Deciding to spend money on a sprayer is often a struggle for those beginning to cloth diaper. When you’re just starting out, you’ve just spent more than you’re comfortable with on a “stash” of cloth diapers, hoping against all hopes that you’ll make it work and all the naysayers were wrong. Do you really need to spend even more money on a diaper sprayer? Will it make that big of a difference? What is the best cloth diaper sprayer out there? These are good questions, and important ones if you’re working within a budget.
In this post I’m going to cover that question thoroughly, I’ll also tell you what to look for if you do decide to purchase a sprayer, and give you my top recommendations for diaper sprayers based on those things, including links to in-depth reviews for each sprayer I talk about, so that you can make a clear and informed choice with as much information as you need.
If you want to skip all of that, and just want my recommendations, here they are in order:
- HeepWah Baby Stainless Steel Diaper Sprayer
- SmarterFresh Cloth Diaper Sprayer
- Bumworks Cloth Diaper Toilet Sprayer
Is a Cloth Diaper Sprayer Worth the Money?
Yes. For most people, a cloth diaper sprayer is the luxury purchase they can’t believe they lived without before they had one. You can get the waste off your cloth diapers by using any of the six methods I discuss in this post about how to get the poop off of cloth diapers, but without a doubt, the easiest, fastest, and cleanest method is cloth diaper spraying.
Getting as much waste off your diapers as possible is important not only because it’s vital for getting your diapers really clean (which is pretty darn important), but also because it reduces staining, protecting your investment so you’ll get the highest resale value when you’re done with them.
Here’s what some of the cloth diaper users who have made the investment in a cloth diaper sprayer have said about it on the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group:
“I love it and use it about 3 times a day or more! We have a sprayer and a spray shield.
We tried to dunk and swish and it didn’t really work…” – June 29th post.
“We have one… we use with Spray Pal. Life is easy!!” – September 20th post.
Concerns About Cloth Diaper Sprayers
While many who buy a cloth diaper sprayer are happy with their purchase, others have concerns about buying a sprayer. In the post The Diaper Sprayer is on My Never List, All About Cloth Diapers shares four reasons she hadn’t purchased a cloth diaper sprayer after four years of cloth diapering (though she repeats one for emphasis). Let’s take a closer look at each one:
1) “Installation always looked too cumbersome.”
I can totally understand the hesitation to not fiddle with your pipes, but for the cloth diaper sprayers we reviewed for this post (all of which hook to the toilet water line), instillation only takes about 5 to 10 minutes and requires no tools and you don’t need to hire a plumber . Here’s a quick video showing how to install one of these cloth diaper sprayers. All of the sprayers included in this post hook up the exact same way as shown this video. Note the length of the video is only about five and a half minutes long.
2) Never had a peanut-butter-poo child.
I’m thinking that what she’s saying here is that her baby has either always had watery exclusively breast fed (EBF) poops, or solid poops that could be plopped right in the toilet with no mess. If that’s the case, and all babies are different so I completely believe her, I’m jealous! My daughter had globby, nasty poops that couldn’t be plopped easily from the time she had to be switched to formula until potty training almost.
According to startbabyonsolids.com, after starting solids, a baby’s poop becomes firmer and more shaped. They explain that breastfed babies typically have runny, liquid-y poop, but once they start solids it becomes firmer and more like paste. This is closer to my own experience, which once again was full of pasty, globs, that did in fact resemble peanut butter, and could not be plopped easily.
3) Is there really a need? Does it make things easier?
I mean, if you’ve ever had to “dunk and swoosh” or had a liner bunch on you during a massive poop, you’ll know the answer to this one.
That said, no, cloth diaper sprayer isn’t a need, because again you have six ways to get the poop off and one of those just requires a toilet and nothing else. It is however easier. The control and cleanliness that you gain with a sprayer is by far much easier than slapping a wet diaper around the toilet bowl trying to get waste loose, dealing with poopy spatulas (that smash the globby poops into the diaper), peeling off bunched-up liners that are covered top to bottom in poop, or refilling a peri bottle 20 times while holding a dirty and dripping diaper. It just is.
4) “The minute possibility of being splashed with poop makes me shudder.”
This one was listed twice in the list on The All About Cloth Diapers post, and that’s why I saved it until the end. The truth is, cloth diaper sprayers CAN cause splash-back when the pressure is too high. If that splash-back is worse than the other options below is debatable, but either way it IS nasty. This is why when I outline what to look for when buying a sprayer below, I harp on getting one with an easily adjustable pressure lever, but more on that later. For now, know that yes, if the pressure is too high, or if you’re holding the diaper too far above the toilet it is completely possible, even most likely, that some of the water will bounce off the fabric and onto your toilet and you, possibly taking some bits of poop with it — GROSS!
If you have already bought a sprayer without an adjustable pressure, and you’re too busy (like we all are because… kids) to make an effort every time to angle the diaper right and hold it low enough, there are solutions to make sure this splash-back doesn’t happen to you:
Cloth Diaper Sprayer Accessories to Eliminate Splashing
- Spray Pal splatter shield
The Spray Pal is by far the most well known accessory out there to prevent splashing when spraying down your diapers. It works like a shield to catch all of the splatter, while also opening up your diaper and holding it steady for you to make spraying the entire inside easier.
- Diaper Dawgs spray collar shield
Unlike the Spray Pal, the Diaper Dawgs splatter shield is a collar that fits around the nozzle of your sprayer. The collar is flexible and clear so that when you’re spraying a diaper you can keep the cone of the collar on the diaper and still move it around to spray the poop off. This option takes up the least space, but does require holding the diaper during spraying.
