Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Needs & Wants of Cloth Diapering: Yes, I Need Wet Bags

May 4th, 2012 · 42 Comments · What to Buy

wet dry bags for cloth diapers

There are a lot of bells and whistles nowadays in the cloth diapering world.

No longer do you choose between signing up for a diaper service or washing your own, and then your decision-making is over.

You have to juggle cloth diaper styles and brands, insert materials, washing styles and detergents, line dry or machine, and even how you hang onto the diapers between baby’s bottom and the washing machine. It’s no wonder I was am intimidated!

When I began looking into the world of cloth diapers, one of my first and most intimidating questions in my mind was: “What do I do with the the nasty diapers?”

I wasn’t sure if they went into a bucket of water, if I had to buy a special pail, if they’d go into a dry bag, if I had to rinse them and put them somewhere in the bathroom…

I couldn’t visualize in my head what the routine would be, and for my (quirky, pseudo-organized) personality, that was a deal breaker for me.

Eventually, I just asked enough questions and listened to enough people tell me “it’s easy!” (I now disagree) that I figured out the gist and simply had to jump in and see if I would sink or swim.
 
Cloth Diaper Guide
Click HERE for get the newest eBook on cloth diapering, “Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert!”

Can’t Cloth Diapering be Simple?

Some folks have been asking why it’s all so complicated, why 25 different kinds of cloth diapers and all this rigmarole. (Believe me, I’m asking that, too, every two days when I do laundry.) These folks are saying, “Why not just prefolds and covers?” “Why these fancy bags? Just use a diaper pail and wash it out when you do laundry!”

I know, it would take 5-10 minutes every two days to wash out a diaper pail, but you know what?

I don’t have those minutes.

 

I don’t have the minutes it would take to line dry my diapers, and I barely have the 4 minutes it takes to look at each diaper quickly before tossing it in the dryer to make sure there’s no poo stain on it.

Am I petty because I wish I could just toss everything in the dryer in one armload?

Is it uncharitable that I’m excited to have these wet bags so that I don’t have to find another 5-10 minutes to wipe down a diaper pail, then let it dry (where?) and get it back to the diaper station?

Too darn bad. One more step, and my husband will send us back to disposables!

I Like My Wet Bags

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I’ll talk more next week about the routine I’ve found and whether or not I even like cloth diapering, but for today, let’s just be thankful for wet bags.

I’m very thankful for them.

I can put my diapers right from baby to bag and never have to wipe anything out. The wet bags go into the laundry with the diapers, and I’m very happy with that.

I reviewed four of them, three smaller ones made more for travel and one main diaper changing table station sort of thing, to go in the pail (or not, as you’ll see).

Here’s my video review so you can see the bags and hear my thoughts:

(sorry it’s a bit blurry; I will never claim to be a professional – or even very competent – videographer!)

If you can’t see the embedded video, click cloth diaper wet bag video reviews to see it on You Tube.

For those who hate videos, here’s the bottom line:

  • I do feel that I need wet bags.FuzziBunz® Hanging Diaper Pail
  • The main bag from Fuzzibunz (right) has a zippered bottom to get the diapers into the washing machine – overrated. I had a terrible incident early on where I forgot to rezip after washing, had an incredibly poopy diaper in my hand, and shot it into the bag I had just retrieved from the dryer. Thanks goodness I was still in the bathroom/laundry room with a tile floor. I’ve never unzipped the bag since. Winking smile
  • However, the hanging feature of the bag is super cool – you can just put it over a doorknob and skip the pail.
  • Of the three smaller wet bags I reviewed, by Bumkins, Planetwise from Jack be Natural, and Fuzzibunz, the Bumkins wins hands down simply because it has a strap and can hang outside my (too small) diaper bag. That’s probably a really personal reason, but hey – what are opinions for, anyway?

When we’re finished cloth diapering, these bags can be a pretty stylish way to bag up wet bathing suits at the pool or wet clothes from wherever. I’m sure there are 100 other uses, too, but for now, I’m just glad I can toss a diaper in them and not worry if poo gets on the side.

It’s the simple things, really.

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Be sure to check out my comprehensive cloth diaper review – I’ll add the 10 pocket diapers next week! 

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Disclosure: I received these bags free for my review, but a team of wild horses pulling bags full of dirty diapers couldn’t change my opinion, so don’t worry about that. I am an Amazon affiliate. I am also an affiliate of the eBook and will receive commission for purchases. See my full disclosure statement here.

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42 Comments so far ↓

  • Kate via Facebook

    First world problem. I don’t need wet bags (I will not die today if I don’t have them), but they sure are nice. I have two big and two small ones. :)

  • TerriAnn via Facebook

    Really, cloth diapering IS easy. I have a couple of Planetwise bags that I line a small garbage pail with, I throw the dirty diapers in there, no need to rinse them, just dump the solids. If it smells, a couple of drops of some essential oils does the trick. Then I dump it all in the wash and done.

