MONDAYIt is Cyber Monday and we have new deals and new freebies for you!  All of our discounts from Black Friday are continuing… PLUS:

Thirsties Duo Wrap 5-Pack only $40 (save over $23)!  A deal this AWESOME can only come once a year – so don’t miss out!


Cyber Monday FREEBIES:

All orders receive a free sample of Thirsties Booty Love diaper ointment!

Orders of $50+ will receive a 5-pack of fleece liners!

Orders of $75+ will receive the fleece liners PLUS a FREE diaper cover!

Orders of $100+ receive the fleece liners, diaper cover, AND a FREE pocket diaper!

*All FREEBIES are available while supplies last.  Freebies are based on the order total after all discounts and promotions (including reward redemption) have been applied.


Other Promotions

All orders of $60+ will receive a stalk-free pass for our upcoming Smart Bottoms exclusive diaper.  Details will be emailed later this week to customers who make qualifying orders :)

All orders of $100+ will receive a 50-reward-point bonus in addition to all of the freebies listed above!  Bonus points will be added to qualifying accounts within 7 days.

One order made between noon and midnight today will be randomly chosen (using to receive store credit for the amount of the order total – up to $50!

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Black Friday

Black FridayWhy wait until Friday for the best deals?  Black Friday deals are here NOW!



Smart Bottoms diapers & accessories – 15% off
Osocozy flats, prefolds, & accessories – 20% off
Bottombumpers (old style) – up to 35% off
All teething necklaces – 20% off
All leg warmers – $5

Starting at MIDNIGHT tonight (11/25):

Thirsties diapers & accessories – up to 40% off!  Diaper covers will be starting at just $6.90!!



This year we have an awesome variety of FREEBIES for you… but they are a MYSTERY!  Fleece liners, leg warmers, reusable sandwich bags, and even diapers are just a few of the freebies we are giving away this year!  Your freebie package value will be based on your order total.

Level 1
Spend $35+ and receive $3-5 in freebies!

Level 2
Spend $75+ and receive Level 1 PLUS an additional $10-15 in freebies –> A total of $13-20 in freebies!

Level 3
Spend $125+ and receive Level 2 PLUS an additional $25-30 in freebies –> A total of $38-50 in freebies!

*Freebie level determined by order total after all discounts and promotions have been applied (including point redemption).  We choose your freebies – but you may note gender preference in your order notes.  Available while supplies last.


And one more thing...STALK-FREE PASSES

Have you seen the sneak peek of our awesome Smart Bottoms exclusive?!  Want to be guaranteed you won’t miss out on it?  All orders of $60 or more (after all discounts and promotions, including point redemption, have been applied) will receive a stalk-free pass!





The discounts listed above will continue through Cyber Monday.  Freebies are available while supplies last.  Make sure you watch our Facebook page for new promotions throughout the weekend!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)
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Let’s Talk About Bleach, Baby!


If you participate in any of the online cloth diapering forums, you have probably noticed a relatively recent spike in the popularity of bleaching your diapers as the first line of defense for just about any issue.  Your baby has a rash?  Bleach soak.  Yeast infection?  Bleach soak.  One diaper smells a bit funky out of the wash?  Better bleach soak all of your diapers.  Now, I know that many of you who are reading this are already starting to get upset over what you think I am about to say and are already formulating your biting comments about putting your baby’s health and safety above keeping your diapers in pristine condition.  But just hold on for a minute and read on.  (And, for the record, I absolutely 100% agree with putting your baby first!)


The evolution of the cloth diapering community has been an interesting one.  When I first joined it several years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, the washing/care recommendations were something along the lines of using a few teaspoons of so-called “cloth diaper safe” detergents in excessive amounts of water.  What – you want to try a “regular” detergent?!?  Only if you want your diapers to spontaneously combust!  You want to bleach your diapers?!?  Clearly you don’t care about your diapers or your baby!  Anyway, you get the point.  Cloth diapers were viewed as fragile and, as such, needing to be handled with kid gloves.  Fortunately, not too long after I became involved in this community the tides began changing and people realized mainstream detergents, proper water levels, and yes, even bleach were important tools in effectively cleaning cloth diapers.


