When my first son was no more than 2 months old we gathered everything we owned, moved out of the condo we were renting, and headed back to Greece. In one of my many suitcases was a set of organic cotton prefold diapers and 6 one sized covers. I had made the decision to cloth diaper when I had watched a friend of mine changing her sons diaper there the summer before. I already knew that diapers were more expensive there than in the States, but watching her I realized that the price tag was pretty deceptive. She went through not 1, not 2, but 3 disposable diapers before one finally stuck. Every time she pulled out the tab it ripped off, rendering the diaper useless. She was pretty frustrated by the time a diaper finally took, and I just though that there had to be a better way.
What I learned by cloth diapering in Greece was that I LOVE using a clothes line. Living in a place where the cost of every is high, but wind and sun is abundant and free, it is pretty much a no-brainer. Of course, we had been living there on and off for several years, line drying was something I’d become accustomed to out of necessity, but that first time I hung those diapers out to dry I was amazed. Pulling my diapers one by one from the washer I was dismayed to see that they were stained. Badly. Of course I knew that this happened…I mean, really, this is a diaper we’re talking about. It serves 1 purpose, and that purpose and stains go hand in hand. So I hung them up and went about my day. When I checked on them an hour later there was not a stain to be seen! And it wasn’t just the diapers. Stains that had set in from earlier explosions were gone too (we had used-gasp!-disposables the first 2 months of his life, which leaked like crazy and stained his clothes). I had never noticed before what amazing stain fighting power the sun had before! Of course, before it was only my husband and I…we really didn’t get many stains on our own clothes pre-baby.
If you have diapers with PUL or TPU covers, line drying will help them to last much longer, and that is something that pretty much every mama who cloth diapers realizes. But what about your clothing? The clothes line is not just good for your diapers. Ever think about where all that lint comes from? Your clothes. Dryers slowly break down your clothes while they tumble around in there being blasted with heat. That lint is proof that your favorite shirt is slowly breaking down, and will likely not be your favorite for long. Zippers and hooks are also a dryer danger, snagging softer fabrics, causing small holes to appear. If you want to extend the life of your clothing, invest in a clothesline! You really can’t go wrong when it naturally sanitizes, lifts stains, extends the life of your clothing, AND keeps you from running that energy hog of a dryer…which saves you money! Just be sure to hang your colors inside out to prevent fading. And if you baby wear, strap your little one on while you hang the clothes out to dry…you’ll find it’s a LOT of fun for them as well (just be prepared to go hunting for those clothes pins later).