The infamous diaper sprayer is a point of discussion for many cloth diaper users. Some will argue that it is completely unnecessary and others will argue that they couldn’t cloth diaper without one. What is a diaper sprayer for? Why use one? Diaper sprayers attach to the plumbing that fills your toilet with water. It is used to spray poo off of your diapers and into your toilet. Yes, you could technically avoid this process by using a biodegradable diaper liner in your diaper with every diaper change. The drawback to that method is that while you can get some pretty good deals on diaper liners, you still have to buy them repeatedly and they are added waste going into our sewer or landfills. A diaper sprayer is a one time purchase and you might be surprised as to how many uses you can find for it!
I happen to fall into the “I can’t live without my diaper sprayer” category. I started with a BumGenius Diaper sprayer. It lasted two years. They warn you on the package to turn it off with every use – mind this warning. If you forget to turn it off at the shut off valve it will start to leak. It get slowly worse every time you forget to turn it off. The on button on our sprayer had started to stick and that made it a bit more difficult to use after a while as well. On the plus side, this sprayer is easy to install with a wrench. I installed it myself in about 15 minutes from start to finish. You can adjust pressure with this sprayer by turning the water valve that comes out of the wall to your toilet more open or closed. This diaper sprayer runs about $45.
When my first diaper sprayer began to leak uncontrollably (if this happens to you just shut off the water at the valve that comes out of the wall) I uninstalled it and ordered another. I thought it would be nice to order a different brand so that I would have a comparison for you and would be able to give a better review. This time I ordered a Fuzzibunz diaper sprayer. I happen to get one that leaked when I installed it, but I’m glad that I did. Because I got one that was missing a rubber valve, I got the opportunity to work with customer service at Fuzzibunz. They were helpful and got a new diaper sprayer out to me quickly. I installed the replacement sprayer quickly (10minutes?) with no leaks. This sprayer does not require that you turn it off after each use. It also has a separate pressure valve that you turn to increase or decrease pressure. I have to say that I like this design a bit better. The handle is made so that it won’t stick the way that the BumGenius one did.
So. I am happy to announce that I am giving away a FuzziBunz Diaper Sprayer! I have found that even into potty training this sprayer has been more than helpful. I can spray out training potties with ease. I have also used the diaper sprayer to rinse off many larger items in the shower right next to our toilet. If there is a dirty job, my diaper sprayer has helped me with it! I love the versatility of so many components of cloth diapering. Prefolds can be used for burp rags, to clean runny noses during colds, and when your kids are out of diapers, they make great rags for cleaning, and towels for drying your car.
Good Luck! PS Please note that this giveaway is in EST time. I will post the winner here via the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will also receive email notification.
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Oh yeah, I’m going there. Seriously, haven’t you ever thought about the difference between where toilet water goes and where shower water goes? Is it just me? Am I the only one that thought the reason people were trippin about how it’s not ok to pee in the shower HAD to be because the shower water wasn’t being treated the same way in a sewage treatment facility?
Ok, where did this come from. Yes, it seems pretty out of the blue but it’s not, I swear. Today I was reading about how people launder their cloth diapers and some were questioning the use of diaper sprayers and were saying they spray their diapers into a laundry sink or soak their diapers in the bath tub and this got me thinking….. WAIT. The water all goes to the same place, right? I mean, I’ve seen diagrams of the complex sewage treatment process in grade school and I know that waste water has different names (grey water and black water), but it all goes to the same place, doesn’t it? So this sent me on a fact finding mission that took me all over the place. I saw home treatment rigs for grey water (water that doesn’t contain human waste), blogs on all the crazy things we are doing to our poor depleted water supply, even those diagrams of sewage treatment facilities and their process that I mentioned from grade school. I had to go back to good ole’ Wikipedia (who by the way will be blacking out their English version in protest of PIPA and SOPA – in case you check the link and it isn’t visible) to learn/verify what seems now, after having written this much of this post, to be pretty commonsensical. In most cases in the US, all of our water, grey and black, goes to the same sewage treatment facility to be treated equally. WHEW. IT IS TOTALLY OK TO PEE IN THE SHOWER FOLKS. PS It is also ok to rinse your soiled diapers down whatever drain is convenient and most practical for you – though I would caution against the kitchen sink if you would like to prevent giving your family food poisoning. This makes me feel even better about washing diapers and clothing soiled with all the bodily fluids a baby or toddler could possibly produce in our washing machine.
And while it doesn’t take libations to get me to talk about poo, I AM nearly done with the mimosa (totally flat champagne left over from New Years) that I started to drink before washing the dishes for the night. I don’t know how there was anything left after all that sewage research, but there was. Cheers!
What a fun and exciting topic! Not really, but to give you more information and make “going cloth” seem less daunting, I will tackle it!
