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Why I Ditched Microfiber Cloth Diaper Inserts - Natural Atlanta Mama
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Why I Ditched Microfiber Cloth Diaper Inserts

by | Aug 9, 2018 | Diapers & Potty Training

Microfiber cloth diaper inserts are really common. Amazon is over run with these cheap, plastic based inserts. In this article I am going to explain why I got rid of my microfiber inserts, what I bought instead, and why I bought them in the first place.

Why Do People Choose Microfiber

They are cheap

Microfiber cloth diaper inserts are cheap. You can pick them up for as little as $2 an insert. Which means you could buy an entire stash of inserts for less than $50. That’s less than a case of some disposable diapers!

They come with the diaper

If you are using pocket diapers, most likely you received an insert with each diaper. Almost every pocket diaper brand uses microfiber cloth diaper inserts as the included insert.

They are absorbent

Microfiber is very absorbent, and thin. So you can get a cute, trim cloth diaper on your baby’s booty without sacrificing absorbency.

Why I Chose Microfiber

Honestly, because they were cheap. I use an All-in-two diaper, which means that the inserts snap into the cover. I just couldn’t stomach spending upwards of $6 per insert. I also really wanted the ones that snapped in, because it is easier to get my sitters to change cloth diapers with a snap in insert. So, I decided to save myself $80 and go with the plastic, microfiber inserts.

The Problem

Microfiber is plastic. And, like your tupperware, plastic can hold onto smells. I had read that microfiber can hold onto smells, and that you would have to strip them every so often to address this problem. But there didn’t seem to be a consensus in the cloth diapering community. Some parents said it was fine. Others said that they just washed on hot water.

My cloth diaper laundry smells less than awesome. When I use our microfiber cloth diaper inserts, they smell like poop when they get wet. There is nothing more exsasperating than opening a dryer full of clean laundry, only to get hit in the face with dirty diaper smells.

I can definitively say that it is the microfiber that is the problem.

It’s Not My Wash Routine

You might be thinking, “clearly they aren’t clean.”

I thought that too. So, I bought a few packs of cotton prefolds, and only used the cotton for a week. The problem instantly went away. The laundry smelled fresh. And Jackson’s wet diapers smelled like urine, as they should. In fact, I noticed that in the same load of laundry, the cotton prefolds would smell nice and clean, while the microfiber inserts would still stink.

You won’t Notice It Immediately

It takes time for the stink to build up. The first time I noticed it was when Jackson was 12 weeks old. And by that time, you have likely used your inserts enough that it is going to take a lot of work to get them clean enough to sell.

Should You Buy Microfiber Cloth Diaper Inserts?

No. It is not worth the money you save. For a similar price, you can get cotton prefolds or flour sack towels. Plus, you are bringing less plastic into your home. If you are using pocket diapers, it is easy to switch from the included microfiber insert to a prefold.

What To Buy

Natural Fibers. Look for inserts that are 100% natural fibers. Be careful when shopping on Amazon or Etsy. Many retailers will only put the natural fiber in the name of the insert. Almost all of the “charcoal bamboo” inserts are actually just microfiber inserts.

Natural Fibers:

  • Cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Hemp
  • Viscose


  • Microfiber
  • Polyester

If you have gotten your inserts for free, it is up to you on what you want to do. Just know that you are racing the clock, and that at some point they will stink.

Have a question about microfiber inserts? Leave me a comment!


Take a Hands On Cloth Diapering Class

Cloth diapering is not as hard as it sounds. With a little bit of knowledge and patience, you can be a cloth diapering mama too. I teach a one-hour, in person, hands on class on Cloth Diapering. You will get to ask questions, see real diapers and learn from someone who’s making it work full time.