Question: My prefolds seem to be wearing out extremely fast. Is there anything I can do to make my cloth diapers last longer?
Your cloth diapers will not last forever. Just like your favorite t-shirt or sweater, fabric will eventually wear out. We have few tips and tricks for giving your diapers a longer life so that you can resell them, re-purpose them, or have them for future children.
#1 The better the quality the longer they will last. Spending a little extra money on diaper service quality prefolds versus generic store bought prefolds, will mean having your diapers last at least a 100 washes instead of 30-40. Also, spending money on name brand cloth diapers versus a no name brand on closeout usually means higher quality materials and a better warranty on your diapers. Keep in mind there are good deals out there to be found, but do your research before investing a brand you’ve never heard of.
#2 The more diapers the better. You can get by with 16-24 diapers, but washing every other day can take a hard toll on your diapers. Most parents slowly add to their diaper stash as time progresses so that you aren’t washing the same diapers every other day.
#3 Our love and hate relationship with hook and loop closures. Sure aplix (hook and loop closures) give you more adjust-ability and are much simpler to put on baby. However, aplix wears out much faster than snap closures. Lint, hair, or random other materials from your house will get stuck in them making them not as sticky and unsecured on your baby. The last thing you have time for is picking lint out of aplix tabs on your entire stash of all in ones, pockets, and covers. Make sure if you do choose hook and loop closures that you use the supplied laundry tabs. This will keep the aplix from sticking to other items in the wash and keep your closures lasting longer.
#4 Have a good washing routine. By avoiding bleaches you can make your diapers last longer. Sure, there might be an occasion where you need to add some bleach like for ammonia funk but using bleach daily will cause your diapers to wear out a ton faster. When you use fabric softeners you risk the chance of buildup developing in natural fibers which causes repelling. Then of course you have to strip your diapers usually requiring a ton of hot water washes just to make them useable again. The less washes your diapers have to endure the longer the life span.