Wash at Home vs. Cloth Diaper Service

Have you decided to cloth diaper? Yay, way to go! Now you’re debating whether to wash at home or use a service. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, and after many years in business, we hope we can provide some honest, helpful insights.

Washing at Home

Washing cloth diapers at home is a totally feasible option for some! To give you an idea of what diapering at home involves, here’s the general process you will follow:

  1. Rinse/Scrape dirty diapers using sprayer in the toilet (every day)
  2. Wash in machine with proper detergent and at high temperature (every 2 days)
  3. Dry in machine or on clothesline. At some point you will need to sun your diapers to help with stains.
  4. Fold and stuff diapers if needed
  5. Put away in designated spot

Most pro cloth mom bloggers will say it takes them about 1-2 hours a week to do all of this. Typical supplies required are: toilet sprayer, washer/dryer, clothes line or rack in the sun, cloth diapers/covers, pail, pail liners, wet bags, and cloth safe detergent.


  • Save money. Between the options of disposables, using a diaper service, and washing at home, this option is the best money saver. You may see an increase in your water bill, and there is a hefty initial investment but it will pay off fairly quickly.
  • YOUR diapers. Some may like the control washing at home gives them. You are not tied to a grocery store or delivery schedule.
  • Reuse diapers for multiple children. Cloth diapers have a long life, so you can use them for any other children you may have.
  • You still have us. If you choose to cloth diaper at home, you still have the opportunity to shop local at Tinkle Belle. You can build your own stash through our store. We have prepped diapers, cloth diaper safe creams, and preloved supplies.


  • Time. This could be a pro or con, 1-2 hours may not seem like much time. However if you speak to any parent, when baby arrives you will have endless laundry to do, bottles to wash, and diapers to change. 1-2 hours can be an important margin to devote to a nap, bath or just feeling like a human!
  • Energy. Again, energy is a special resource as a parent, so you have to make decisions on where it is worth investing. Do you want to spend it on processing cloth diapers or on something else?
  • Convenience. Compare this to the convenience of your food being delivered rather than going to pick it up. Do you want the convenience of your dirty diapers being picked up once a week or are you ready to squat in front of the toilet to rinse and scrape them each night?
  • Living Situations. Consider your home, is the washer and dryer easily accessible? Do you have control of the water temperature? For people living in apartments where the machines are down multiple flights of stairs, or they can’t adjust the water temperature high enough, these may be strong deterrents to washing at home.
  • Sanitation. Washing at home means you have to ensure your diapers are getting clean enough. Detergents, water pressure, water temperature, UV rays are all factors parents have to consider to make sure no bacteria remains on the diapers.

Diaper Service

If you cloth diaper with Tinkle Belle Diaper Services, a usual week looks like this:

  1. Weekly exchange – receive clean diapers/ put out dirty diapers on designated day
  2. Unpack bag of clean and place provided liner in pail
  3. Throw dirty diapers into pail through out the week
  4. Repeat!

Pail, pail liners, and diapers are all provided through us! You can add additional diaper products to a delivery by simply purchasing them in our store. We are a one-stop-shop for all your diaper needs!


  • Cost. Using a diaper service will cost more in dollars than washing at home. However diapering a baby has a cost, no matter what. Washing at home means you pay in time & energy, and with a service in dollars. One benefit to a service is that friends and family can purchase a gift certificate which is not an option washing at home. If you want to compare the costs between diaper service and disposables, you can check out this blog.
  • Schedule. With a diaper service, you are tied to a specific delivery schedule. Your diaper bag needs to be out on a certain day, and there can be deadlines for making changes to an upcoming delivery.


  • Convenience/Time/Energy. Disposables have an ease-of-use that is appealing to most people. With a cloth diaper service, the convenience of disposables is restored! No rinsing or scraping necessary. All you have to do is put the dirty diaper in the pail and set out your diaper bag once a week for pick-up. If you live in high rise or apartment – we can come right up to door if you don’t want to haul your diapers down to the first floor. It’s as simple as taking out the trash! 
  • Environment. With a service, diapers are washed more efficiently in larger loads and washers designed to use less water than those at home. Diapers can be shared between multiple families for multiple years which results in overall less diapers produced than if each family had their own set at home. Borrowing diapers is better than buying all new ones.
  • Sanitation. Diapers are washed in a process designed by a chemical engineer that ensures no bacteria remains, and the diapers are at a neutral pH by the end of washing. They are also hand sorted for quality by team members. You don’t get that at home!
  • Customer Service. With Tinkle Belle, you have a team of people ready to help you with everything diaper related. Whether you need disposables for a vacation or have a question about diaper cream, you will have experts just a phone call away!
  • Trying Cloth Diapers Out. Services are also great if you’re unsure about cloth diapering and want to try it out. Rather than investing in all the supplies, you can get a month of diaper service to see if cloth is a good fit, and then decide from there whether you want to wash at home or continue in services!

Got More Questions?

We hope this post is helpful as you embark on your cloth diapering journey! No matter which path you take, cloth diapering is a great choice for both your baby and the planet. Together, we can take care of this unique planet we live on.

If you’re still wondering which is a good fit for you, attend one of our Diaper Demos! We are happy to dialogue about what would fit your family best. If you’re curious about our pricing and options, check out this page.

P.S. We have Waste to Energy disposable diapers that never see a landfill! Learn more here.

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