To start, there are several items that make cloth diapering much easier. Item one, a diaper sprayer! (Diapers or diaper inserts refer to the cloth portion that gets soiled, not the outer cover.) The sprayer is a push button nozzle which attaches to the water source at the back of your toilet. I USED to wear a pair of rubber gloves and rinse that diaper right into the toilet, rubbing it on itself to help remove debris. (yes, I called it debris, would you rather poo, poopie, poopoo?) Anyways, the sprayer has been a joy to own, making my life much less ‘toilety’. Now, I can hold the diaper at one end, spray downwards into the toilet and then drop the rinsed diaper in my diaper soaking pail (more on this shortly) right next to the toilet without even putting on a glove! Please note that the directions on the sprayer require you to turn the sprayer off after every use. If you do not turn it off, pressure builds and causes the sprayer to leak.
Key item number two, a diaper soaking pail. I looked high and low for a diaper soaking pail. Not just a trash can or dry pail. I wanted a pail, with a lid that I could easily pour dirty water out of, which remained light enough for me to pick up and take to the laundry room without breaking my already “broken” back. I didn’t find it. What I wound up doing was getting a 5 gallon empty paint bucket from Home Depot. I think it was $5. NICE! I fill this bucket almost half way with water and then add half a scoop of Oxiclean (My miracle soaking solution). I wash diapers every other day, so along with any poo soiled diapers, at the end of day one, I add diapers from each dry pail (more on THESE shortly) to my soaking pail. I found that there has been no need to soak the diaper covers. I have never had a stain remain. If you do find it necessary to soak them, a pail of plain water should do.
Dry diaper pails (item three!) for each changing station in your home are a great help. I got some small storage containers with lids from Target and have one upstairs and one downstairs. I empty these in to my soaking pail (on day one) or directly in to the washer if it is diaper washing night (day two). Cloth diaper companies sell “pail liners” which are different sized washable bags lined with a water resistant layer. These bags make it easy to cary your dirty diapers from the pail to the washer and keep your pail clean. These are also great for those who are fortunate enough to have a diaper service!
A small wet bag is also a great bonus to have for your diaper bag. It is similar to the pail liners described above but smaller in size and some have a zipper-like closure or drawstring.
In preparation for two babies and the increase in laundry we were expecting, my hubs and I decided to splurge and get a fancy new front loading washer and dryer. (Not to mention our set at that time belonged to our previous roommate). Imagine my surprise to find out that top loading washers are preferred for washing cloth diapers! Why? Top loaders use more water. Diapers need to be well washed and VERY well rinsed in order to prevent detergent buildup and odor. So, when I wash my diapers I have to use all those fancy extra settings. I wash on HOT HOT, heavy soil, use the pre-wash, extra rinse, and water plus settings.
On diaper washing night I dump all the diapers from the dry pails into the washer. Then I lug my wet soaking pail into the laundry room. I put on my rubber gloves, wring out the diapers and toss them in the washer. I then pour the “water” from the soaker pail into the toilet, rinse and refill it. I put 1/2 a scoop of Oxiclean in the soaker pail and 1/2 a scoop in the washer tub. When it comes to choosing a laundry detergent it is best to check with the company who makes your cloth diapers for their recommendations. I have been happy with Seventh Generation detergent and Costco’s environmentally friendly Kirkland brand detergent. Green Mountain Diapers has wonderful washing tips and detergent recommendations. Check out their FAQ: www.greenmountaindiapers.com/washing-diapers.htm
Many people find it easy to use cloth wipes and a solution since they are already doing a load of diapers! This is nice because all of your diaper change “waste” can go in one pail. I use cloth wipes for wet diapers and use Costco‘s disposable wipes (made from Tincel) for poopie diapers. I am being slightly lazy because I don’t want to stand over the toilet for that extra minute to rinse the cloth wipes. The internet has a ton of recipes for wipe solution. The key to a great solution seems to be alcohol free witch hazel. This may come in handy if you have an extremely sensitive baby. Some babies are allergic to disposable wipes. I used to use disposable wipes to clean the babies up after a dinner at a restaurant. My son’s face would breakout every time. (I can’t believe how long it took me to connect the dots on that one!) A great concentrated wipe solution is California Baby. The instructions say to dilute it 1 part to 10 parts. I got a couple travel spray bottles, put a bit of the concentrate in there and then filled the rest with distilled water. It lasts a LONG time. I have had it for months and have used about 1/8th of the bottle. It makes me feel much better about paying $11.50 for a 6.5oz bottle. To clean baby up simply spray the solution directly on the area in need of cleaning or on the cloth wipe.
Fun fact: Did you know that you are supposed to flush ALL poo in the toilet? Disposable diaper poo needs to be flushed so that it can be treated properly. Biological waste in a landfill creates toxic stew….
For my latest update to my diaper washing routine, click HERE.