  • Erin

    Thanks for those reviews! I’ve made it this far without a wet bag, just a small trashcan that has a lid but now my son is starting to want to dig in there and pull diapers out, not acceptable. I keep a few used produce bags from the grocery store in a pocket of my diaper bag and if we’re on the go I just stuff a diaper in there and twist it up. It’s worked very well, but I don’t have the option of keeping it on the outside. We use disposables for longer trips away from home so I never really have more than 1 or possibly 2 dirties with me.

  • Amanda via Facebook

    Thanks for posting this. This is a definite selling point for cloth diapers. Sure we could do without but… I rather do with. lol I will (more than likely) be using cloth for the next little one. Fingers crossed!

  • Jessica via Facebook

    I like the planetwise bags, too. I have two large ones (one of them is a wet/dry bag for life after diapers) and a small one for the diaper bag. I can’t imagine trying to CD without them. I love that I can just hold the bag at the front of our front loader washer, push the contents out and throw the bag in too. So easy! :D

  • Emily @Random Recycling

    I have the same black and white pattern small wet bag for my diaper bag. I’ve had the ones from Planetwise for over 3 years and they still work great. I wish I had one medium wet bag for days when we are out of the house all day.

  • Kelly via Facebook

    Love my wet/dry bags! Much prefer them to the pail liners. Would love to replace the pail in my son’s room with a nice hanging bag!

  • Julie

    I’m a little shocked to read that you use the dryer; I totally had you pictured as the line-dry-in-the-sun-type-person. (At the same time it makes me feel a little better about those humid days when I just plug in the dryer rather than waiting forever for them to dry).

    BUT . . . on the next sunny day, I’d totally encourage you to hang a few diapers outside. They will last longer, and you’ll save a TON of energy!

    Sarah Reply:

    And it gives them that nice, fresh smell that you can’t get from a dryer! And it’s amazing how nicely the sun bleaches out and stains!

    Sarah Reply:

    That should say “bleaches out ANY stains” not “and stains.” Whoops!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Still waiting for summer here in Michigan! ;) Katie

    Sarah Reply:

    I live in Northern MN. You can do it. ;) I learned this fall that 50 degrees or warmer would get clothes dry outside if I got them out before noon. I am ecstatic anytime we get above 50 and it’s not raining. Though, my only other option is hanging stuff in the basement, since we don’t have a dryer at all. And then it smells like basement. Outside is waaaaay better than basement!

  • Courtney via Facebook

    I make my own and sell others to a local boutique as well as all my CD friends! Mine are cuter, and they work for much more than diapers; pools, potty training accidents, etc! Love ‘em!

  • Lisa P.

    Unless you are super picky about staining, you can save yourself the 4 minutes of checking each diaper before drying and just toss in the whole armful! It’s a diaper- it’s gonna get pooped in again, so who cares if it’s stained (that’s my attitude anyway). If the stains start to bother you after a while- sun them. Hang them on the line to dry- you’d be amazed what the sun can get out.

    Becca Reply:

    I’m the same – it’s not like it’s even the outside of the diaper.

    We use a pail with a mesh bag. You just pick up the bag and throw it into the machine. And the pail doesn’t take more than 10 seconds to wipe out – I just spray it with bathroom cleaner and wipe with a teatowel, which I throw straight into the machine. It doesn’t need to dry.

    Amy Reply:

    I absolutely agree, I was going to say the same thing! I’d make myself crazy if I was checking for poop stains on each diaper, lol! They are DIAPERS, after all!

  • Deanna Caswell

    I didn’t see those cheap Babyland diapers from ebay on your reviews. My friends and I use and love them. Just need to go with the bigger suppliers on ebay, since the material quality can vary. Papoose-Diapers has been the best for us.

  • cory

    Katie – you seem a little stressed today. May I offer this encouragement?

    When you are done with all these crazy reviews (wonderful for us, crazy for you), and settle on a system you like, and stock up on that, things will be easier. You won’t be doing diapers every two days (I mean, lots of people do, but I can hardly keep up with weekly laundry so I do diapers every 6-7 days)(basement laundry room or diaper “pail” made out of a locking-lid trash can helps with this), you can organize yourself around those diapers, maybe your oldest boy can inherit diaper folding/sorting chores…

    And, on another topic, though I do prefer to not have a lot of tools, the wet-bag is one innovation I adore! It’s a need for me, too – though I just use them for toting dirties home from outings. I’ll have to look into the brand you suggested. Never heard of it!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Thanks, Cory! ;)

    I feel like the poop stains get worse if I leave the diapers 3 days instead of 2…although maybe others don’t notice b/c they’re not reviewing different detergents to figure out which one works best…

    :) Katie

  • Michy

    We have 4 diaper bags-2 small (to go) and 2 large (home) for my toddler. (two of each was an added purchase-one to use when the other is in the wash as I was our cloth diapers daily. Planetwise rocks!! I use the small ones for beach days too…I will use these for sooo many years to come! :)

  • Amanda

    Obviously, I think you should do whatever works for you on the diaper front :) I have two kids, not three, and it was my husband’s idea to cloth diaper in the first place, and it’s what we were used to from the beginning, so I’m in a different situation.

