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What did I do wrong?

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Belinda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Belinda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: What did I do wrong?
    Posted: 06 Feb 2012 at 2:07pm
This is my first time actually posting, but I have been benefiting from your collective wisdom for the last year or so since beginning my cloth-diapering journey. So, thanks for the help! Smile

Was wondering if I could get some insight into what I have done wrong. I have ruined my diapers. Seriously. The PUL on all 24 of my BG 4.0s is cracked, peeling or even, in some cases, completely disintegrating. I am so bitterly disappointed. I have only been using them for about 8 months. 

I think the worst bit is that I cannot figure out what I have done wrong! I did so much research before buying these diapers. I am an Aussie living in South Africa, and had one shot when a friend visited the US to buy everything I would need to cloth diaper in one go. In retrospect, putting all my eggs in one basket was perhaps not the smartest choice, but BGs get such good reviews they seemed like the safest option. 

I have used the safEST detergent I could find here in South Africa. Everything has brighteners and enzymes, but I managed to get a liquid which seemed good except for fragrance. But would fragrance cause PUL to disintegrate? 

I have, according to the label on the diaper, washed on hot, at about 60 degrees celcius. But Cotton Babies have told me in an email that the warranty is void over 40 degrees. I know now (after more research) that too hot water is a no-no (wish I knew that before) but really, would it cause this kind of issue?

A random thought is that I have used coconut oil most nights on bub's bum as it helps with rashes. Everywhere I have read says this is safe. But since thinking about it, I remembered that whenever I use it on my daughters hair (she is African) it literally dissolves any rubber bands she is wearing. Anyone else ever had this issue?

I have never put them in a dryer. I have bleached once (according to their instructions). I have babied these things. I am stumped. 

I am communicating with cottonbabies, but doubt I will get a refund. Literally every one of my diapers is falling apart suddenly, so I suspect that means I am the culprit. I don't want to give up cloth, so will probably invest in a few covers to try again. But I don't want a repeat of this drama.
  
Any ideas what I might have done wrong?? Thanks for the help! Smile

 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2012 at 2:25pm
That seems very strange. I don't think you've done anything wrong. We have terribly hard water here, and I use regular detergent on my diapers, with bleach occasionally and haven't ever had PUL fail. I don't use BG's but I've used Flips which are made by Cottonbabies as well. I've had elastic go bad which I'm sure is from the bleach but never PUL. I'd definitely contact the company, it can't hurt to see what they say!
 
Could it be something with your water- is it treated at all?
Erin, happy wife of Jason (7/21/07) and mama to Abram (3/09) and Adrie (6/11)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Belinda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2012 at 2:34pm
Yes, it is a bit bizarre, isn't it?

Weirdly, the say that water here in South Africa is some of the best in the world, whatever that means Smile It is treated, but I have never smelt excessive amounts of chlorine or anything. 

I am still waiting on another reply from the company, but they seemed to be implying in the last email that anything over 100 degrees Fahrenheit will hurt the diapers and void the warranty...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote txmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2012 at 2:40pm
That is very odd.  I wouldn't think that what you did would cause them to fall apart so fast.  I regularly use the sanitary cycle on my washer to wash my CDs (very very hot water) and they still work great, and some of them are at least 4 years old - including BGs.  Although mine are older style BGs so maybe the new PUL isn't as durable?
Linda

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Belinda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2012 at 4:14pm
How hot is sanitary? Because I just had a thought... a few months ago I stripped them (was having some smell issues), and since I knew the washer would drain the hot water I topped up some of the loads with pots from the stove... not exactly on a rolling boil, but pretty seriously hot. 

Ugh. That would have done it, wouldn't it? Silly.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote musicmama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2012 at 6:26pm
The only thing I can think of is the hot water for so many washes over time.  I can't imagine the coconut oil causing a problem in areas that it doesn't touch directly.  Even still, that seems like such a short time to go through them.  I'd be bitterly disappointed in your shoes, too.  Keep poking around to hear of others who have problems w/ faulty PUL that purchased them around the same time.  Occasionally there's a bad batch, and the problems surface over time.  That's not a Cotton Babies thing, either.  It happens w/ other manf's too.
Christine
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mom4moju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2012 at 10:38am
Originally posted by Belinda Belinda wrote:

How hot is sanitary? Because I just had a thought... a few months ago I stripped them (was having some smell issues), and since I knew the washer would drain the hot water I topped up some of the loads with pots from the stove... not exactly on a rolling boil, but pretty seriously hot. 

