It is likely that if you are using PUL (polyurethane laminated) products in cloth diapering that at some point you will have a diaper or cover delaminate. Delaminating is when the waterproof backing or laminate of the diaper begins to pull away from the fabric. It often looks crinkled or wrinkled inside and out, and is a sign that the diaper is nearing the end of its life. If you are unable to look inside, such as an All in One see if the diaper may also be make a crinkling sound while being handled. Both of these along with leaking through the PUL are indicators of delamination. Delaminating diapers sounds scary but in most cases it doesn’t have to be.
If you have a diaper delaminate while inside the warranty time, simply call the manufacturer and speak to customer service about your situation. In most cases as long as you are within the warranty the diaper will be replaced promptly and at no cost to you. Warranties however can be tricky things. Cloth diaper manufacturers usually have two types of warranties that would be covered. The first one deals with time, a warranty may cover 6 months from the time of purchase, or as low as 30 days so be sure to keep track of when your warranty may be up. The second type deals with use. Nearly all of the diaper companies that I have seen have very detailed and specific washing instructions, if you don’t follow these instructions exactly then you will not be eligible for replacement products if something happens. This can be very frustrating as some manufacturers have right down to the temperature you can wash a diaper. For most people, especially those who have abandoned ”cloth diaper safe” detergents they will be out of luck when it comes to time to have a delaminated diaper replaced. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t still contact the company and let them know, they may just replace it for you anyway.
If you find yourself outside of your warranty don’t worry. The diaper may still be used for some time if you are careful. I have successfully used a delaminating pocket diaper(above) for almost 3 months. Until the laminate completely separates the diaper can still be used. You do have to be careful with it though. Always hang dry diapers or covers that have begun to delaminate. Be gentle while stuffing the diaper or pulling on snaps. Once the diaper does loose its ability to waterproof, you can then use it as a pocket/AIO fitted, but it will require a cover at that point.
Anything that makes the cloth diapering journey seem like a hassle can turn people off to what is a wonderful and cost effective way to diaper your child. Don’t let the fear of delamination keep you from enjoying cloth diapering. I have seen it expressed that those new and seasoned in the cd world who are having ammonia problems or other issues will spurn using products like Tide which are known to stop these issues because they are concerned with the warranty on their diapers. In my opinion make cloth diapering easy on yourself and leave your washing routine as something that works not something a company says will work for you. If you run into an issue with delamination then deal with head on once it occurs. But from experience I have only had one diaper delaminte in almost a year and a half of not following the directions. I am not saying to blatantly disregard them, just find a happy balance and go from there.
Tip: Check the websites of manufactures and get the details on their specific warranty, don’t assume they are all the same.