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Old 07-25-2010, 08:16 PM   #1
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Starting a diaper service

So,
I am researching the details of starting my own diaper service, and there are some holes in my information, and I was hoping that maybe there were other WAHM diaper services here that might chime in

I cannot find any requirements by the state about sanitizing.....I have looked, a lot, and still not sure if this will be an issue. I plan on washing the diapers at home, in a new washer purchased for the business. Does it NEED to be a commercial washer? I will be testing my water to see if I can get it hot enough.

I would like to be able to check the PH balance of the wash, and have a system that keeps it at the appropriate level for the babies. Anyone know of an all natural way to wash the diapers and keep the PH level at the right level? Wondering if this would be easier with a commercial washer?

I am so excited about working from home, and hoping that this will be doable....just need to figure out the details before I start writing up my business plan

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Old 07-25-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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Re: Starting a diaper service

I know the owner of Atlanta diaper service...and if I remember correctly there is like a 15-20 step process to washing the diapers, and she has to use commercial washers. The state had to come and test the washing routines, they had to change it, tweak it, etc to make 100% sure they were properly cleaned. She does not do them in her home. It took a long time to get started but now her business is going great as far as I know.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
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Re: Starting a diaper service

yes...I keep reading about 13, 14, 15 step washes that sanitize, and are PH balanced.....just have no idea what the 13 steps are
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:08 PM   #4
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Re: Starting a diaper service

The local diaper service has a contract with a sanitizing company that does hospital linens. You might call around to local diaper services that are not in your area to see if any of those owners would be able to help you get started.

I dont know but that it would not be something you would want to bring into your home. Really, even with separate commercial washers, if a baby that uses your services diapers has something and you bring it into your home you could very easily be compromising your own family. And, as a certified tax pro, your tax deduction for using your own home is not going to be as much as you could theoretically deduct if you had a hired space you used for your business purposes. The idea behind that is, while you use your home for business it is primarily your home and because of that you get to deduct a significantly lower percentage than if you rent a space that you can most likely deduct the entire amount of.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:34 PM   #5
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Re: Starting a diaper service

Good point.....and one that has been discussed to a great extent here. I really want to start up with all the bells and whistles....renting a space, commercial washer, new delivery van (bio diesel of course).....and DH wants to start small and build a customer base before we head to the next level. A compromise was to have the business begin at home, but in its own space, away from the family (we have a finished basement with its own entrance and office space)....we are still trying to decide if a commercial washer is needed....I found some high end washers made by electrolux that are NSF certified for sanitizing that might work....not sure yet. But I agree....every diaper should be treated as if it is carrying something icky (like thrush....common enough to be an issue)...and it is so important to wash them and handle them carefully....I certainly don't want the kids hanging out with the dirty dipes!


Oh, I forgot to add that there is no diaper service in my state at all! And the only linen service in my area does not do diapers, so its either rent a location and wash there, or build the business at home.

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Old 07-25-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
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Re: Starting a diaper service

I dont know what the cost difference is between a high end home washer and a commercial washer is, but I can tell you from my own experiences (see signature) that when you buy things for commercial use and they are not intended for that it will more than likely void your warranty AND they tend to wear down faster because honestly, even a busy house would only run say 3 loads a day, if you have a diaper service, you'll be washing ALL day. It is almost ALWAYS worth the extra money to get the commercial things. Plus, when you look at the fact that you'll be buying a home washer at retail (possibly with a sale) and a commercial at wholesale, I bet you'll get a better price then you imagined.

Where are you located?
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:34 AM   #7
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Re: Starting a diaper service

I forgot about the issue with the warranty being voided with commercial use...I think there is something about washing CDs in my washing machine manual, and how it voids the warranty as well....that would be an issue for sure. I am trying to convince DH of the commercial washer.....and I think your point will help my case Oh, I am in Vermont.....I cannot believe we do not have a service....I know tons of moms who CD, and I did use a service with my first (7.5 years ago), that was based out of NY state and they drove across the lake to service Vermont. I have been looking for a service for my other 2 and was always disappointed to find not one in the area....so, I am taking the leap, and doing it myself
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:44 AM   #8
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Re: Starting a diaper service

Quote:
Originally Posted by hayleyvt View Post
I forgot about the issue with the warranty being voided with commercial use...I think there is something about washing CDs in my washing machine manual, and how it voids the warranty as well....that would be an issue for sure. I am trying to convince DH of the commercial washer.....and I think your point will help my case Oh, I am in Vermont.....I cannot believe we do not have a service....I know tons of moms who CD, and I did use a service with my first (7.5 years ago), that was based out of NY state and they drove across the lake to service Vermont. I have been looking for a service for my other 2 and was always disappointed to find not one in the area....so, I am taking the leap, and doing it myself
There used to be a service in Burlington. When I took my birthing class at CVMC a couple of years ago, we were told the service is in Burlington and delivers as far out as Montpelier, but since I live east of there, I could not use the service.

It may have gone out of business I guess but there was one.

There are a ton of uniform cleaners though (all of the hospitals use them). They are probably not Vermont companies though so check NY, NH and Mass. I see our linen service every morning. I don't pay attention to the company logo, though I think it is called Kleen.

Where are you located? How will dipes be picked up and delivered?

As for the tax thing, your basement probably will still give you a lower tax credit, but if you use some other "free-standing" building on your property, you'll likely get a bigger credit since you should be able to say that that building is 100% used for business (not living). That way you can get around leasing something. So a barn, sugarhouse, large wood shed (converted of course) are usually free standing buildings.

Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:51 PM   #9
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Re: Starting a diaper service

Another thing, I absolutely suggest you somehow incorporate or separate your 'business' from yourself. I highly advise AGAINST opening it as a sole proprietorship. LLCs are not expensive and will save you from a lot of personal liability, buy EVERYTHING under the LLC. Do not open yourself up to law suits and garnishments. Especially when you are dealing with something that could carry and transfer icky germs (like diapers). You don't want to risk losing your house and everything you have because of a bad wash.

As far as the free standing building. You would actually have to 'rent' it to yourself in someway otherwise it is just a storage space that is given to the business because it is yours. The IRS will not allow you a deduction based on giving space you could use for personal over to something you are now using for business. It's a sort of double dipping prevention, I suppose. It is a great idea though, buy a wooden building, plumb it, assign a lease to your LLC (or whatever you decide to do) and it becomes a rental unit. There is nothing shady about it and it separates your house from the cooties.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:13 PM   #10
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Re: Starting a diaper service

I am in Washington county I would service the burlington area, montpelier area and well, everything in between. I do have an outbuilding, but it would take quite a bit of work to get it functioning as a business space, and DH would loose his outdoor storage...so not sure how that would work....but in theory that would make a lot of sense. Right now I am waiting to hear back from my local wastewater division to find out what sort of permits and requirements there are for washing diapers at home....I am still keeping my eye out for a leased space in our budget. Everything is still in the veeery early process.....once I find out if it is legal to have the business at home, I can register the business as an LLC, and head to the bank for a loan app.

Oh, and I was going to do the "Bebop diaper Service" for my LO and they closed, was this the service you were thinking of or is there another?
I will look into the commercial linen service you mentioned....I really would like to do my own washing to save on costs and because I would be a bit nervous about not being there to oversee the process. Thanks mamas for the much needed guidance...I will keep you posted!
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