    We use prefolds and thirsties covers with flushable rice paper liners for poop (you can wash them a few times if they’re just wet), and I will say that I just dump mine straight in the dryer, and if stains build up and I eventually get sick of them, I lay them out in the sun. One time I bleached them (I know, I know). Also, I don’t have a wet bag, but I line my diaper pail with plastic garbage bags.

    On second thought, now that I’ve confessed to bleach and plastic bags, maybe this isn’t KitchenStewardship worthy :) Do I still get points for cloth diapering in the first place? ;)

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    LOL! It’s all about finding the balance…

    :) Katie

  • Stacy Makes Cents

    You’re so funny…you make me giggle. :-)
    I’m the exact opposite of you. I LOVE my butt fluff stash. I am so excited about using it for this next baby that I’ve already bought some more.
    :-)
    I love the WHOLE process. I love putting a new clean diaper on – choosing a cute one – knowing that I’m doing something good for my baby’s bum…I don’t even mind the washing or the poop and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hang them outside to dry. :-)

  • Laura

    Agreed on wet bags. I find it so much easier (and less gross) to be able to dump a bag-full in the washer than have to mess with getting them all out of the pail without touching them and then having to wipe out the pail.

    My husband disagrees – he has mastered an impressive throw into the washer (think sloshing a bucket of water out) and prefers not to use the wet bag so that they slide right out of the pail. Then he just lets the pail air dry on the back porch (the washer is right inside the door). Our pail never really gets poopy, since the poopy part stays inside the cover (we use covers and prefolds), but it still gets a damp with water from the wipes and pee, so I wipe it out occasionally.

    Anyway, we love covers and prefolds. When I was pregnant, I read people suggesting prefolds for the newborn stage until they were big enough for all-in-ones, so we used those until she got up to 8 lbs or so, then switched to Bum Genius all-in-ones, but they leaked like crazy, so we went back to prefolds and love them. I’ll admit – we’re those cloth diaperers who can’t figure out why anyone does anything else. Since we’ve never known another way, cloth diapers seem totally do-able.

  • Rebecca via Facebook

    We have the planet wise wet bag and diaper pail liners on the list I looked at bumkins but to many people said they leaked or had a damp feeling to them. Love seeing reviews it does make life easier the more experiences you have to go by. I think overwhelming its good to have choices as what fits one kid will never fit another as well.

  • Karen

    Wow, it does seem pretty complicated. I just used flat diapers, folded some into soakers, put in a flushable liner sometimes when I could anticipate the need for it. They got a rinse in the toilet and then went into the diaper pail until washday. The whole works got dumped in the washer, then I hung them on the line to dry. In winter they took a while to dry, but the rest of the year they were dry in an hour or less. The pail got rinsed out. Period. A repurposed plastic bag worked for bringing used diapers home.

    I also don’t understand the whole issue with removing the contents from cloth diapers as though that is an extra problem with cloth diapering. Landfills are not intended to deal with human waste, that’s why a sewer system exists. You are supposed to remove the poop from the disposables too. I checked with our landfill’s website – diapers full of poop are considered a bio-hazard because of infectious diseases, vaccinations, etc. That is why you need to wash your hands with soap and water after changing any diaper. I’ve seen people change disposables and not wash.

  • Heather

    Poo stains come out of diapers MUCH better (like magic!) in the sun.
    I have a small wet bag that I keep in the diaper bag for out and about.
    At home, I just use a plain ol’ diaper pail that I got from a rummage sale. This one: http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Easy-Saver-Diaper/dp/B0009A4FB/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336172406&sr=8-1 although I would shop around for a better price!
    Unless you’re trying to get rid of a nasty diaper rash bacteria or there’s a great big poo smear on the inside, what’s the point of washing it out every time you wash diapers? You’re going to fill it back up with pee diapers. I wash mine out, disinfect, let it sun for a few hours, a couple of times a year and it’s still doing its job after 5 years plus however long the person before me used it.
    Babies are complicated enough! Don’t overthink what you don’t have to!

