The Joys of Cloth Diapering and the Shared Laundry Room

Today’s post is our first guest post by one of our fabulous cloth diaper customers, Desiree. She’s a new mom to almost 4 month old Caleb (super cutie 😀 ) and also has a new blog, … Cloud 9. Desiree, like many of us, does not have the luxury of in-suite laundry. As such, cloth diapering and the apartment laundry room can take quite a bit of coordination at the best of times. We asked her to share her experiences with us to give those of you without your own laundry room an idea of how it works.

Cloth Diapers and the Shared Laundry Experience

I live in an apartment with shared laundry facilities. There are 28 suites and only 3 washers and dryers, and at least 1 washer is Washing cloth diapersalways broken. The machines are old and not that great and the dryers take FOREVER to dry. I have to make sure I clean out the washers, because there is always detergent residue left behind from other people’s laundry. I also do a quick wipe in the dryers just in case the last person used a dryer sheet (thanks for the tip Julie).

It costs me $1.50/wash and $2.00/dry (extra 50 cents adds 10 minutes). I do a cold soak in my bathtub if they are really soiled because I don’t have the option to do just a rinse cycle. If they’re not too bad I just do a hot wash, then separate the covers, hang those to dry and put the inserts in the dryer on medium heat. Thankfully, I only have to do laundry every 3 days.

Now this is how I actually manage to get to the laundry room:

During the day my husband is working so I put my son in his swing, get all my stuff together by the door, hope my cat doesn’t sneak out (he usually does) I chase my cat and toss him gently back inside, lock the door behind me and walk down the hallway (I got lucky the laundry room is on our floor!).  If I wash the diapers at night, which is bad idea because everyone does laundry at night, Steven is home so he watches Caleb.

I use the Flip diaper system (LOVE them) and I have 4 covers and 50 inserts (yes 50!). Four covers works perfect because I usually use one a day, unless it gets pooped in (like this morning) or wet, and sometimes I use one cover for 2 days. I go through roughly 8 inserts a day, changing Caleb every 2 hours, and before you whip out your calculator; yes I had to use a calculator, that’s 24 in 3 days, IF he doesn’t go poop crazy. For night we are using disposables.

I would love to have my own washer and dryer, or at least ones that gave me an option to just do a rinse cycle. I wish I didn’t have to pay, but we did the math before we invested in cloth, it costs me $28/month to do my cloth diaper laundry, and it would cost us almost $100/month to use disposables full-time. By using cloth diapers we are saving over $800 a year! I’m willing to use the crappy old machines and soak my diapers in the tub for that. Plus they’re great for the environment, and I’ll admit it, I get a smug feeling when people look at me when I’m changing Caleb out in public.

Washing cloth diapers


Wow! That takes dedication! But completely do-able. Thanks Desiree for sharing this with us. Readers: if you’re interested in writing a guest post for us, just send me an email.

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