Image: Photo credit: Cambio, by Daniel Lobo (Daquella manera) on Flickr
Photo credit: Cambio, by Daniel Lobo
QUESTION: What do I do for staining on my baby's clothes and cloth diapers?

ANSWER: You might try equal parts of Cascade dishwashing detergent and Clorox 2 powder in very hot water.

I found this tip in The Tightwad Gazette, and it works like a charm for me.

I will usually soak the clothes in this solution overnight and then wash as usual.

I haven't tried it on cloth diapers yet, and I always use the brand name detergents.

I don't know if store brands would work also.

I have even removed stains (probably food, formula, breast milk stains?) from second-hand items, and who knows how long those stains have been there?!

Thanks to Joyce for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Cold! A vintage bathtub knob, by Karen Barefoot on FreeImages
Photo Credit: Cold! A vintage bathtub knob, by Karen Barefoot
Believe it or not, this is true. When Andrico was a baby and I was doing my undergrad, I was extremely poor.

I did not own a washing machine, and did not have the money to spend on gasoline or wear and tear on my car to take diapers to the laundromat every couple of days (nor did I have $1.00 per load to wash them).

So... I engaged in frugal diaper-washing. Yes folks, after I took a bath, I dumped Andrico's diapers in the cooling water to soak.

Image: Household Essentials | Collapsible Folding Wooden Clothes Drying Rack for Laundry | Pre assembled
Wooden Clothes Drying Rack
A couple of hours later, I would come back and scrub them in the water, drain the water, and then rinse them out, IN COLD WATER.

Despite claims one needs hot water and bleach to kill the germs that cause diaper rash, Andrico never suffered from diaper rash as a result of this procedure (although he did get it from eating berries and he did get a diaper rash on the one occasion I decided to try bleaching the diapers).

Furthermore, in the winter I simply hung the diapers on a wooden drying rack, in the apartment (in the summer I hung them outside).

Thanks to Andrea for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Diapers by Jake Krohn, on Flickr
Photo credit: Diapers, by Jake Krohn
Here's my greatest tip!

Always dry your cloth diapers outside in the sun.

The white diapers come inside snowy white, deodorized, and smelling so fresh.

Then just throw the diapers into the dryer for 10 minutes to fluff.

Eliminates the need for bleach!

Thanks to Beth for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: mDesign Large Capacity Foldable Laundry Drying Rack | Compact, Portable and Collapsible for Storage | 27 Drying Rods | 46 Feet of Drying Space | Steel Frame in Rust-Resistant White FinishDiaper Suggestions:
OsoCozy 6 Pack Birdseye Flat Unbleached Diapers
Kushies Organic Flat Diapers
Gerber Cloth Diaper Birdseye Flatfold

Drying Rack Suggestions:
Foldable Laundry Drying Rack
Honey-Can-Do Wooden Clothes Drying Rack
Household Essentials Folding Clothes Drying Rack

Image: Diaper pail, by Inga Munsinger Cotton on Flickr
Photo Credit: Diaper pail, by Inga Munsinger Cotton
My preference is to use a 15 gallon Sterlite rectangular bin (about 4 bucks at WalMart), and I have it up on a table next to the changing table.

I wash it out quickly with either vinegar or antibacterial hand soap each time I do diaper laundry.

It's not smelly, and since it's shallow, it's easy to wash out. No deo disks (which I think smell worse than the diapers). In dry winter weather when we heat with wood, I don't even put a lid on it. The diapers dry out and when they dry out they are surprisingly not smelly.

But since I have a 2 story house, I have another setup upstairs. I use diaper pail made for disposables and a diaper pail liner.

I like that system upstairs because the Sterlite bin is not as easy to haul up and down stairs as a liner full of diapers. But since it's tall and a pain to wash out, a liner is a must for that one, but liners are kind of pricey.

I actually have two liners so I can put the fresh one in right away, so I have a place to put the upstairs diapers used while the liner is in the wash with the diapers.

The bin method is less expensive than a pail and liner or two, but both work just fine.

Thanks to Karen for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: My Pool Pal Reusable Swim Diaper Cover/Swim Cover | Designed to contain solids without adding weight | Designed to not absorb or contain liquids
My Pool Pal Swim Diaper
I just had a quick suggestion, and would like to hear comments from anyone else who may have tried this.

I was in Target yesterday and found swim diapers to be on clearance because it was the end of summer.

Well, being in Southern California I figured I might as well get a bunch since they were marked down from $6.99 to only $1.50!!

I picked up a bunch, twelve in total!! I figured for that price, my baby can wear a different swim diaper every time!

Well, then last night it hit me, I put one on over lil CJ's prefold to wear at night... it worked!

Image: Will + Fox Reusable Swim Diaper | Baby, Toddler, Girls, Boys | Soft thick polyester mesh lining
Will + Fox Swim Diaper

Has anyone else tried this??? Has it worked in the long run??? (I only used it last night so far)

Also, if this works I would suggest all of you who are trying to save on $$$ to pick some up, as I said my Target had them marked down to $1.50!