Somewhere in the relatively recent past, though, the 30-minute bleach soak burst onto the scene and became wildly popular.  Suddenly, the 30-minute bleach soak became the gold standard for “resetting” your diapers whenever you needed to tweak your wash routine or were dealing with a rash.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not a bleach-hater.  I use it.  I recommend it.  But I also like to base my actions and recommendations on facts and science – not just on what is popular at the moment within the cloth diapering community – and, honestly, the way people are recommending to bleach has left me a little skeptical about their methods.  For instance, when dealing with yeast, the recommendation is to do a 30-minute bleach soak and then continue to add bleach to your wash cycle for the full two weeks you are treating the skin.  Now, using a little common sense here, this doesn’t completely make sense.  Why would a bleach soak be necessary if subsequent washes can simply be treated by adding bleach to the wash cycle?  If you believe a soak is necessary the first time around, then it should be necessary for every load until the yeast is eradicated.


Ok, so coming back to my original questions about the 30-minute bleach soak – I wanted to find out where this recommendation came from and what, if any, scientific evidence supported it.  I mean really, why is 30 minutes the magic number?  Why not 15?  Or 45?  Or maybe you don’t need to soak at all.  So I started as close to the source as I could and posed these questions on one of the very large online cloth diapering forums where, as far as I can tell, this recommendation originated.  To date, no one there has been able to satisfactorily answer my questions – but I will address the responses I received as I present the information I found through my own research.  My research included contacting Clorox numerous time through both phone and e-mail, spending hours scouring both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) websites, and conducting other internet searches for additional information.  The information I have gathered from these sources has been very consistent and clearly indicates that bleach soaks are, indeed, UNNECESSARY.  So let’s take a look at what I have found.


First, I contacted Clorox via both e-mail and phone numerous times (to ensure I had clarified everything as explicitly as possible).  Here is what I found out from Clorox.  First, only hard, non-porous surfaces can be disinfected – porous surfaces such as cloth can be sanitized, which means 99.999% of bacteria are destroyed (for an explanation of the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting, click here).  I specifically asked how I would sanitize cloth diapers and was told using ½ cup of Clorox Regular Concentrated Bleach in the wash cycle with detergent will sanitize the diapers – killing 99.999% of bacteria – no soaking necessary.  It was suggested in the online cloth diapering community that perhaps it was necessary to soak diapers for 30 minutes to allow the bleach to penetrate all of the layers of the diapers.  This did not make sense to me as I would assume that the bleach would reach the inner layers of the diapers as quickly as the water from the wash cycle does – meaning it should not take any longer to sanitize multiple layers since the bleach would be in contact with the inner layers for almost the exact same length of time as it is in contact with the outer layers… but in the interest of covering all of my bases, I followed up by calling Clorox.  The Clorox representative confirmed that I was indeed correct and again emphasized there was no need to soak the diapers in order to sanitize them.  Additionally, in a follow-up e-mail, I asked how one would sanitize their laundry if they were washing by hand (trying to understand how bleaching should be done if not done in the washing machine as it is frequently recommended by the cloth diapering community to do the soak in your tub – though I should point out that, per Clorox, using bleach in your wash cycle regardless of whether you have a top loader or front loader will sanitize your laundry so there really should be no reason to use bleach in anything other than the washing machine – but again, just covering my bases).  Here is a direct quote of the response I received: “We do not have any recommendations on using our Clorox Regular Concentrated Bleach to use when hand-washing your laundry. This is because the bleach was designed to be used in the washer machine for laundry purposes. To properly apply Clorox Regular Concentrated Bleach to your load of laundry,  add half a cup into the washer before adding the clothes. Then, you can add your detergent. To fully sanitize your clothing allow for the entire wash cycle to complete.”


