Over the life of cloth diapering, using the one-size diapers, it will cost me approximately $1080 according to this calculator. If you used prefolds and covers, that cost would drop significantly. If I had more diapers I could stretch my wash routine to every three days, which would help with the energy and water consumption. I do use an EnergyStar Front Loading washer and dryer and have not seen my water or electric bills go up significantly since starting to cloth diaper. Considering the energy and water used to make and then dispose of disposable diapers I think cloth diapering still comes out on top environmentally. Cost wise if you estimate 8 changes a day for 2 years = 5840 disposable diapers needed. If we say that the disposables cost $0.25 per diaper that comes out to $1460 spent on disposable diapers. It's not an earth shattering cost difference, but you will produce less waste cloth diapering (so if you pay per bag you'll save even more!). Anyway, keeping $400 in your pocket in today's economy isn't too shabby!
Oct 6, 2009
When I have encountered cloth diaper skeptics, the big argument seems to come with the washing routine. They often feel that the water and energy used to clean the diapers negates the benefits. For those critics, I have found a wonderful calculator. While shopping for diaper making supplies on Wazoodle's website, I came across their Cloth Diapering Cost calculator. All you need to do is find your most recent water and electric bill and enter the information and it will calculate how much it will cost you to cloth diaper from birth through potty training (and anywhere in between!) I entered my info from my last bill (largest energy bill of the year at the peak of summer in TX) and average cost of my diaper stash per diaper. This is what it told me: