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Cloth 101: Cloth Nappies are Cheaper
 12/27/2013  by 


save from using cloth nappiesUpdated March 2017

I hope I have shown you that using and washing cloth nappies is easy, and the environmental benefits are well known. But what about the cost debate?

One of the biggest debates, and one of the myths stopping people from using cloth nappies, is the misconception that they are more expensive than disposables.

I have a PhD in Economics and am environmental economist and will apply my previous skills and show you that cloth nappies are significantly less expensive than disposables over the time a child is in nappies

Okay, have you tuned off and fallen asleep?

Here is the summary: you can save up to $4,700 for one child in cloth nappies. 


Here is the analysis based on the following:

  1. The cheapest and most expensive MCN from Apikali in 2017
  2. The cheapest and most expensive sourced from Coles Online Shopping Mar 17.
  3. Full time use for one child, 3 years.
  4. Night nappy for one year while toilet training.
  5. Washing every second day and allowing for a rinse cycle before the wash cycle for the cloth nappies.
  6. Water and electricity efficiency ratings from Government standards websites (here for water and electricity) and Choice magazine . 
  7. A 1 star washing machine uses 768kwh per year with one load each day and 173L water per load.
  8. A 5 star washing machine uses 149kwh per year with one load each day and 62L water per load.
  9. Water costs 15c/kl and electricity costs 22c/kwh (Choice 2012)
  10.  Washing every second day for 3 years.


Cost of disposables from newborn to toilet trained.

Cheapest disposable and accessories available.

AgeChanges per dayTotal changesPriceTotal
0-3 m1210800.17183.60
3-6m109000.18162
6m to 2.5 yrs858400.231343.20
Toddler 13650.2591.25
Wipes1/change81850.02163.70
Bags1/change81850.03245.55
   Total$2,189.30


Expensive disposable and accessories available.

AgeChanges per dayTotal changesPriceTotal
0-3 m1210800.42453.60
3-6m109000.45405
6m to 2.5 yrs858400.523036.80
Toddler 13650.58211.70
Wipes1/change81850.09736.65
Bags1/change81850.06491.10
   Total$5,334.85

Cost of Modern Cloth Nappies from newborn to toilet trained

Cheapest modern cloth nappy and accessories available with most water and electricity efficient washing machine.

ItemBrandQuantityPriceTotal
Cloth nappyBummis Infant prefolds245120
CoverPikapu619114
BoosterSimply cloth6530
Electricity 5 star  50.91
Water5 star  39.52
Wash Powder
547.50 0.1898.55
Reuseable wipesSwipes Complete Kit16969
Reuseable linersBummis24 (4 packs of 6)6.5026
   Total$547.98

Expensive modern cloth nappy and accessories available with least water and electricity efficient washing machine.

ItemBrandQuantityPriceTotal
Cloth nappyBummis AIO24 37888
BoosterBaby Beehinds4832
Electricity 1 star  142
Water1 star  44.12
Rockin Green250g bag547.50 .25136.87
Reuseable wipesSwipes Complete Kit16969
Reuseable linersBummis24 (4 packs of 6)6.5026
   Total$1,337.99

 

So if you were to use the most expensive cloth nappies with the most inefficient washing machine, compared to the cheapest disposables, you can save at least $850.

Alternatively if you were to use the cheapest cloth nappies with the most efficient washing machine compared to the most expensive disposables, you can save nearly $4700.

And then the savings continue to add up as each child uses the cloth nappies.

Convinced? Please browse our Babies & Toddlers shop. And check out what Apikali says for each brand of nappy. Dont just rely on manufacturers. We have used/inspected all of the nappies and have provided an honest reivew of each. 

Check out the Nappy Library to trial the cloth nappies yourself and make your choice easier.

Cloth 101: Cloth Nappy Styles >