Since many people use cloth diapers to save money it makes sense that people would want to get a lot of use out of them. I started using cloth diapers about three and half years ago, I bought almost all my stash used and I even still have several of those diapers now. With proper care your diapers can have a very long life time and last through several children.
1. Make sure you have a decent amount of diapers in your rotation. Like any item of clothing, the more you wash it, the faster it will wear. Having enough diapers in your stash ensures that you will not be washing the same diapers everyday.
2. Do not use bleach, it wears down the fibers in your diapers and is also very harsh on your babies skin. Also, be sure you are using the right detergent, it should be free of phosphates, enzymes and optical brighteners.
3. Do not use diaper creams unless they are marked safe for cloth diapers. The reason for this is because many diaper creams have ingredients that will break down the fibers and elastic of the diapers over time. They also can cause issue with the absorbancy of the diapers and stain the liners. Some people will use disposable liners even when using creams that are safe for cloth diapers.
4. Closures will wear out over time. Snaps will usually last longer than velcro but both can be replaced if you know how to sew or have a snap press. If you do not sew some companies offer velcro replacement and there are many wahms that offer the service as well. The elastic will also wear over time but can be replaced as well.
5. Never soak your covers. It wears that elastic faster and can interfere with the water proof properties of the cover.
6. Do not over-dry your diapers. Line drying is best and will give your diapers the longest life, plus the sun is great for removing stains
– when you do use the dryer avoid stretching the elastic while hot, wait to stuff pocket diapers until they are cool.