After going through this little experiment, I have come to the realization that repairing the PUL on my cloth diapers isn’t worth it. Honestly, it doesn’t work as well as I hoped and I ended up buying a few new diapers anyway. I’ll share my experiments with you so you don’t make the same mistakes. Forewarning: I’m not a cloth diapering expert. If you want to talk to an expert, don’t look for mom blogs like mine, go to a local cloth diapering store and talk to the owner and sales people. They have so much experience and it’s worth buying a few diapers from them before you resort to the cheaper options like Amazon.
Here’s a little background about my cloth stash
First off, let me make it clear that I always wash my cloth diapers in the correct detergent which means my washing isn’t to blame for the wear and tear. I truly think we have worn our diapers down from using them so much. I have 12 Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers and 6 Thirsties wraps for prefolds.
My Thirsties don’t have any rips or tears in the PUL, however they do leak from the legs since we have stretched them out over time. Luckily they work just fine when I put in a doubler. We only have leaks if Robert wears them too long, which is to be expected with any diaper.
The Fuzzi Bunz are the ones that have started to crack. This is what it looks like when the PUL cracks/ rips/ tears.
Here is another picture of one of my Alva diapers where the PUL pulled apart. I was very upset about the Alva because we haven’t had it long and we rarely use it. It just didn’t hold up well and I’ll never buy another Alva.
Since I’m so cheap I figured there had to be a way to repair PUL that was cracked. From my research, I found the following options:
- clear nail polish
- Iron on a small piece of PUL to make your own “patch”
- Fray check
- Buy a GORE-TEX Fabric Repair Kit
As I started playing around with ideas to repair my PUL I had hope that this would finally be my Shark Tank idea. I had grand ideas of making a gel pen, almost like the bleach pens, that could repair the PUL. It was genius, I tell you, until I realized it was also a huge flop. Here is how it all turned out:
Clear nail polish
I had read on numerous cloth diapering threads that clear nail polish would work well.
This was the one that excited me the most because I thought it would be so easy! It dried well, looked great, and also leaked.
It was a total failure.
I was also very excited about this one. Once again, I had grand visions of me making little patches to sell online and then pitching my idea to the Sharks.
Once again, it was a total failure.
I couldn’t get the heat high enough to melt both layers of PUL without melting through both layers. Maybe this would work if I had a better iron?
This was a tiny success. While it didn’t completely repair my PUL, it did strengthen it and keep them from leaking quickly.
I now use the diapers with the Fray check for our afternoon diapers. Robert pees more in the morning and not too much in the afternoon. These work well around the house, but I’d never risk using them for an outing.
I have not tried these yet because I ended up buying more diapers. These are about $7 a kit, which isn’t bad.
After it is all said and done, I think the best bet is to replace your old diapers instead of wasting time repairing the PUL. I hate to admit this. I usually think that anything can be salvaged or repurposed. Not the case here! It was fun to experiment and see what would work even though I’ll never get that time back. Damn it, I could have been making bread!