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A Guide to Buying Used/ Pre-Loved Diapers

Dez Beaupre
Updated 3 years ago
** Disclaimer: We want cloth diapering, whether with new or used, to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone, and we are committed to helping you achieve that. Please remain cautious as buying and selling second hand is at your own risk. **

This is to help guide people on what types of questions to ask sellers when buying used diapers, all based upon the care instructions of Lil Helper ourselves. When buying used it’s extremely important to have transparency. Poor care and wash routines over time can affect the “lifespan “ of Lil Helper’s diapers. Please carefully consider all risks prior to purchasing any diapers used, especially if the seller is hesitant to share their wash routine. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: This isn’t to judge the products they used or the way they washed their diapers - it’s simply a tool that we absolutely need to help you with any issues that might arise from a change in product/water hardness/etc. 

Are they the first owner? This gives you an idea of wear and if their is care that you can’t account for. 

What is the current wash routine? What detergent they use and how much. You can check with our detergent index to make sure the detergent is recommended and correct detergent volume was used. You can reference the following resource: https://lil-helper-knowledge-base.helpwise.help/articles/212114-detergent-guide

How hot is the water that they’re using? Frequent use of very hot water can impact the PUL and elastics over time. The official recommendation is that covers should not be washed in temperatures higher than 60C/140F. Here are our official washing/drying recommendations: https://lil-helper-knowledge-base.helpwise.help/articles/210312-setting-up-a-wash-routine

Have they been using any creams? If they were using them, were they using liners? Lil Helper does not recommend the use of creams with their diapers. However, if a cream needs to be used, liners are recommended. Check the inserts for signs of cream residue: https://youtu.be/Z2SIrLuk1mk

Possibly the most important tip of all - Ask them about their water hardness (a.k.a. hardness value) If it is hard (above 60ppm), ask them if they have been using water softeners as recommended. Long term washing in hard water without using a softener can lead to build up of minerals that trap bacteria and smells.

Take a good look at the elastics. Make sure that they aren’t long, loose and worn out. A shotty elastic can will lead to leaks. You can also check the PUL for delamination by pouring 1/2 cup of water into the shell, it should hold for 20 seconds without leaking directly through the PUL. The elastics will be a "weak" point for leaks so don't let the water touch them.

We hope that this can act as a basic guide of some things to consider when purchasing second hand diapers. Thank you all for spreading the Lil Helper love. If you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to delight@lilhelper.ca
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