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Cost Comparison

Using Cloth Diapers can save you from 44-68% over the cost of disposable diapers. You can end up saving even more if you save your cloth diapers for use on a second or third child.

First let's look at just how many diapers you use in a period of 2½ years. Keep in mind some children take longer to potty train, stretching the diaper years into 3 or even 4.


  • An average of 70 diapers a week; baby is changed every 2-3 hours and toddler is changed every 3-4 hours.
  • A diapering period of 2½ years or 130 weeks.
  • Total of 9,100 diapers changes.

The Cost of Buying Disposable Diapers
  • Disposable diaper costs an average of $0.24 per change.
  • $0.24 per change X 70 changes per week = $16.80 per week
  • $16.80 per week X 130 weeks per diapering period = Total Cost of Disposable Diapers $2,184.00

Home Laundering Expenses 

Detergent and Additive Expense
  • $0.42/Arm & Hammer Fabric Care = Total Detergent & Additive Expense of $0.42 (per load)<
Electricity Expense
  • National average per wash cycle is $0.19 X 3 complete wash cycles = Total wash expense = $0.57
  • National average per dry cycle is $0.40
  • Wash expense = $0.57 + drying expense= $0.40 = Total Electricity Expense of $0.97
Water Expense


  • Water cost is $0.20 for 140 gallons = Total Water Expense of $0.20
Loads per Diapering Period
  • Wash every 3 days = 2 loads per week
  • 2 loads per week X 130 weeks (diapering period) = 260 Loads per Diapering Period
Total Laundering Expense


  • Total Detergent & Additive Expense of $0.42 + Total Electricity Expense of $0.97 + Total Water Expense of $0.20 X 260 Loads per Diapering Period = Total Laundering Expense of $413.40

The Cost of Buying Cloth Diapers


This can really vary. You can outfit your baby in the latest and greatest premium designer diapers spending over $1000.00 and still save money over disposables - saving even more if you plan on having more children to pass those same diapers down to. On the other end of the spectrum, the tried and true basics like flat folds and prefolds will cost much less. You might even opt to buy gently used Prefolds and Pull-on style covers to set yourself up for under $50.00.

The Bottom Line 


Wow. Even when you factor in laundering your cloth diapers at home, you still save over $1700 using cloth diapers on a single child for a period of two years. Just imagine how much money you can save by re-using those same cloth diapers on other children.