Diaper Washing: Energy & Water Costs

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Friday, September 06, 2019 | 0 comments
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Image: Money Laundering, by Karen Barefoot on freeimages

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 Grace for this Frugal Baby Tip!



About Catherine: I have been writing my Frugal Baby Tips since 1982, when I was a young divorced mom of two - for my baby product company, Born to Love. I am now mom to three grown up sons, and a grandma - and happily married to a wonderful man. We have rescued two little dogs, Denny and Dexter - and a rescue cat, Bella.

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