D.W. (Wes) Dukes: Cloth diapers more hassle than savings

July 31, 2013 

Costs of cloth

I read the July 30 news article about the cost of diapers putting many in a bind. On July 31, I saw two letters saying, “Cloth diapers are cheaper.” That may not be true if you do not own a washer and dryer and are having trouble paying your existing utility bill on $15,000 income per year.

An October 2011 article on mint.com quoted a 27 percent savings the first year ($584 vs. $800) and 60 percent the second year since the diapers are paid for. I could not find a cost if you had to wash the diapers at a Laundromat. But how many women making $15,000 per year can afford the capital outlay for a clothes washer and dryer? I know the dryer is optional assuming the mother has access to a clothesline and the time to wash and hang the 3,000 to 7,000 diapers used in a baby’s time in diapers. Line drying might be difficult on a minimum wage job.

Yes, there are other long-term benefits of cloth dryers, but a struggling mother often does not have the money, time or energy for cloth diapers.

D.W. (Wes) Dukes, Cary

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