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Sunday, September 25, 2011

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Scary Encounters of the Cloth Kind

I’ve been loving the fluff since March of 2010. I have had very few negative experiences with cloth diapers. In fact, I’ve had more blowouts, leaks and general gross factor from disposables. But there are a few cloth diapering experiences that I’ve had to just learn to laugh at, which isn’t always easy. These are the stories you don’t share when first introducing your skeptical family and friends to cloth; they are the stories you wait to share until they, too, love fluff so much that they never give it up…even if it meant a little run in with gross!

These are my untold gross encounters of the cloth kind.

It was a regular wash day. The wet bag held the contents of 3 days worth of dirty, dirty diapers. I dumped them into the washer, started a cold rinse and went about my way. About 3 minutes into the cycle, a horrible smell, screeching and white smoke started to billow from the washer. I had NEVER seen anything like it. I tried several times to start the washer again. It would have been enough if the water had just drained but I was left with a large load of dirty diapers in as much freezing cold water as my washer could use per load. Needless to say, the washer was done. D-O-N-E. And I needed those diapers for the next day.

I spent over an hour swirling dirty diapers around, trying to rinse them as best I could. I then spent another hour trying to wring out each insert and shell to make the load as dry as possible. I loaded it all up in my spare wet bag, started up the stairs and out the door- baby in one frozen, numb hand, wet bag in the other. I got about half way to the car before I realized that the amount of water still in the diapers was just too much moisture for the wet bag. It started to leak out the bottom. I couldn’t get back inside with my hands full, so I had to leave the wet bag sitting in my car while I rushed down to our basement apartment to get a trash bag to put it in. Thankfully, my in laws live about 15 minutes away. They were happy to allow me to use their washer, so all was well. And the very next day, our washer decided that it was fine, drained all the dirty water and continued washing diapers happily until we moved!

My son started solids in September of 2010. Things were going great. Those early solids are simple to deal with: a little light spraying from the diaper sprayer and those diapers are ready for the washer. But things start to get a little bit more complicated when you start introducing “real people food,” the kind of food that produces bad smelling, sticky poop. We generally use diaper liners but we prefer not to use them with every diaper change since they are somewhat expensive. Simple enough- use the diaper sprayer. WRONG. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sprayed a diaper only to have poop fly up and hit me in the face. I am no novice diaper sprayer. I’ve done it enough. I shouldn’t have this problem. And yet, when things are particularly sticky, this is a regular occurrence. I’m good about angles and covering my face now!

I don’t share these stories to scare anyone away from cloth. In fact, these are the funny stories I laugh at. I have plenty of gross stories about disposables, including a week where we couldn’t park our cars in the garage because the dirty diapers in the trash made it smell so bad that when I did park my car in there, it smelt like poop for nearly 2 weeks (no joke). I share these because these are the types of real life stories that are interesting, entertaining and to any good humored mom, should help bring a knowing smile to any face. You can read about my other run in with cloth diaper gross at:

Mindy Hill is a cloth diaper addict. But more importantly, she is mom to an amazingly spirited 18 month old boy and is awaiting her second miracle of life due September 26th. You can follow along on her journey at


Jeannette said...

I know what you mean about not wanting to share with non-cloth people. I suggested using cloth to a friend and she said, "that's gross, I don't even touch raw chicken." At least on this blog, you know you've got an audience who will laugh along and probably have a similar story!

Hannah said...

Yep, there are funny moments!

I don't have a diaper sprayer and this is basically how I get sticky poop off:

It's not my video but it's pretty much how I do it.

vphonegirl said...

too funny! Love the stories and can relate to the no washer situation. We were actually without power and water for 6 days this past summer. Thank God for best friends who will let you wash poop at there home.

Betty said...

Thanks for sharing about the "other" side of cloth! I've run into a few of these moments myself!
just part of the adventure!