NOTE: The Diaper Dawgs spray collar will not fit on the HeepWah Baby, Bumworks, or SmarterFresh cloth diaper sprayers. Click here for a list of sprayers it will and won’t work with.
- SprayMate splatter shield
The SprayMate is a lot like he Spray Pal, but with a few more features, which are nice, but also require more bathroom space. The extras include a drip pan for when it is not in use,and a tool for stretching and maneuvering cloth diapers.
- A DIY splatter shield
- If you’re worried about budget, there’s a DIY for that! Below is a good video tutorial I found by Jennifer’s Magic Boots showing how you can make a sprayer shield from a cheap garbage can and some clips.
Other Uses for Cloth Diaper Sprayers
So now that we’ve broken down all the reasons you might be hesitating to purchase that sprayer, it might also be helpful for you to know that your cloth diaper sprayer will also get use after the diapers have been retired. Cloth diaper sprayers are great for rinsing out a dirty potty without having to touch anything. They can also be used to rinse muddy boots, sandy pant cuffs, and any other messes that require a little pre-rinsing but that would be best left out of the sink.
If you’re okay with cold water on your sensitive bits (the water line to your toilet, which you tap into to install the sprayer, is cold water only), cloth diaper sprayers also make excellent bidets, cutting down on your need for toilet paper.
Finally, cleaning a toilet is about a million times easier with a diaper sprayer.
What to Look for When Buying a Cloth Diaper Sprayer
If you’re convinced it’s worth the investment, and you’re ready to get a sprayer of your own, here’s a short buying guide to help you choose a cloth diaper sprayer wisely.
First, it’s important to know that all cloth diaper sprayers will get the water onto your diapers, but in reviewing all of the sprayers mentioned in this post, three things stood out as being the key differences between a great sprayer and a mediocre one. Those important features are:
1. Good Customer Support and Warranty
It’s important not to forget that no matter how easy the instillation is for these sprayers, you’re still dealing with pipes, water, and hardware. Things can go wrong, and do go wrong. A strong warranty and good customer support can made all the difference between making cloth diapering easy, and making your life difficult with a broken sprayer and/or a bathroom leak and a shot budget.
When shopping for a cloth diaper sprayer look for a company that offers help to customers both during instillation and when there’s a defect or problem. This was a major factor in the rating of the cloth diaper sprayers reviewed here.
2. Adjustable Pressure, at the Wand
A lot of sprayers will claim to be adjustable because you can turn the t-valve (the connection of the sprayer to your toilet water line), but your ability to actually adjust the pressure at this point is pretty weak at best. Not only do you have to bend over and fiddle with the valve, but it’s difficult to get a feel for it and most of the time you’ll either end up with too strong a spray, which as we discussed above can mean a lot of mess with spray-back, or you’ll get a spray that’s too weak to work properly.
If you want a sprayer that’s effective, clean, and also comfortable to use on your private parts as a bidet (think postpartum help moms), you want to find a sprayer that’s adjustable at the spray head. This will allow you to put the t-valve at full pressure, but still have control over your spray as you’re actually using it in your hand.
3. Quality Materials
There are a lot of cloth diaper sprayers on the market at all price points and of varying quality. Sprayers that just don’t last or won’t cut it weren’t included here, but please note there are many available, and they are often well priced. Cheap plastic tube hoses, flimsy spray heads with easily breakable buttons, and sprayers that are sold without all the parts you’ll need to install them (in order to lower the price) are out there.
Again, please remember that you’re going to be tapping into a water supply and using your cloth diaper sprayer daily (for many babies, many times a day), so you need to look for something made from durable materials, and that is well constructed to avoid problems that come with heavy use.
Cloth Diaper Sprayer Reviews
Now that you know what to look for when purchasing a sprayer, here’s our reviews of the top selling, most popular cloth diaper sprayers on the market. You’ll notice we rated each sprayer on five categories: Ease of use/instillation, effectiveness, aesthetics/durability, support/warranty, and price. In the summary for each review you’ll find specific mention of the three most important features listed above as well as a button you can click to be taken to a painfully fulsome review of each sprayer.
Two Pro-tips for Your Cloth Diaper Sprayer
1. A Tip To Prolong the Life of Your Sprayer
I would not be doing my job if somewhere I didn’t include a quick note to tell you that with all of the above sprayers, turning them off at the t-valve after each use and then emptying the water left in the sprayer before putting it back on the holder will increase the life of your cloth diaper sprayer.
This is because leaving the valve on, leaves pressure on the connections inside the sprayer, which over a long period of time can wear them out and lead to leaks. As a bonus, turning the valve off after every use also prevents your cloth diaper sprayer from becoming a toddler water gun.
2. A Tip to Make Your Life Easier
Many installing their cloth diaper sprayers complain that the on/off switch sits behind the toilet making it hard to reach. The pro-tip to fix that problem is to run your cloth diaper hose along the back of the toilet, and hang it on the other side of the toilet (the opposite side of the water line). This will force you to turn the valve so that the hose connection points behind the toilet, moving the on/off toggle to the side. This is of course easier to do with one of the cloth diaper sprayers with a longer hose, like the HeepWah, which has the longest hose out of those discussed.
If You’ve Read This Far
If you’ve made it this far down the post, I want to say thanks! I really want to build helpful resources and materials for cloth diaper users, so if there are people reading this far into my guides that is a good indication I’m on track! If you have gained value from this post, or have any questions or concerns about cloth diaper sprayers, please leave a comment and I will make sure to respond as soon as possible.