And in case you are questioning the validity of Clorox’s claims, consider this:  Clorox bleach is an EPA-registered disinfectant.  As such, there are strict guidelines regarding labeling products (i.e. what the product can claim to do on its label) and the company must be able to provide efficacy data proving the product meets or exceeds standards in order to make certain claims.  You will notice that the label on the new Clorox Regular Concentrated Bleach indicates directions for “laundry and sanitizing”.  In order to use the word “sanitizing”, Clorox must show that their bleach does, in fact, sanitize.  Click here to see the EPA’s Sanitizer Test and you will see that the results “must show a bacterial reduction of at least 99.9% over the parallel control count within 5 minutes.”   You can also see the testing guidelines specifically for sanitizing laundry additives by clicking here (you will need to download the PDF or Word document to view).  In case you don’t want to download the document, here is a direct quote regarding evaluating the sanitizing success: “The results should demonstrate a reduction of ≥99.9 percent (a 3-log10 reduction ) in bacteria over the control count for both laundry water and fabric. This reduction should be demonstrated against each test microorganism within the contact time claimed on the label.”  Additionally, the EPA requires labels to “distinguish between products recommended as soaking treatments prior to laundering and products represented as additives in actual laundry operations” (source).  Therefore, if soaking were required for the bleach to sanitize the laundry, the label would be required to state this – BUT IT DOES NOT.  Rather, it states that it is to be added during the wash cycle to achieve sanitization.


Honestly, this information from Clorox and the EPA’s website should be sufficient to show bleach soaks are unnecessary; however, I will continue in order to address more of the responses from the online cloth diapering community and to provide additional evidence that bleach soaks are unnecessary.


There was also some speculation in the online cloth diapering community that the 30-minute bleach soak recommendation was derived from non-cloth-diaper-specific recommendations from the CDC and/or EPA and then altered to what seemed “reasonable” for cloth diapers.  But first, who determines what is “reasonable”?  And if you have any scientific background – or paid any attention in a research methods class – you should know that it is dangerous to make assumptions and connections where there might not be any.  A couple of posters referred to the EPA’s guidelines for emergency drinking water disinfection (found here), which say you need to wait 30 minutes before drinking the water.  Hence, they speculated you would also need 30 minutes for bleach to disinfect diapers.  Here is the problem with this reasoning: 1) the amount of bleach used in disinfecting drinking water is miniscule as compared to the amount you use when sanitizing laundry; 2) when purifying drinking water, you are removing very different types of threats than when sanitizing laundry; and 3) if you are purifying water, then you are starting with water that is not safe for human consumption – and, assuming you live in a developed nation, your water (used for drinking, laundry, etc) is already free from the majority of the organisms you would want to kill if you need to follow emergency drinking water disinfection instructions.  Therefore, the length of time needed to disinfect drinking water cannot be extrapolated to disinfecting cloth diapers.


Another poster in the online cloth diapering community stated the CDC says you must soak clothing for at least 30 minutes if it needs to be sanitized.  I have actually heard this reference before; however, I have never been able to find this information anywhere on the CDC’s website and no one has ever been able to provide a link to this information.  In fact, I found no mention of doing bleach soaks of ANY length on the CDC’s website.  Here are some links that show just a sampling of their laundry recommendations under various conditions:

“Healthcare Associated Infections” – “Laundry: Washing Infected Material” click here

“Preventing Norovirus Infection” click here

“Cleaning & Disinfecting Laundry for MRSA” click here

You will notice that none of these pages mention bleach soaks.  The first link mentions that commercial facilities use 50-150 ppm (parts per million) concentrations of bleach in the wash cycle.  And lest you assume this is some super high level of bleach needed to achieve sanitization in the wash cycle, let’s look at these numbers.  50 ppm is less than 1 tsp of bleach per 1 gallon of water (1 tsp/1 gallon is 65 ppm assuming 5.25% sodium hypochlorite) and 150 ppm is less than 1 tbs of bleach per gallon of water (1 tbs/1 gallon is 200 ppm).  Also, I should point out that the first link is listed under the “Prevention and Control” sections of several diseases on the CDC website including HIV (found here) and Hepatitis (found here), meaning these instructions are what the CDC recommends to prevent the spread of these diseases.


Finally, I will point you toward ongoing research that is being conducted specifically on yeast in cloth diapers.  You can find information about the study here and preliminary results here.  You will see in the second link that they found that adding bleach to the wash cycle killed 100% of the yeast colonies.  Now, I will point out (as the links do) that this is a small, on-going study – so drawing hard conclusions from their results at this time is not appropriate; however, these results are just one more piece of evidence in support of all of the information presented above.

