10 Questions to Ask when Buying Used Diapers
Explore the financial advantages, environmental impact, and tips for finding high-quality, pre-loved cloth diapers. Join the movement towards a greener future
Cloth diapers are reusable, which is beneficial for a variety of reasons! Not only can you save money by reusing your cloth diapers, but you can save even more by buying your cloth diaper used instead of new. This is a great way to make cloth diapering even more sustainable. It keeps clothing waste out of the landfills and prevents unnecessary diaper production.
Plus, most cloth diapers have long lifespans. They’re made to last multiple kids over multiple years. We know moms going on ten years of cloth diapering with their original stash. That’s amazing! You can save money on cloth diapers too by searching the Facebook marketplace and other online retailers for used cloth diapers.
But, how do you know what you’re getting? How do you know you won’t get diapers that repel liquid or leak like crazy? What if they had a bad wash routine with poor products? These variables do make buying used diapers scary, but if you ask the right questions, you can be assured you’re buying diapers that still have enough life left in them for your little wildling! Here’s 10 questions you should ask before buying used diapers:
10 Questions to Ask when Buying Used Diapers
What brand are they?
Some brands are known for their longevity, and some are not. A simple flat, insert, or prefold is a nearly invincible piece of cloth. Some PUL or TPU covers, however, have a shorter lifespan. There are plenty of quality pocket and AIO diaper brands that do last a long time, but since they’re the most popular diapering type, there’s a lot of cheap junk out there too!
If the seller does not have the brand posted, definitely ask! Then, do a little research on whether or not they’re a quality product. If you don’t know, ask a cloth diapering Facebook group or read reviews. After a little research, it’ll be obvious if the diapers last as long as our Alaskan Wildlings pocket diapers and covers!
What are they made of?
Sometimes sellers don’t remember what brand the diapers are and the tags are long gone. Even if they do, some brands have lots of different styles and types of inserts. So, just knowing the brand doesn’t always give you the info you need to know what you’re buying.
Ask the seller about the fabric of the diapers. This will help you decide if you want to get the diapers and if they’re a good price and your desired make. Maybe you only want natural fibers. Maybe you want elastic-free. Or, maybe you are looking for cotton hemp blends—avoiding microfiber like the plague.
The choice is yours but be sure to ask! The last thing you want to do is end up with a bunch of overpriced items you don’t want to use or can’t use.
Are any elastics relaxed?
If pocket diapers or covers are frequently put in the dryer, hung wrong on the line, stored incorrectly, or stretched around a big baby, the elastics will deteriorate. Any dry flaking elastic is a big no-go (unless you’re looking for fixer-upper diapers) but look out for relaxing too.
The elastic at the legs should bunch and cinch when taken off. Relaxed diapers remain loose, and the elastic doesn’t bounce pack to shape even after it's removed from the baby. If you get relaxed diapers, leaking will be a BIG issue. Make sure the elastics are tight or be willing to replace them yourself.
Is there any delamination?
Delamination is when the waterproof layer on the pockets or covers separates from the PUL or cracks. When this happens, your diapers no longer hold liquid, and you’ll have constant frustrating leaks. Ask about the lamination, and make sure they send you pictures! (For pockets, they can simply turn them inside out!)
What was your wash routine?
It’s true there is no “right” wash routine, however, there are plenty of WRONG ways to wash diapers. Using harsh detergents, only using one cycle, adding fabric softener, overusing vinegar/bleach, and over-drying can all cause issues with a cloth diaper.
You could experience leaks and rashes if these negative substances are still stuck in the fibers of the diapers. Sometimes, all the abuse makes restoring the diapers impossible! You make the call, but ensure you know what you’re buying!
Are there any stains?
This one isn’t a big deal for everyone, so if you’re not concerned about stains, don’t bother asking. If stains DO bother you, definitely ask! The seller may assume you don’t mind. The stains won’t hurt anything, but if you think it’s unsightly, ask and pass if they’re not pristine.
Did you buy the diapers used?
Ask the seller if THEY bought these diapers used as well. If they have, it could mean they’re nearing their shelf life. It’s a bit risky taking diapers that have passed through a ton of hands and bums, but if mom had a good wash routine and storage system, the diapers could be totally fine!
How were the diapers stored?
Poor diaper storage could result in delaminated covers and damaged fibers. Cloth needs airflow, so dressers, cardboard boxes, and mesh cubes are perfect for keeping diapers in perfect condition. However, you’ll see more damage on diapers that were sealed or trapped without air.
Were any creams used?
Petroleum jelly isn’t recommended for cloth diapers. Many diaper creams contain this ingredient. That water-blocking gel seeps into your diaper and causes repelling, which leads to leaking. You definitely don't want to deal with that!
If the woman says she used Destin, Aquaphor, or red bottle Butt Paste you could run into big issues with these used diapers. Confirm she didn’t use a liner, and if she didn’t, pass on those diapers. You don’t need that stress.
Is there any other noticeable wear?
Ask about other noticeable wear. Here’s a list of some things to look out for:
- Unraveled stitching
- Holes from friction in the elastic or lining
- Dirty velcro
- Loose or broken snaps
Buying used diapers is a great choice for those looking for the most eco-friendly and affordable cloth diapering options.
Thinking about purchasing used cloth diapers? Do it! Just ask the right questions, so you know you're getting a good bang for your buck. And, don't forget to strip your diapers before using them. After all, you don't know where they've been. Don't stress or feel guilty, buying used diapers is a great choice for many families looking for the most sustainable and affordable cloth diapering choice!
Want used Alaskan Wildlings diapers? Check out our BST page! Lots of Alaskan Wildlings fans trade and sell diapers there. Once you've got your diapers, don't forget to check back in with our blog for more helpful cloth diaper tips and tricks. See you again soon!