HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Cloth diapering has come back into fashion recently; across the nation and in the Tennessee Valley.
It can be a big money saver and better for babies with sensitive skin. On the other hand, it's time consuming and, well, dirty.
A new Huntsville-based company wants to make the process of "going cloth" easier on parents.
Suds Diaper Service, which claims to be the first-of-its-kind in the area, is a small start-up operation.
Rich Sturmfels and his wife run the company from their basement which they've converted into an industrial-esque laundry facility.
Here's how the process goes. A couple of times a week, Sturmfels heads out to customers' homes to pick up dirty diapers and drop off a freshly laundered bag. Stermfels and his wife then sort the diapers - all 100% organic unbleached cotton pre-folds - and wash them in high-density machines.
To ensure a "true clean" Stermfels tells WHNT News 19 "Suds" diapers are washed using eco-friendly anti-microbial cleaning agents. As an extra check, once a month or so, clean diapers are plucked from the master stash. Then they're sent off to a lab for testing to ensure they are pH-balanced and free of germs.
The service costs $100 a month or $500 for six months. There are different-sized diapers available for babies of different ages. The cost also includes unlimited diapers.
Sturmfels said he knows exactly why people don't use cloth diapers.
"We had tried cloth diapering on our own," Sturmfels explained. "We failed miserably. It was too hard, too dirty."
Still, he and his wife saw demand locally. Talking with friends and acquaintances, they realized there were a lot of new parents in the area who liked the idea of cloth but not the washing and folding required.
An engineer by trade, Sturmfels did significant research and converted his basement into a headquarters for laundry, complete with large-scale equipment.
Click here to learn more about Suds Diaper Service.