So in conclusion, I have found ZERO evidence that it is necessary to soak diapers in bleach in order to sanitize them and, in fact, have found a significant amount of evidence that shows a bleach wash is more than sufficient to sanitize diapers.  I will point out that you need to follow the laundry instructions on your bottle of bleach to effectively sanitize your diapers as the amount of bleach needed will vary depending on the concentration of the bleach.  For instance, if using Clorox Regular Bleach (which is 6% sodium hypochlorite), you need to use ¾ cup for a standard washer and 1 ¼ cup for a large capacity washer – while you only need ½ cup if using Clorox Regular Concentrated Bleach (8.25% sodium hypochlorite).  Additionally, bleach does break down and lose its effectiveness over time.  When I asked Clorox how long a bottle of bleach would maintain its disinfecting/sanitizing properties when used according to the label, they said they recommend replacing bleach every three months.  Of course, I take this recommendation with a grain of salt since they stand to profit from people frequently replacing their bleach.  That said, it is absolutely a scientific fact that bleach does lose its effectiveness over time – so if you have had the same bottle of bleach for years, I would highly recommend replacing it!  And finally, because I am sure there will be people reading this who will scoff at all of the evidence presented here and will say that diapers should still be bleach soaked to be “on the safe side”, I will just point out that, not only is there proof that sanitization is achieved in a bleach wash, bleach is still a caustic substance at the end of the day and repeatedly exposing any type of cloth to it for extended lengths of time will cause premature breakdown of the fibers.  So for the love of diapers and the babies who wear them, let’s stop bleach soaking our diapers!

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Common Sense Cloth Diapering

If you have been following this blog and have read other information on this website, you have probably noticed we take a very practical, scientific-based approach to cloth diapering.  My goal for Dipes ‘n’ Duds from the very beginning has been to make cloth diapering more mainstream and one way to do this is to make cloth diapering seem more realistic for the typical family.  What is NOT realistic for the typical family is having to buy “special” (and expensive!) laundry detergents, boosters, and additives, adding more time to each diaper change by needing to spray or soak each diaper with some sort of cleaning agent, needing to spend hours every couple of days performing complicated wash routines on their diapers, and, after all of that, crossing their fingers and hoping for clean diapers that don’t smell or have staining.  The view held by many people outside of the cloth diapering community is that cloth diapering is gross, time consuming, a constant battle with stink and staining, and only for those who like to live the “ultra green” lifestyle.  And, to be honest, under the old “rules” (i.e. the outdated washing advice), cloth diapering is time consuming and a constant battle.  The good news is that the tides are beginning to turn in the cloth community and people are recognizing cloth diapers for what they are… heavily soiled laundry that needs to be washed accordingly.  The only problem is that there is still a lot of misinformation out there being perpetuated by outdated websites, “experts” who were schooled in cloth diapering under the old “rules,” and companies who threaten to void warranties if the old rules are not followed.  Therefore, in order to help spread the practical, scientifically-based, and common sense approach to a wider audience, I have created a sister blog Common Sense Cloth.  There will be some cross-posting between these blogs along with certain posts that will be specific to one blog or the other.  Ultimately, my goal in doing this is to increase the chances that people will come across accurate information about the ease and benefits of using cloth diapers.  So if you care about spreading common sense, please join me on the Common Sense Cloth blog!  The more interactions a blog has (i.e. unique visitors, blog comments, etc), the higher it will appear in search rankings – which means it will reach even more people.  So join us in spreading common sense about cloth diapering!

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Answering the Cloth Diaper Skeptics

I love encountering cloth diaper skeptics.  Why?  Because I can pretty much refute every reason they give as to why one should not use cloth diapers.  The only problem is that, so often, these skeptics state their reasons as “facts” without any real factual information to back them up… and this can scare people who were considering cloth away from the idea.  So here are some of the most common misconceptions I hear from the skeptics along with my answers.


1)  Cloth diapers are difficult and involve pins, plastic pants, and dunking & swishing.


As you will often hear in the cloth diapering community these days, “These aren’t your grandma’s cloth diapers!”  Sure, many people (myself included) love their “old-school” flats and prefolds.  They are versatile and virtually indestructible.  But with the advent of pockets and all-in-ones, putting a cloth diaper on a baby is just as simple as putting on a disposable.  As for dunking and swishing… well, that is still one way to get poop off of diapers… but there are many other options now as well such as diaper sprayers and disposable liners… and some lucky parents never have to deal with any of this as some children have “plopable” poo, meaning it is firm enough to roll right off the diaper without leaving much behind.


