Let's chat about normal cloth diaper wear/tear.
I was washing North's diapers this morning and thought it would be nice to discuss wear, as we often see (Facebook, Babycenter, and all over cloth diapering groups) varying expectations as to what a diaper should look like after months/years of use.
First, there is a bit of a misconception that diapers will wear the same for all people.
Sadly, this is not true. Stash size, detergent, wash routine, water type, and machine type ALL play a part in how a diaper wears. If only we could standardize all of these things, it would make things SO MUCH EASIER :-) Second, a diaper is a garment and just like any piece of clothing that gets worn and washed over and over again, it will show wear and will eventually wear out. But, what is considered normal?
This photo is of North's original production sample from our ONE Kickstarter. We received and started using it in November 2014. We used it first as a daytime diaper, and then as our night diaper. Like all product samples we receive to test, we wash and wear them as many times as possible.
This diaper has seen well over 120 washes that included (and I'm telling you this because I purposefully mistreat my diapers, so that we know exactly what it takes to "kill" a GroVia diaper..LOL, we do not recommend doing this) 25+ sanitize cycles, and over 30 chlorine bleach washes. I have not however stripped this diaper with any method.
What you are seeing are top layer wear holes starting at the serged edges. This is normal, as this is where the sewing needles repeatedly pierce the fabric. You will generally see wear holes in natural fibers start here first, as well along elastic casings.
You may notice that the polyester microfleece has a slightly different texture. Again, normal for polyesters that have been exposed to high temps and hard water to change texture over time. The elastics in all of my O.N.E.s are great, as are the TPU and snaps. This diaper, as a whole, is perfectly fine and will be in rotation (North is still not nap or night trained) for another year I'm guessing.
My hope is that this post will help to educate cloth diaper families as to what to expect with cloth diapers in general.
At GroVia, we want people to USE their diapers (not abuse them!) and enjoy them. If you are, they will not and should not be in pristine condition after months and years of use!!
Tips for realistic wear on your diapers:
- Most important. ENOUGH DIAPERS. One size diapers do not hold some magical power. They are made and will wear the same as sized diapers. If you were using a sized system you would probably buy at least 75 diapers (S,M,L) over your course of diapering. 24 One Size diapers may not be enough to get you through your diapering journey so don't be afraid to add more.
- Wash routine. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
- No soaking. Please do not soak your diapers in bleach, detergent, or other cleaning products.
- Rotate your diapers. Put freshly laundered ones to the back. This will spread the wear/tear over your stash.
- Top load washing machines w/ agitators. WILL place more wear on garments and especially diapers. This is simply a fact.
- If wear holes bother you (they generally do not affect function at all). Skip the natural fiber diapers entirely and go with all synthetic diapers. Cotton, bamboo, hemp WILL show wear like your favorite t-shirt over time.
PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a customer service post. If you feel you have a defect or concern over a diaper you own, please contact customer service directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.