What To Do With Old Cloth Diapers (14 Useful Ideas)

Are you a new mom wondering what to do with old cloth diapers? Don’t worry this article is for you. At last, the time has come. I’m sure you’re over the moon that your baby is finally potty trained but you are sad to be gathering up your cloth diapers, too, aren’t you?

Therefore, what should you do with the old cloth diapers that you no longer need? The good news is there are other uses for cloth diapers that can help you get your money’s worth into potty training and beyond! Read On

What To Do With Old Cloth Diapers You No Longer Need?

According to US EPA, about 13.1 million tons of textiles are thrown out every year?  That implies that an average American trashes almost 65 lbs of textiles every year… and you think your little bruiser was getting heavy!

For most parents, the effect on the environment is often factored into the decision to cloth diapers. Although using cloth diapers is suitable for the environment than disposables diapers, these 14 useful ideas will help keep your old cloth diapers out of dump too!

1. Donate Them To A Charity

Charity Organization like The Rebecca Foundation (US) and Cloth for a Cause (Canada) are lending banks that help low-income families get started with cloth diapers so they become financially free of the drain that expensive disposables incurred on their bank statements.

They have chapters in almost every state and province in North America.  They gather new and previously used diapers of all brands and styles, and may even take diapers that need a minor fix (fixing elastic, replacing broken snaps, or replacing Velcro).

You can get in contact with them to find out if what you have is something they would like: they may rescue parts of an otherwise unusable diaper (ex: fleece), and even PUL covers that are beginning to delaminate (lose their waterproofing) can regularly be used as swim diapers.

If you want to give out your old cloth diapers, you might even save a few dollars on your next tax return.

Some chapters (like Cloth for a Cause) even have a strategy that they use to place a value on used cloth diapers (based on brand and condition of the diaper) so that they can give you a tax receipt for your donation!

2. Give It Out

They say charity begins at home. So, your friend or family member can benefit from your old cloth diapers! I could remember when I first started cloth diapering, my sister gifted me a few of her used diaper covers and a couple of prefolds.

Then I had bought a stash of pocket diapers and wasn’t even considering prefolds as an alternative.  If not for my sister, I may have never found how simple prefolds are.  Also, the extra covers and inserts helped me a lot when things got hectic and I was unable to get my cloth diapers washed and dried as quickly as usual.

Even if your sister or friend isn’t currently using cloth diapers, a small stash for free might be all it takes to sway them to try them out.  Remember that your little one might also appreciate a few “real” diapers for her baby too!

3. Sell Them

There are markets where you can sell used cloth diapers, especially if they are a reputable brand and in good condition. Places like Tots Bots, Applecheeks, RagaBabe and Ella Bella Bum often sell for close to retail.

If you end up with a few elusive or hard-to-find prints in your stash, they may even be worth more than you paid for them!  Some famous brands like bumGenius, Blueberry, and Thirsties can usually sell for half of the cost of a brand new diaper.

If you bought Alvas or another brand of “China cheapies”, you won’t be able to get much back for them, but since they usually cost less than $6 each, if you used them for more than 2 months, you’ve saved more than you would have spent on even the cheapest disposables.

Just like other things, you don’t expect cloth diapers to last forever.  Inserts, especially, degrade over time and consistent usage.  While many other diaper brands will last through more than one baby, they can become too worn out to be effective in the long run.

If your baby’s cloth diapers are beginning to look a bit more like rags than diapers, there are a couple more ways to save them from the dump!

4. Repurpose Them

Microfiber inserts can be used as Swiffer refills, while prefolds and flats can be used as dusting cloths, paper towel options, or rags for the shop.

Aside from hemp which normally gets crunchy over a long period, most natural fibers become dreamy soft, even when completely worn out.  This makes them a proper addition to the first aid kit for compresses, as well!

5. Compost And Recycle Them

Are you aware that when you donate used textiles to a clothing collection bin, that fabric in poor condition can offer a new purpose?  A lot of donation bins are managed by privately owned businesses that will sell off every pound of fabric they can.

Fabric recyclers will buy cotton in poor condition for use in seat stuffing and home and automotive insulation.  Cotton can likewise be combined along with recycled plastic bottles to produce new textiles, and fibers are even used to make paper money.

Remember that your local not-for-profit used clothing store may not be ready to extract the leftover life out of worn-out items, so please ask if you are not sure.  Also, remember that all-natural fibers are also compostable.  You can even try this at home if you have a backyard compost pile.

Shredding up old cotton, hemp, and bamboo fabric and layering it with yard waste and food debris will accelerate its break-down.  Just ensure to remove snaps, fleece, and polyester thread as these won’t break down.

Read Also: How To Prevent Diaper Blowouts

9 Other Useful Things You Can Do With Old Cloth Diapers

What To Do With your Old Cloth Diapers

1. Use As A Backup Cover

Moms who use disposables diapers keep waterproof diaper covers on hand to provide additional protection against diaper blowouts. The gussets on a disposable diaper aren’t the best, so adding an old cloth diaper cover on top provides you with a little bit of extra protection should the Pampers fail.

2. Hot Pads And Pot Holders

A lot of cloth diaper embed materials, like microfiber or prefolds, are adequately thick to use as a hot pad or potholder in the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly useful to have a couple of those around the house!

3. Can Be Used As Training Pants for Potty Training

Babies who are potty training can use pocket shells as training pants. You may decide to put a very thin insert inside just to buy you a little time before they flood their pants, but you don’t need it completely stuffed like a diaper.

It’s best advised for kids to be able to feel the wetness when potty training. If you snap the shell freely enough, they may be able to pull it up and down on their own just like underwear.

4. Toys

Old cloth diapers or one-size diapers sized on the smallest setting can make a nice diaper for baby dolls or teddy bears. Children can play with them for a long time!

5. Use As A Photo Prop

Using your old cloth diaper is another great idea to give a really cute (but not usable) cover new life. Allow your baby to wear it for a photoshoot; hold onto it if the color/print is one you love, and you can get a picture of your next baby in it, as well.

6. Stuffing For A Pet Bed

You can essentially take any old diaper fabric, put it inside a pillowcase, and sew the end shut to make it into a pet bed for your dog or cat. If you have a bean bag chair shell but no beads, you could try placing them all in there, as well!

7. Be Crafty

You can make cute cloth diaper key chains or tree ornaments from old PUL covers, just like these from Weensy Baby which can be as gifts or party favors. You can also use your old cloth diaper covers for baby shower decorations or party games.

8. As A Swim Diaper

Your old cloth diaper can also be used as a swim diaper. The primary purpose of a washable swim diaper is to hold in number two, so as long as you can get a solid match around the legs, an old cover or pocket shell can serve this purpose.

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9. They Can Serve As Teaching Aids

Old diapers can be practical, and you can get lots of use out of them even when you’re no longer changing diapers. Use them in your local cloth diaper support group to show various styles and features for mothers who are curious to start.

So there you have it -15 things on what to do with old cloth diapers when you no longer need them. I hope you found some of these ideas helpful. Are you going to be happy when your little one is done with diapers?

What are your plans with your baby diapers after your baby potty trains? Do you have another idea on what to do with old cloth diapers or damaged diaper covers? Let us know in the comment below so other moms can benefit from your ideas, too!