Mimi & Co - July 2022

The Truth About Cloth Nappies: Are They Actually Less Expensive?

The cost of raising a baby is one of the biggest financial challenges new parents face. One of the most significant ongoing expenses is nappies. An average baby will use between 6 and 12 nappies per day depending of their age, which can add up to over $1,000 per year.

Like many parents and parents to be, you might have already thought about the cost comparison between reusable and disposable nappies - but what happens when we factor in the water, energy and detergent used to wash reusable nappies?

Lucky for you, I've been logging the water and energy consumption of my washing machine for more than 2 years...

The facts.

I've been logging the energy and water consumption of my washing machine for 27 months... and let me tell you something, even I was surprised with the data.

My wash routine. I have 2 boys under two, so I have been doing a pre wash and main wash every day. I both pre wash and main wash on 60 degrees. Prior to this, I was pre washing daily and main washing every 3rd day - which is a pretty common wash routine.

My washing machine. I have a 8kg self-heating front loader, with a WELS rating of 63 and an energy rating of 4.5 stars. 

THE NUMBERS  -  WATER CONSUMPTION

On average I spent $3.40 per month in water to wash my cloth nappies. 

Well technically, I actually spent ZERO dollars extra because we have a tank that services our laundry, but I otherwise would have spent $3.40 per month.

Over 27 months I used a total of 22,000 litres of water [22 kilo litres] to wash my nappies and other reusable products.

It's important to note that I assumed I would be paying $4.18 / kilo litre of water, which is astronomical compared to the rest of Australia - but is the current rates where  I live. [Canberra in 2022]

The amount of water I used over 27 months to wash my cloth nappies, is enough water to make only 44 disposable nappies. 

Its true. According to Stephan Leahys book "Your Water Footprint", it takes approximately 545 litres [0.5 kilo litres] to produce just ONE disposable nappy.

For comparison, your toilet will consume about 20,000 litres per year.

THE NUMBERS  -  ENERGY CONSUMPTION

On average I spent $2.89 per month in electricity to wash my cloth nappies on 60 degrees. 

Again, I actually spent ZERO dollars extra because we have a solar which feeds in more than this per month, but I otherwise would have spent $2.89 per month.

Over 27 months I used a total of 390 kilowatts of electricity to wash my nappies and other reusable products.

I assumed I would be paying $0.2 / kilowatt of electricity, which is Australia's current average [July 2022]

Is this more or less than what you expected? It's crazy that a nappy just like this can save you so much money!

Related Posts

Cloth Nappy Jargon

Apr 25, 2022 Aami Mills

Preflats

Apr 25, 2022 Aami Mills