Sunday, August 16, 2009

How to get top dollar for your used cloth diapers

One of the great benefits of choosing to use cloth diapers is the fact that they have value after you're finished using them, assuming you keep them in decent shape. Of course, you can use with them future children, or gift them to friends or family, however, if you want to go the resale route, here are some tips to ensure you get top dollar for your used cloth diapers.
  • Don't write off your cloth diapers if they are in need of repair. As we all know, cloth diapers take a lot of use and abuse, especially one-size diapers. If the diapers need some TLC, you can sell them for a lower price, or you can invest in repairing the diapers so that they sell faster, for a higher price (never write off a diaper simply because the velcro is shot, or the elastics are busted, these are easy fixes!).
  • Don't try to sell stained diapers. Those stains will lower the value of your diapers, but fear not, it's an easy fix. Wash your diapers in baking soda (a natural whitener), followed by a vinegar rinse (to restore pH), then hang them out to dry in the sun. The sun's UV rays will do a great job of fading any remaining stains. Alogng the same lines, if you have velcro diapers, take a needle and pick any hairs, lint, etc. out of the velcro tabs. You want your diapers to look good all over!
  • Don't take your used cloth diapers to a consignment shop -- they won't know the true value of your used diapers. I had a friend who used to scour consignment shops for used diapers, only to turn around and sell her scores on eBay, where used cloth diapers sold for a higher price. eBay no longer allows the sale of used cloth diapers, however, you can easily sell them on Kijiji, UsedOttawa, or Craigslist.
  • Don't try to sell your diaper stash as one big lot. Often times when people are looking to buy used cloth diapers, they are testing the waters, or they're on a tight budget (although as we've already proven, no matter how you cut it, you will always save money using cloth diapers). If you try to sell your stash as one collective unit, it will be tougher sell, and you'll get a lower price per diaper. If you have 24 small Fuzzibunz, for example, break them up into 6 lots of 4 diapers. People tend to ask for less money for a large lot of diapers (ie, $240 for the 24 small Fuzzibunz), but a smaller lot allows you a little more flexibility in the price (ie, $48 for 4 diapers). In terms of establishing a price for your used diapers, if they are a well-known brand, and they are in decent shape (elastic still has life left in it, velcro still closes, inserts are not thread-bare), you should expect to get back *at least* half of what you paid for your diapers.

If you're done with your diapers, but you don't want to sell them, there are some organizations that will gladly take them off your hands to pass on to less-fortunate families who could put them to use. Miracle Diapers is based in the USA, but you can ship your diapers to them; alternatively, Mothercraft is a local organization that provides (among other things) an outreach program to mothers at risk, and they will gladly accept your donations.


  1. Will the K-W store ever start a diaper swap program?

  2. Any tips on removing stains on wool interlock?

  3. Alex, Loveybums wanted to know your exact washing routine, but said some babies pee can just stain. Another manufacturer (sloom) gives these directions:

    HELP! Our wool has grass|chocolate|mud|yucky etc..stains on it - what can I do?
    Relax, but try to get to a sink. Flush the area with cold water, let your wool item soak. Most stains will come out with water and vigorous rubbing. sustainablebabyishtm wool can handle this, no need to be too gentle - our wool is made to be worn & played in. This means they should eventually get dirty - really, it's normal. We use Ecover Delicate Wash for all of our wool washing. Dilute the soap in the palm of your hand before attacking the abysmal area. Work. Flush with cold water. Repeat. After a few minutes, your stain should be gone or at least much lighter.

  4. Re: wool staining

    I used wool a lot with my boys and this is what I found worked best:

    If poop gets on a cover, do not try to rinse, scrape or rub away the wet poop. This will get it deeper into the wool fibers and make it harder to remove. It also increases the risk of deep staining. Let the poop dry completely before trying to clean the cover.

    Using a surgical nail brush (Lee Valley sells them great ones) gently brush away as much of the solid as you can. This gets rid of the majority of the poop. In a well-lanolized cover, you may find that the lanolin in the wool has prevented much staining on the surface underneath. Soak the cover in cold water (again, without rubbing the wet stain). This is one place where I used an enzyme based stain remover on my diapers/covers. There are a number of these on the market -- I think the one I was using was actually for pet-related stains (was what I had on hand) and it worked great. Just treat the fabric according to manufacturer directions, then wash and lanolize as usual.

    I wouldn't recommend using an enzyme-based stain remover as part of a regular wash routine -- it can be quite harsh for a number of reasons. I *only* used it when there was a poop stain on a wool cover.

    IMPORTANT: do not rub your wool covers unless they are already felted or have been treated to prevent felting. Otherwise your covers will end up smaller and denser than when you started out! ;)

    FWIW, using the above poo-cleaning methods, I only had one wool cover stain that didn't come out -- I blame the blueberries! ;)

  5. Any suggestions on where to get the elastic around the legs on BG's repaired? Thanks!

  6. Christine, the KW store has already held two swaps, and tomorrow, Feb 20 is our third. Same time as the Ottawa swap, 3-4.

  7. Do you know of anywhere in Ottawa that can replace the elastic on Charlie Bananas?