Too crunchy?

If you use the term “crunchy” to describe someone, you’re probably referring to a preference for a natural lifestyle, someone who, of course, must eat [homemade] granola, because that is what crunchy people eat.

However, shortly after we started cloth diapering, I developed my own theory for the origin of the term.  “Crunchy” is an apt description for our line-dried diapers.

We don’t have a dryer, so we’ve exclusively line-dried our laundry for the past few years.  Sometimes I notice that the clean, dry clothes are a bit stiff, but it’s not a big deal.  However, some of the diapers we use end up EXTREMELY stiff and rough, which IS a big deal for The Dude’s sensitive baby skin (and these would probably irritate most anyone’s skin, baby or no).

Fortunately, we have access to our downstairs neighbors’ dryer, so, although I don’t like the energy use (or the fact that the diapers will wear out more quickly — “lint” is mostly just fabric particles from your clothes), I’ve started using it to help soften up the cloth diapers.  When possible, I line dry the diapers most of the way, then toss them in the dryer for a softening fluff.

While this solves the crunchiness problem, the homemade, hand-me-down portion of our diaper collection still have rough edges, which are causing ongoing irritation issues for The Dude.  He’s almost outgrown many of those anyway, so I’m faced with buying more cloth diapers.

I’ll admit that I’ve been procrastinating — hoping, based on what I’ve read about people who’ve practiced Elimination Communication (EC) from an early age, that we’d be nearly diaper-free by now, but that is just not the case.  Not anywhere close, which, considering the time I’ve invested wasted sitting around with The Dude on the potty over the past several months, is pretty depressing.

My attempts to find used cloth diapers on Craigslist have proven fruitless thus far, so I may have to give in and purchase them new.


  1. Nupur says:

    Just a thought: I use a cloth diaper service. I wonder if they have sell any of their extra used diapers. If you want to contact the owner, I can share her contact info.

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Thanks for the idea — I’ll look into it. You can send her contact info to hergreenlife AT gmail DOT com. Thanks again!

  2. Tracy says:

    A few ideas….You can buy used diapers at cotton babies.
    They are the pocket kind and you can literally stuff anything into them in a pinch. If they have velcro and you want snaps instead I own a snap tool which you can borrow. It is easy to do and a good thing since toddlers learn quickly to take them off…I imagine your guy loves naked time as much as mine. 😉

    Another idea…they have flips on sale right now for $9 each . these are the non pocket type and can be reused unless baby is poopy and they dry almost virtually.,.They are my favorite They do free shipping…which I love, especially great when I was on bed rest and getting ready for Mr. B to arrive.

    A third idea is a local lady who buys diapers wholesale and sells them out of her home cheaper than stores. Let me know if you want her contact info.

    A fourth idea is to take little girls bloomers…they are like the bottom of a two piece suit. You spray the inside with a waterproofer and insert anything to absorb. Here is where I got that and more ideas

    BTW, funny that you posted about crunchiness as I was just mentioning today after taking a load off the clothes line that I prefer windy days as things are not crunchy…BTW, if i am on top of things and get them off the line while they are just barely damp they are not as crunchy.

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Thanks for all the suggestions. On the drying, I’m hesitant to leave the diapers in the just barely damp stage — seems that would make it more likely for yeast and bacteria to grow. Do you use that trick with your diapers, as well as other laundry? Any issues?

  3. I use EC with my infant, and I am still ECing my toddler. Some days we can go nappy free for a while when I have time, and I then catch most. Maybe it is time to stop reliance on the nappies and see how you go in just some pants? Nappies can be a real crutch if you let them be. One site that is helping my confidence is Hope this helps!

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Sigh, yes, they are a bit of a crutch, but also seem necessary based on where we are. Full days of diapers three days a week at day care doesn’t help our slow progress.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I can identify with the crunchy quality of line dried clothing, especially towels. Sometimes my towels come out like loofahs! My parents line dry, then toss their mostly dry clothes in the dryer for ten minutes. I don’t (the dryer here costs money!), but I think it’s a good compromise. I see cloth diapers offered on my local Freecycle every now and then. Worth an ask?

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Yes, towels seem to be worse than most clothing. I see it as extra incentive to use bath towels multiple times between washings, since they get progressively softer.

      I’m following up a couple of leads for the diapers based on the other tips here, but if those don’t pan out, I’ll add FreeCycle (called ReuseItStLouis here, for some reason) into the mix.

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