Nine More Uses for Used Cloth Diapers

by Kelly · 13 comments

in Living Frugally

Tomorrow’s the last day to enter the contest to win the TotsBots covers and wraps! (The Contest Is Over!!)

I am doing this contest for several reasons. The first few are selfish: for example, I have tried to sell these diapers but the secondhand diaper market has largely collapsed since Ebay started cracking down on selling used ‘undergarments’. I also am tired of having them taking up room in my tiny house, and finally, I’m trying to get more traffic and visitors to my site.

But I’m also acting altruistically! I know that many of you are trying to live as frugal and budget conscious lives as I am, and if this gift of free diapers can help even a little bit, well I’m happy to help.

So in celebration of the contest, and being on my last baby to diaper, here are nine things that you can do with your baby’s old cloth diapers, once they’ve moved on (the baby, not the diapers!).

  1. Turn them into dish or kitchen towels.
  2. Use them as mops- soak them in cleaning solution and then skate around the floor.
  3. Because they are so absorbent, they make excellent window cleaning rags.
  4. Roll them and tie them into draft stoppers at the bottom of the door or window to block chilly winter drafts.
  5. Turn them into art; dye them bright colors and hang them on the wall. (This was a reader suggestion from this post.)
  6. Use them to make paper. Some of the nicest kinds of paper are made from cotton, as are pre-fold cloth diapers.
  7. Compost them. If they’re made of a natural material, they’re biodegradable.
  8. Keep them in the first aid kit. Perfect for soaking up bodily fluids!
  9. Give them away on your blog!

What did you do with your baby’s old cloth diapers?


1 Vintage Mommy October 1, 2008

Hi Kelly,
I think old diapers are the absolute best cleaning rags; I still have a few around after seven years because I like using them so much!

2 Lucie @ Unconventional Origins October 1, 2008

I have not used cloth diapers, I was afraid to try them when we had no washing machine. Next time around I am definitely going to give them a go, and now I know what I can do with the afterwards!

Just a tip for anyone who doesn’t think cloth diapers will work for them – at my baby shower I had a diaper raffle, everyone bought diapers and we gave away prizes. I had no idea how generous people would be! My son is over 9 months old and we have bought diapers no more than 3 or 4 times.

3 Frugal Trenches October 1, 2008

Wonderful list! I’ve used the ones left over from me (25+ yrs old!) as rags, cleaners (great for mirrors!) and in the first aid kit! They are super great for wrapping an icepack!

4 Homemaker Barbi (Danelle Ice) October 2, 2008

Congrats on being at the “last baby to diaper stage”! I’m at the end of my current baby’s diapering (hopefully, we’re working on potty training now), but we will be trying to cloth-diaper the next baby almost exclusively. I LOVE the money savings, especially since disposable diapers are so expensive anyway.

Homemaker Barbi (Danelle Ice)

5 Shevy October 2, 2008

I still have them. The restoration company packed them in a box when we had our flood and, um, they’re still there. I’ve been trying to decide what to do with them as they’re not prefolds. They’re regular flannelette rectangular diapers and there’s maybe 2 doz of them.

It doesn’t look like I’m having another baby (not too big a shock, since my oldest will be 30 on his next bday), my 5 year old is long trained, my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter ditto (except for pullups at night) and the 1 1/2 year old is trying to train (she rips off her diaper and runs to the bathroom door, which is kept shut because of her interest in playing in the toilet).

But everybody seems to only be interested in prefolds….

6 The One Minute Blogger October 5, 2008

I plan to use my cloth diaper inserts as gym towels. I was at the gym the other day and found one in my gym bag! I used it in a pinch and it worked great!

7 marci October 5, 2008

I’d give my eyeteeth for some old flannellette diapers!
(Except the dentist already extracted them)
My kids and grandkids are all out of diapers now, and my stash
from my kids is getting small. Haven’t found any at garage sales.

I use the prefolds, with some sewing and velcro ties put on them, on the bottom of my swiffer. I love the swiffer but refuse to buy the refills. The diapers work great, and then I throw them in the washer 🙂

8 Amanda October 6, 2008

We keep ours in my son’s dresser. When he has a cold, he just uses those as tissues. They work the best at night when we try to avoid having used paper tissues lost in the bedding. They also work wonderfully soaking up pee puddles in the carpet from potty-training tots or pets.

9 Michelle M October 6, 2008

I just started using cloth diapers about a month or two ago. I really love it! Thanks for these suggestions that I can use in the future.

10 charlotte March 2, 2009

I bought some of the square unfolded ones at a garage sale, thinking there were all kinds of uses for them. I was right! I have used them as rags, dishtowels, dog blankets and just today I made a dog bed cover out of 2 of them ( small dog lol)

11 Marie February 22, 2010

I am on baby #4 and some of my prefolds are getting pretty ratty. (They have some sort of insert sewn in the inside- not sure if it is cotton & I can compost?) Someone at work gave me some unfolded flannel ones and my mom was kind enough to sew into prefolds for me so I can ditch the torn ones. Think I can use them as weed barriers in my garden?? I really have plenty of rags and they really are not fit to use as towels or tissues because of their poor condition.

12 Kelly February 23, 2010

Hi Marie,

I think they would be OK as long as they are all natural material. My children’s nanny uses them in the compost! If they’re not all the way horrible yet, then use them to wash your floors and windows- I find they’re great for that!

13 marci357 February 22, 2010

I use them as is on my swiffer… it has the holes to push the edges into – so use them and wash them.

They also go to mechanic friends for grease rags and shop rags.

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