Cloth Diapering for 2 Babies under $86


Thanks, everyone, for listening to my rant about my crappy August. I went to bed feeling rather ashamed for complaining, especially considering everything going on internationally, but one can’t always live globally– sometimes it comes down to the smaller troubles in life and learning how to move on. Perspective is good, but not everything.

AJ in cloth

I’ve been wanting to write about our recent experience with cloth diapering for a while, but I wanted to wait a few months to work out the kinks in our system. For reference, we cloth diapered exclusively with G for his first 9 months, using only prefolds and Thirsties covers. It worked great with our top loader washing machine and good ole’ Texas water. When we got to CA, however, for some reason the stink built up beyond repair. I wasn’t able to make them work with our front loaders, and we all got sick of how bad they always smelled. I tried three different stripping methods, but came to the conclusion that I might be beating my head against a brick wall for not much gain.

We were also living with my parents at the time, saving all of our money for our down payment on a house. My mom politely BEGGED me not to keep cloth diapering during this time, so we signed up for Amazon’s automatic diaper shipments. And then I had a newborn to go with my 1 year old, and life got crazy.

Of course, after about a year of using disposables, it was hard to think of giving up that convenience and going back to cloth, but I got tired of spending the $60/month on diapers. So, sometime at the beginning of summer, we embarked upon a new phase.

My first criteria was that we not spend much more than $80 on the whole project, seeing as the boys don’t have much longer in diapers (fingers crossed)– AJ will probably only be in them another year or so, and Gregory, a matter of weeks (although I also said that 2 months ago!). I was able to include them in the monthly budget under our disposable diaper fund, with the hopes of being able to cross that item out in the future.

And….we did it! Cloth diapering for two boys for under $86! We have 9 Bum Genius Diapers that I got through Craigslist for $60. I got them so cheap because I was willing to replace the elastic on 6 of them. It was a daunting thought, but in the end it was so super easy and worth the $1/diaper elastic kit from To replace them, I used this tutorial. It took about 2 hours total.

cloth diapers 2

To round out our stash, since I was doing diapers every 1.5 days, I just purchased a few econobum prefolds and 2 Flip diaper covers (they were “seconds” at cottonbabies, so they were only $7 each!). If I find that I’m still doing too much laundry for my liking, I’d buy a few more econobum prefolds in a heartbeat– they are much cheaper than the Bummis I used to have for G, and they are much nicer! We don’t need any pins or snappies this point– just a trifold stuffed in the cover.

cloth diapers 1

Here’s how we wash the diapers on an every other day basis:

1 rinse, cold water, with 1 cup of white vinegar for stink

1 hot wash, diaper detergent

1 hot wash, 2 scoops of baking soda (sometimes I use Borax instead)

1 cold wash/rinse, 1 cup of vinegar

Air dry covers on the line, 45 minutes of drying for the inserts

cloth diapers 3

When I stripped the used cloth diapers, I used this method (I found it somewhere online, but don’t remember where):

1 wash with detergent (unless they’re already clean)

2 hot washes using 2 tsp. of Dawn liquid soap (the blue, original formula)

1 hot wash with bleach

3 hot washes, no soap

That’s it!


Update: This is the BEST cloth diaper pail on the market, hands down!

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  • Beth

    We have a big bum genius stash, that haven’t been used in 12-18 months. This post is encouraging me to give them another shot with new baby 🙂

    I’ve used the Dawn stripping method, but I’ll have to try the vinegar trick!

    • Kelly

      Beth, go for it! And if the stripping method doesn’t work, due to your water for some reason, you can always buy a pack of the BG inserts on cottonbabies for $18 and start fresh. Still a ton cheaper than disposables!

  • Beth B.

    I’m trying the vinegar out now… but I really hate the smell of vinegar. I’m hoping it washes out completely!

    • themrscone

      I’ve never had a vinegar smell once they’re done drying! Hope it works for you!