  • Stephanie

    Ok, so I have a Planet Wise wet bag and Soft Bums echos diapers. Love them both . . . but, what detergent do you use to wash them with? I’ve been using homemade detergent but am having the ammonia smell problem. Any suggestions?

    Fiona Reply:

    Too much detergent can be an issue try cutting it down by a third to a half as it can cause build up in the fabric. Add some vinegar as you wash each time and every few months strip the nappies, hot wash no detergent just vinegar and baking soda then more vinegar in the rinse cycle. Also do you put cream on your child’s bum, this can cause build up too, use a liner or powder. Hope this helps there is a fabulous website all about cloth nappies called the nappy network check it out it has loads of help on the topic.

    Stephanie Reply:

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll check it out!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    I just use Rockin’ Green primarily and am trying a few other things…but I definitely don’t have detergent pegged yet. I did learn to use more water…

    :) Katie

    Stephanie Reply:

    I ordered some Rockin Green and it should be here today, going to see if it helps. I had been using homemade detergent and vinegar in the rinse cycle and then a second rinse, but I never did a presoak. I’be been searching for a reason for the ammonia smell but also realized that my twins have been getting more rashes with cloth than disposables which led me to my detergent. Thanks for doing this series, it’s been very helpful.

    Stephanie Reply:

    I ordered some Rockin Green and it should be here today, going to see if it helps. I had been using homemade detergent and vinegar in the rinse cycle and then a second rinse, but I never did a presoak. I’ve been searching for a reason for the ammonia smell but also realized that my twins have been getting more rashes with cloth than disposables which led me to my detergent. Thanks for doing this series, it’s been very helpful.

    Sarah D Reply:

    I use the laundry soap from Norwex and I LOVE it! It is the only soap I can use for my middle son since his skin is so sensitive and it works great on the diapers as well. I’ve tried other “specialty” soaps meant for cds, but I didn’t feel like they cleaned well and they built up in the diapers so I had to strip them quite often. I have never had that problem with the Norwex soap. It’s wonderful! (Plus, the one bag of soap has lasted over 2 years and I still have plenty)

  • KESW

    I have a Planetwise bag that is less than 2 years old and the zipper pull broke! I am not sure how to fix or whether they have any kind of guarantee? I just need to go to the company themselves and check it out but thought I’d ask.

    Until the zipper broke, it was great, though! Turned itself inside out in the washer and right side in in the dryer!

  • Erin

    Hey Katie!
    Erin here (Pete’s Erin). So as you know that I’m expecting, I have heard from a few people about using cloth diapers. I read over the comments here, and just to be clear…. do you just dump out the solid poop, put the diaper in your bag of choosing (i.e. perhaps wet bag), and then put the messy diapers in laundry?
    Also… does anyone know if you can use cloth diapers if you will have child care? Do child cares deal with cloth diapers?
    Thanks!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Hey Erin!
    I’ll be posting my whole diaper routine sometime before the series is over, but you basically have it. Breastmilk poop is even easier, no dumping or rinsing or anything. Some child cares do cloth, some will not. :) Katie

    Erin Reply:

    Thanks, Katie!

    'Becca Reply:

    Erin, I have posted lots of details of our cloth diaper experience, including using cloth at childcare. They accepted it under certain conditions. I recommend using a consistent, relatively simple system (not Katie’s 25 different styles!!) and bringing a diaper with you to show the childcare provider when you interview.

    We used flushable liners for easier poop handling. Details on that in my article too.

    WE LOVE WET BAGS!! Nearly 5 years after toilet training, all of ours (Bummis brand, 2 big pail liners and 3 small bags) are going strong. They are much better than plastic shopping bags for wet swimsuits or muddy shoes because they don’t rip. The big ones make great laundry bags, esp. for camping or any other situation where some of your laundry may be wet or very messy. The big ones also are good rainproof transportation for a sleeping bag.

    Erin Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback, Becca! I will keep in mind!

  • Wendy

    Whoa! Cloth diapering is a lot more complicated now! When my 7 yr old was in cloth diapers, there were some choices, but I just used prefolds and covers, tossed the dirties in a bucket. Then 3 yrs ago I had another baby, and there were a lot more choices. I was blessed that my sister had a baby just a year before I did and gave me all of her fancy pocket diapers. They were nice, but I know that if I’d had to buy diapers myself, it woudl have been prefolds and covers again. You’ve provided some very helpful information for parents!

  • Cath

    Just like Wendy mine are all out of nappies now. However prefolds worked so well for us. Also, I used three nappy pails lined with big mesh laundry bags. On wash day I took the laundry bags out of the pails and straight in to the washing machine. They prefolds came out of the bags in the wash. Never had any nappy rash :-) Easy to wash and dry. Loved sitting at night folding them!

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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