Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Dryer Bar and cloth diapers

  So I've been cloth diapering since 2010, and have diaper 4 1/2 children. I say 4 1/2 because when I started using cloth, one of the kids was only in night time diapers. So she counts as the 1/2. I have diapered my 2 boys and my twin girls. And will cloth diaper baby #7 when he arrives this summer.

  I am by no means an expert, in fact I swear things change every few months, but I do have a reasonable amount of experience with cloth diapers. I have tried every type out there that I am aware of.
I love cloth diapers for several reasons, many of which I will talk about at some point here, while giving you my thoughts on all of them. Aren't you excited? I know I am.

  Having spent 4 years washing and using cloth, I thought I knew how to follow the rules. And I do. I never dry my PUL covers except on low, even my pockets I treated this way. I followed the rules. Day in and day out, followed the laundry rules.
But last week I pulled my covers out of the dryer and discovered this:

  Those are scrape marks on my PUL. Oh my stars I almost fell over! They aren't burns, I know the dryer was not too hot, it was on air dry no heat. I frantically searched to see if I had washed a snappi. Nope. Nothing. Queue minor (ok major, I love my cloth diapers) freak out and panic. I quickly emailed these two companies to see if they had any insight as to what I'd done wrong. No one had any idea, they believed, as I did, that I had followed all of their rules, and my covers should be fine. I wasn't looking for them to replace them, just ideas.

  I had pined over this FLIP cover in Albert for a year. Seriously. A year. Finally with a BOGO sale I bought two for the twins. And had used it less than a handful of times, only to see this. Ugh.

  I went back to my dryer to beg for answers. I opened it and closed it several times, I checked and rechecked all of the settings. I did everything I could think of, including ask it why it felt the need to attack my pretties.

  And then I saw it. Mocking me. My dryer bar. Faithfully I removed it every laundry day and set it above the dryer, so as not to risk fabric softener interfering with the absorbency of my diapers. This is a big no-no in the CD world. Everyone says remove the bar. Remove the bar. Remove the bar. I had done that. Every time I washed. But what no one said, was remove the bar holder. Because you can't.

  The beauty of the dryer bar system is that the holder stays inside the dryer at all times. And is in fact, horrific to try and take off. Awful. It doesn't come off, that is the point.

  That wondrous invention, that thing that made the act of using a dryer sheet obsolete, had ruined my diapers. As the covers tumbled around, on low or no heat as directed, they brushed up against the empty holder. Complete with protruding areas, that are not sharp, but do scrape nonetheless. And slowly, these areas has scraped away the waterproof layer of my PUL covers, and I would later discover that it had done the same thing to my wet bags. I could cry.

  I realize that sounds crazy, but I love my diapers. I've prided myself on diapering my kids cheaply for all these years. For not having tossed anything out until it had reached the end of it's life. And here I had hastened that life to come to an end, over something as insane as not using a dryer sheet! Oh the humanity!

  Thankfully these areas are small, and if the proper diaper is used  inside the covers, they don't leak, so they are still in the rotation for the time being. But I know I will have no choice but to toss them out when the time comes.

  I have yet to remove the dryer bar, as I said above, it is impossible. So for now, anything with PUL gets hung to dry. No dryer time at all. I can't deal with another heartbreaking PUL scrape.

  Learn from my mistake! If you have a dryer bar, hang all PUL. It may take longer to dry, but you will not suffer the heartache I have suffered.

  Just to make myself feel better, here is a picture of my twins wearing some adorable diapers.

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