Cloth diapers are an investment. Like any big investment, most come with the support of generous customer service and a product warranty. Warranties differ by manufacturer and you’ll want to research the warranties as you’re deciding on which diapers to purchase. Or, if you’ve already purchased and are using your diapers, make sure to check out the policies of each brand you own, just in case something happens.
Cloth diaper warranties generally cover defects with the snaps, stitching, hook and loop closures, elastic and waterproofing (though not repelling due to improper care).
In general, you should look for companies that stand behind their products for at least several months after purchase. Problems or defects with any products don’t usually surface until after months of use, so be sure the warranty extends longer than 30 days.
Also note if there is something that the warranty does not cover (i.e., some brands to do warranty their Velcro-like closures). That’s usually a bad sign and may be worth looking at another brand.
Some other tips to protect your cloth diaper investment and make sure you don’t void any warranties:
Thoroughly inspect your diapers when you receive them. Look for holes, stitching defects (loose or missed stitches), loose snaps, etc. Immediately return any diapers with noticeable problems. Most manufacturers will take back unwashed and unused diapers with no questions asked. Better to return right away than to wait and see what might happen with that loose stitch.
Follow washing instructions for each type of diaper. Most manufacturers print washing instructions on the packaging, so be sure to note before you remove and discard packaging (if you’ve already done so, washing instructions can be found on most manufacturer’s websites). Some diaper manufacturers recommend washing diapers in a certain way before using them and then recommend a different routine to maintain diapers.
Save all of your receipts from cloth diaper purchases. Most cloth diaper warranties state that you must submit the original receipt or proof of purchase when returning diapers for defects. If you ordered them online, most retailers send you a receipt by email, so it’s just a matter of saving them in a file on your computer. If you bought them in a physical store, it’s smart to start a file to keep all of your receipts. Treat your diapers like an important investment and save those receipts!
Pay attention to detergent recommendations. Most manufacturers recommend washing your diapers with special cloth diaper detergent. In fact, some warranties are voided if you use detergents that are not recommended. In general, to get top performance out of your diapers and prolong their life, do not use bleach, fabric softeners or detergents with additives, brighteners, dyes or perfumes. In many cases, using those laundry products voids your warranty, but it’s also just good care for your investment.
Contact the manufacturer as soon as you recognize a defect or problem with your diaper. Many cloth diaper companies are known for having excellent customer service, so contact them as soon as you notice a problem and they will let you know how to proceed.
Ask questions of WAHM manufacturers. Many work-at-home-moms create and sell adorable cloth diapers in small quantities. Most stand behind their quality (and many are very high quality), however you’ll need to ask each seller directly to determine their policies.
Understand the warranty limitations when buying from alternative sources. For a lot of cloth diapering addicts – er… moms… – buying gently used cloth diapers is a cost-effective way to build their stash. But understand that some cloth diaper warranties are offered only to the original purchaser. In any case, it’s a good idea to ask for receipts or proof of purchase when recycling diapers that may still be under warranty. Finally, if you receive cloth diapers as a gift, be sure to get a receipt or proof of purchase to make returning them easier if there are problems.
To make it easy for you… here are the links to the warranties or policies of some of the most popular cloth diaper brands:
Baby Kicks: http://www.babykicks.com/policies.cfm
Happy Heinys: http://www.happyheinys.com/company-information/warranty-info
To continue the conversation about cloth diaper warranties be sure to visit us on Facebook and Twitter. To save money on the purchase of your cloth diapers we are always offering sales and discounts on your favorite brands at our DiaperShops.com family of stores, including Kelly’s Closet.