Friday, June 7, 2013

Storing Your Cloth Diapers Long Term

Your child is starting to potty train and it’s about time to decide what to do with your cloth diaper stash! Here are some tips and things to consider for storing your diapers for long term.

The first thing I want you to consider is how long will your diapers be in storage [approximately]? More than 2 years? If it’s more than 2 years, I want to suggest possibly selling your stash and saving the funds from selling it to purchase a new stash when the time comes. Elastic wears over time- especially when in storage. Imagine a rubberband laying out, over time it will become hard and brittle. This can happen to the elastic in your diapers. It is called “dry rotting”. The elastic slowly breaks down and will crack upon use after being stored. This will not always happen, but it is very likely and something you should be aware of. Another option if storing for a long time is having the elastic replaced after being in stored [assuming the elastic did break down during it’s long hibernation]. This can be a cheaper option as opposed to buying a new stash.

If you decide storing them long term is the best choice for you, here are some tips to contemplate:

1. Giving your stash a good and final wash before storage. You want to be sure to get those diapers nice and clean before storing them. Washing and stripping is a good idea. Remove any extra buildup so it doesn’t wear your diapers over time, or leave a place for bacteria to grow. Bacteria growth is the main cause for diaper stink. You don’t want bacteria sitting on those diapers for 2 years in storage; imagine the stink you’ll come back to! Wash those diapers and rinse, rinse, rinse! I HIGHLY encourage sunning the diapers before storage instead of using the dryer. The sun will disinfect and remove unwanted stains so they are pretty for you next baby. Be sure your diapers are 100% dry before storing or you will be greeted with mildewy/moldy diapers down the road.

2. Picking a storage container. Some people prefer air tight bags and others say you wanted a breathable container so your diapers don’t develop a musty smell. Whatever you choose, pack the container/bag loosely, you want airflow. I recommend adding a lavender satchel to repel insects from your precious stash. 

3. Pick a place to store. Do not store diapers in attics or garages. Too hot or cold temperatures can affect the life of your PUL and elastic. Also make sure the area you choose is cool and dry and avoid direct sunlight- UV rays will shorten the life of your elastic.

 Have you had to pack up your diapers yet? What experiences do you have to share?

Contributed by: Alex

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