Monday, November 14, 2011

Mailbox Mondays: Washing at the Laundry Mat

Mailbox Mondays button

Today’s question comes from Sarah Jane.  She writes:

“What type of diaper would you recommend to someone who has to pay every time they do laundry?”

Until recently, I never had to wash my diapers at the laundry mat.  However, our landlord has decided to restrict the amount of loads I can do per week, so that has sent us to the laundry mat with most of our laundry. 

I already have my diaper stash established, and I am able to do some loads at home.  But the few times I have trekked to the laundry mat with my diapers in tow has caused me to consider whether or not I would use cloth diapers if I had to pay to wash them.  I came to the conclusion that I would still use cloth diapers, and that using cloth would still save me money, even if I was paying to wash them.  But I also realized that I would chose a different type of diaper stash if I had to pay to wash my diapers.

I would definitely choose a hybrid/all-in-two system.  This would allow me to invest most of my money in inserts, without paying for a pocket/cover for each insert.  With an AI2 system, you can reuse the cover multiple times and replace only the inserts at each diaper change (unless the cover becomes soiled).

Technically, a prefold and cover is also an AI2 system, but the prefolds are bulkier to store until wash day.  Prefolds are a really “safe” bet for the laundry mat because cotton is really easy to care for.  You don’t have to be as concerned about contracting build-up from someone else’s detergent left over in the machine.  Cotton prefolds are also inexpensive to purchase, so you can add a lot to your stash for a small investment.  So if one is ruined or left behind at the laundry mat, no worries!

Using an AI2 system would cut down on the amount of dirty diapers that had to be stored in between washing (as your pail would contain mostly inserts, and not multiple pockets/covers).  It would also mean fewer diapers that had to be washed, and therefore you might be able to select a smaller and less expensive washer at the laundry mat. 

And if you could invest enough money to purchase a larger stash of FpSnapCoverSDInsert400x400inserts, you could probably get away with doing laundry every 3-4 days, rather than every 2-3 days.  (Provided that you have room to store that many dirty inserts, of course).  Therefore you would also be saving money on your washing by doing fewer loads each week.

There are many types of AI2/hybrid cloth diaper systems on the market.  Some of the more popular ones include Flip, GroVia, AppleCheeks, and Best Bottoms.  While I have tested several hybrids, they do not make up the majority of my stash.  I’m sure I have left some off of my list!

Are you a fan of AI2/hybrid cloth diapers?  Be sure to leave a comment and tell Sarah what brands you prefer.  Do you wash your diapers at the laundry mat?  What type have you found to be the best for that situation?


Unknown said...

Thanks so much for writing this. I use mainly prefolds and flats (thanks to Kim Rosas and the flats challenge) with covers, but my husband prefers pockets and AIOs so we have those as well. I choose prefolds because I too read that cotton was easy to care for. My favorite covers are Flip and Thirsties duo wrap.

Thanks again for answering this question and reaffirming what I had read previously.

~Sarah Jane

Shaky Mommy said...

I'm a huge fan of AI2 systems. I have not used Flip covers, but I love their inserts (they fit great inside my Rumparooz & Grovia covers). If I had to choose a true AI2 system for use 100% of the time, I would choose Grovia. I'm able to reuse their covers most of the time. I love Applecheeks, but the fleece inside almost always gets wet, and if it gets dirty you can't wipe it clean. So it's not as versatile of an AI2 system as Grovia is.

If I had to only wash 2 times a week and had to take my diapers to a laundromat, I would use mostly flats, with some AI2 type system like Grovia for when I'm out and about. I don't have a large stash and flats and prefolds make up more than half my stash. They are super versatile, and I can use either inside Rumparooz, Thirsties, Econobum, and Grovia covers.
Plus, in a pinch you can handwash covers and flats.

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