Ugh. That would have done it, wouldn't it? Silly.


I think you might be right.  
 
I was just thinking today about how PUL is really the first thing to go in my stash.  I had some Thirstie Duos only last about 8 months (3 of them crapped out on me in a week).  I'm sure it was my fault in some way that I washed them, but all my other PUL was okay. 
 
There has to be some company that will ship something to you!  Can you sew at all?
Christina, wife to Monty (Jul 06), Mom to T (Apr 09) and C (jun 11)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Belinda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2012 at 1:03pm
Actually, I had an interesting development today...

Managed to get into connection with the one African distributor for Bumgenius... who has been having the exact same problem as me! She has been talking with the manufacturer in Egypt, and they are thinking it is the hot African sun which is causing the problems. Theoretically, line drying is better than in a tumble dryer, but it seems for us that the hear in the sun is also actually be making the PUL wear out too quickly.

Not sure yet if this will translate into a replacement (it WAS theoretically my fault) but at least we may be figuring it out. 

May this be a warning to you all :) Thanks for all your help!

I've thought about sewing, but unfortunately you can't buy PUL anywhere here... am planning on making some fleece covers though! 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Clare_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2012 at 2:07pm
So interesting, Belinda! And, so sorry to hear about your ruined diapers :( I think you've taken great care of them and what happened was out of your control since you didn't know the sun would eat them up.
Happily married to Nathan and mama to DD (5), DS (3), DS2 (5/14)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mom4moju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2012 at 2:23pm
Originally posted by Belinda Belinda wrote:

I've thought about sewing, but unfortunately you can't buy PUL anywhere here... am planning on making some fleece covers though! 

 
I don't sew PUL either, but I was thinking you may be able to find some materials locally that you could make into diapers and/or diaper covers, saving all the shipping expense.  
 
I hope you get some new ones.  So sad that you had to find out the way you did. 
 
Christina, wife to Monty (Jul 06), Mom to T (Apr 09) and C (jun 11)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Belinda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2012 at 2:39pm
Actually, I think sewing some covers, if I could figure out a suitable material to make them from, might be a next step. You are right about shipping - it is a killer. I was looking into what it would cost to ship a few thirsties covers from one of the major US online diaper shops... I was quoted about $100!!! Shocked And that is not including taxes, duties and insurance. 

 But it is also not worth buying them here, as they are not really readily available, although now since they are gaining in popularity you can pick up a few major brands (like Bumgenius) for a small sum of $30 each.... Crazy

I would love to find a reasonably priced option, which is easy to make, even if just to share with women here about an alternative to disposables. Really, they struggle financially so much, and then have to shell out a fortune to diaper their babies. Not to mention the hygiene issue of all the people who live at the rubbish dumps, where all the diapers end up...  

I guess maybe this is the impetus I needed to actually do something Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mom4moju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2012 at 8:55pm
I just made some of my own flats, because it is crazy expensive to get large ones shipped to canada.  Not a $100, but still too much. 
 
There are tonnes of crafty, creative mamas in the creative corner forum.  I would just start asking questions there about what might work. 
Christina, wife to Monty (Jul 06), Mom to T (Apr 09) and C (jun 11)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MomBeck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2012 at 12:49am
I'm so sorry about your diapers! It's such a bummer when you really count on something to last :( I think it would be incredible to start a diapering program there! Something I would LOVE to do!
And I just looked up flat rate shipping boxes to South Africa and it would be about $16 for a small box (big enough for a couple covers), $30something for a medium (that could hold up to 10 AIOs) and $60 for a large box (could hold around 20 AIOs), so I have no idea where they came up with $100! That's crazy!
I hope you can get compensated in some way for the PUL failing! Sounds like you might if you can get the distributor to help you out!
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