uhhh, yeah).

Note that the above washer/dryer combo can be put ANYWHERE, do not need external vent source. You can put them in closets, etc.

This is what I am hoping to get for a baby present
I'm not sure which of the models on the page you linked that you are considering, but if it is the one on the top, it says that it only does up to 5 garments at a time? Is that for a regular load, or just using one of the special features on the washer/ dryer? Because that seems tiny, to me.

I only ask because I have used a combo washer/ dryer. We were staying at a hotel that had them in the suites and I'm about 95% sure it was an LG. Anyway... it was tiny (meaning that you'd have do run it more than once to clean/ dry a standard sized load) and the clothes came out unbelievably wrinkled. As in, imagine what clothes look like at the end of a spin cycle in the washer (i.e. wrinkled and pressed to the sides of the washer drum), only dry. Obviously, the wrinkling isn't a big deal if you're just using it for diapers.

This was in 2006, so hopefully the washer/ dryer combination models they make now are better (or the model you're interested in has a higher capacity and works better), but if you haven't already, I'd look into a bunch of consumer reviews and see what people who have used the current model have to say.
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