I got some barney print, gingham print, neon, polka dots, and tropical prints... They are so cute!!!

Most of the swim diapers are made of spandex type material with a waterproof liner, and three are just cotton on the outside with a waterproof liner.

Oh, if your local Target doesn't have them, I also found some inexpensive Swimways Reusable Swim Diapers on Amazon!

Thanks to Veronica for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Money Laundering, by Karen Barefoot on freeimages
Photo Credit: Money Laundering, by Karen Barefoot
Here's an excerpt from idalog: Alternatives in Diapering: Comparison of Alternatives:

Following are sample calculations.
Practices, supplies, and utilities cast vary.
You can insert your own current costs for a personalized total.

6,500 diaper changes over 2.5 years represents an average of 7-8 changes/day (10-11 for newborns, 5-6 for 2-year olds.)

Laundry (based on 6,500 diaper changes), 24 diaper changes/washload = 271 loads:

Detergent (@ 27 cents/load x 271 loads) $73.17;

Diaper pail additive (200ml of vinegar @ 15 cents/load) $40.65;

Water and sewer (for 4 toilet flushes, 16 gal; 1 normal wash cycle, 45 gal; rinsing and filling pail, 7 gal. Total of 68 gal. @ $.0067 = 46 cents/load) $124.66;

Natural gas to heat water (20 cu.ft. of natural gas @ $.0015 = 3 cents/load) $8.13;

Power to run dryer (5.76 kw/hr. for 1 hr., 5.76kwh @ 7 cents = 40 cents/load) $108.40;

Power to run washer (.76 kwh@ 7 cents = 5 cents/load) $13.55;

Depreciation on washer and dryer (16 cents for washer + 9 cents for dryer = 25 cents/load [a] ) $67.75 = $436 ($1.60/load). [b]

To calculate labour costs for home laundering, allow at least 40 hours over 2.5 years. [c]

[a] A $600 washer is estimated to last a family of 4 for 12 years.
Based on 6 loads/wk x 624 wks., a washer will wash 3,744 loads before having to be replaced.
$600 / 3,744 loads = 16 cents/load.
Dryer is estimated to last 15 years and dry 4,680 loads.
$400 / 4,680 loads = 8.5 cents/load.

[b] Laundromat: detergent $73.17, vinegar $40.65, flushing $29.05 = $142.87 + washing ($1.25 x 271 loads = $338.75) + drying ($1.00 x 271) = $752.62.

[c] 8-10 minutes per load x 271 loads = 40 hours.
Time test assumed:
10 washer and dryer in the basement;
20 no-fold diapers left in basket until used (i.e. no folding or stacking); and 3) exclusion time when washer or dryer runs unattended.

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: The Jo Fold - How to Fold a Flat Diaper, by Green Mountain Diapers
Photo credit: The Jo Fold - How to Fold a Flat Diaper, by Green Mountain Diapers
I know it probably isn't new to anyone but me, but I am completely amused with it!

I had all of her cloth diapers in the dryer, so I took one of her flannelette receiving blankets and fashioned it into a diaper.

I think it is the cutest thing, she fought because she wanted it to wrap one of her dolls in, oh well

The butt covering is more important than a doll being wrapped up in 80-degree weather...

Made a very pretty diaper too!

Thanks to Dawna for this Frugal Baby Tip!

The Jo Fold - How to Fold a Flat Diaper from Green Mountain Diapers on Vimeo.

Image: washing laundry in India, by alheyse on Photobucket
Photo Credit: Washing laundry in India, by Alheyse
I've been meaning to post to you my letter which ran in the New York Times Sunday August 1.

It was a response to a June 27 article Taking Children to Exotic Places which told parents to use disposable diapers when traveling.

I would be happy to discuss diapering issues further with anyone who is traveling soon to India! -- Sujata

To the Editor:
I spent three months traveling with my baby daughter in India, and I have one tip contrary to Martha Stevenson Olson's advice: forget disposable diapers for travel and use cloth diapers instead.

Disposables, especially those with plastic exteriors, are too hot for warm countries.

They cause diaper rash, and public health problems in developing countries without good trash collection and landfills.

It's also inconvenient to have to keep looking for poorly made disposables at twice the United States price.

I brought my cloth diapers to India, and this turned out to be a wonderful convenience.

I never ran out, and they were washed daily for a minimal charge at all hotels and resorts.

While staying in a private home in Calcutta, I contacted an agency providing a cheerful young woman to wash baby laundry, and do nanny duty -- all for just $1.50 a day.

I bet similar excellent help is available in other countries.

Thanks to Sujata for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: White House Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
Here is a great tip! I rinse my cloth diapers in apple cider vinegar!

I was using white vinegar, then I heard apple cider vinegar can make your cloth diapers much softer.

I switched to the apple cider vinegar, and was absolutely amazed at how much softer my baby's diapers were!

BIG difference!

My sister (who cloth diapered 3 kids) said, doesn't everyone use apple cider vinegar?

Thanks to Ann for this Frugal Baby Tip!

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