2)  Cloth diapers cause more rashes than disposables.


In reality, there is no evidence that one type of diaper (cloth vs disposable) is superior to the other when it comes to rashes.  Rashes can be caused by many different things… sensitivity to wetness, sensitivity to chemicals (those found in disposable diapers, disposable wipes, or in a particular detergent if using cloth), yeast (which is a fungus that thrives in dark, damp environments), etc.  Cloth diapering does offer more options that are much more breathable than disposable diapers, which can help prevent rashes.  But again, in reality, as long as both are changed as often as they should be (approximately every 2 hours after the newborn phase), there is no significant difference in the number of rashes among babies in cloth vs disposable diapers.  One issue with disposable diapers, though, is that, because they always feel dry, parents often go longer between changes than they really should… which does increase the chances of rashes.


3)  Cloth diapering does not actually save money once you factor in your increased utility bills.


This question has been asked many times on one of the cloth diapering forums I am on.  This particular forum has over 42,000 members and, even though nowhere near 42,000 people respond to any given post, the answers that are given all seem to be very similar.  The truth of the matter is that the majority of people who cloth diaper do not notice any increase in utilities, while those who do notice report that it is very small (as in $3-$5/month on average).  You should also remember that, regardless of what type of diaper you end up using, the amount of laundry you do will dramatically increase once you have a baby since both you and the baby will likely go through numerous outfits per day due to spit up and other accidents.  As a bit of a side note, cloth diapers contain poo-splosions much better than disposable diapers… so you will be doing fewer clothing changes due to poo!


4)  Cloth diapers take too much time/are difficult to care for.


Cloth diapering can be very simple to care for.  There are so many myths out there about needing a complicated wash routine, special detergents, laundry additives, periodic stripping, etc, etc, etc.  I’ll just call BS on all of that right now.  A simple washing routine with a high quality detergent is all you need.  For more detailed information about washing cloth diapers, check out my earlier blog posts The Dirty Truth About Washing Cloth Diapers and The Dirty Truth – Part 2.


5)  Cloth diapers are gross and washing them in my washer will ruin it/make it smell.


If you have children, every unpleasant bodily fluid/excrement you can think of will make its way into your washer regardless of what type of diaper you choose to use.  I, personally, would rather wash a load of diapers versus a load of clothing, half of which are soaked and/or soiled from a diaper leak (which, as mentioned above, happens very rarely if ever with cloth diapers when used properly).  During the newborn phase, if a baby is exclusively breast fed, his poo will be completely water soluble – meaning it will completely dissolve and easily wash away.  If a baby is formula fed, or once solids have been introduced, poop will go in the toilet rather than the washer.  Plus, the inside of your wash tub is metal, which will not absorb odors or stain.  I promise… if your diapers are coming out clean (and they will if you follow a proper wash routine), your washer will be clean!


6)  Using cloth diapers makes your house smell like a dirty diaper.


This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, before I started using cloth diapers, I just assumed that the smell of disposable diapers was the normal “baby” smell.  Every nursery I had ever been in, smelled like fake baby powder (the scent added to most disposables).  Once I had my own child and started using cloth diapers, I realized that babies and nurseries do not really smell like that!  Think about it this way.  Straight out of the package, disposable diapers have an artificial baby powder scent.  Once the diaper is wet or dirtied, the smell intensifies and mixes with the smell of the actual waste.  Then, regardless of whether the diaper is just wet or also dirtied, it is all wrapped up and put in the trash.  With cloth diapers, on the other hand, poop is flushed down the toilet – not put in the trash – and the pee has very little, if any, noticeable smell as it is not mixing with any artificial scents.  We recently had houseguests for two nights who used our son’s diaper pail (which we use for disposable wipes and other random nursery trash) for their son’s disposable diapers.  Even though the trash was taken out as soon as they left (so, at most, it contained disposable diapers for only 48 hours), it took nearly a week for the disposable diaper smell to completely dissipate from the plastic pail.

So now, the next time someone raises their eyebrows when they find out you use (or plan to use) cloth diapers, you will have some great comebacks!

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