Adults suffering from urinary or fecal incontinence have a variety of reusable diaper options, depending on the severity of their condition and their activity level. Disposable diapers can be expensive, feel unnatural and are environmentally unfriendly, making reusable adult diapers an attractive choice.
For adults with mild incontinence a pull on style diaper that has an absorbent middle to contain leaks would be a good choice. These have a waterproof outside and the inside is made of a very absorbent soft polyester that wicks moisture away from the skin, keeping the wearer dry and comfortable.
Adults that have total incontinence will need a more classic diaper that can be removed around the sides much like an infant’s diaper to avoid soiling the wearer or his/her clothing. These diapers have snaps to fasten them shut and the fit can be adjusted to ensure that there are no leaks and the wearer is comfortable.
There are also adult diapers that function like classic infant cloth diapers and are fastened with safety pins and are covered with vinyl underpants. You can get them in contoured shapes or the classic prefold shape, depending on your preference. If vinyl underpants are not acceptable, knit covers made of 100% wool can be very waterproof and keep the wearer and their clothes dry and comfortable.
Diaper doublers or liners can be used with adult diapers to provide additional protection or reinforce older diapers that have lost their thickness and absorbency.
Caring for adult reusable diapers is much like caring for infant cloth diapers. If the diaper is soiled with fecal matter empty it into the toilet and spray off as much as you can into the toilet bowl. Diapers can either be stored in a dry pail for laundering or in a pail filled with water and perhaps a splash of vinegar, baking soda or essential oils to keep away odor and mildew.
To wash the diapers, first do a rinse in plain, hot water and then with a mild detergent that won’t cause build up. Many commercial detergents with brighteners or heavy scents are not suitable for washing diapers either because they cause build-up which make the diapers smell bad and diminishes absorbency or it can cause a rash. Use only a small amount of detergent, it’s the hot water and agitation that will do most of the cleaning.
After washing, either dry in the tumble dryer with no fabric softener (it can cause residue and impede absorbency) or line dry. With proper care, your adult diapers will stay in good shape for years to come, saving you money and keeping you dry and comfortable.