Ruining Your Cloth Diapers with Flair

So you’re whining about having ruined your cloth diapers with a little diaper rash cream?

Waaahhhh! Somebody call the waaaaaahhhmbulance! 

(I could watch this over and over and over and over! And yes, I definitely plan saying this to my kids.)

First, I’d argue that you probably didn’t ruin them – you just need to take some extra steps in washing to get them squeaky clean again.

And secondly, come on – how cliché! If you want to be able to complain that you ruined your cloth diapers, then honey, be a little more creative! We want to hear a great story with impressive photos of the ruination you caused.

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1. Rip ‘Em to Shreds

The fastest way to create impressively tattered-looking diapers is to use heavy amounts of chlorine bleach. This SoftBums pod went from brand-new to shredded in just about two weeks, thanks to a two-hour soak in a chlorine bleach/water mixture. Comes in handy if you’re a newbie trying to impress some veteran cloth-diapering moms – your diapers can look so tattered, they’ll think you’ve been cloth diapering for years and years!

Chlorine bleach damage

2. Delamination in minutes

If you’re really serious about turning a good cloth diaper into a dud, delamination might be the route for you. Delamination involves the breakdown of the waterproof coating of a cloth diaper or a diaper cover. Why wait two or three years for a diaper to delaminate on its own when you can speed the process along with a nice hot iron?!

Damage to PUL after ironing

3. Honey, I Shrunk the Wool Soakers!

Special care instructions for hand-washing wool? Just ignore them and use hot water, the washing machine, or better yet – both! Not only will your wool soaker shrink to an impressively small size, but it will also lose its stretchiness and the stitches will look “blurred”.  This is truly a complaint-worthy mistake!

Felted wool soaker

4. Burn, Baby, Burn!

Do you have a bit of a pyro streak in you? If so, you can strip your diapers in the dishwasher. Cross your fingers that the diaper will fall onto the dishwasher’s heating element and give you something exciting to take pictures of. If you’re lucky, maybe it will ruin the lamination, melt a few snaps, or even catch on fire!

I searched high and low for you for a picture of some dishwasher/diaper destruction, but alas, I couldn’t find anything right on point. Instead, you’ll have to settle for a photo of a rogue spatula of mine that somehow managed to wiggle free of the utensil holder and create a bit of a sizzle on the heating element. My house had a funky plastic smell for days.

Effect of dishwasher heating element

5. Make-Your-Own Mushroom Farm

Warning: This activity takes a bit longer and is not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.

This photo is from a woman whose cloth diapers sat in the pail for a month between washes…and they grew mushrooms! Now, I don’t know what her kid had been eating, and I certainly don’t care to find out. However, I’ve got to hand it to her – this is the most creative form of cloth diaper ruination that I’ve ever heard of!

Mushrooms on cloth diapers


  1. LOL I’m in the process of knitting #4 of 8 wool soakers. The felted pictures made my stomach heave.

    Take care,

  2. Ah! This post made me laugh out loud. I am new to cloth diapering and am a little paranoid about *accidentally* destroying my diapers even though I follow *all* the directions *to the letter* *every time*… I think you may have cured me!
    Thank you 🙂