Free Cloth Diapers for Low-Income Families (Cloth Diaper Bank Info)

By April Duffy •  Updated: 05/03/24 •  4 min read

For some, new diapers can mean less food on the table, late bills, and staying home to stretch out diaper use. But it doesn’t have to. When we combine the incredible money-saving power of cloth diaper

What are Cloth Diaper Banks and How Do They Help Families?

To help low-income families afford cloth diapers, cloth diaper banks offer free cloth diapers, either on loan or to keep.

As well as helping families avoid the financial burden of disposable diapers, cloth diaper banks contribute to a child’s overall health and well-being by enabling parents to change their children as often as necessary without having to worry about potential negative financial consequences.

How Do Cloth Diaper Banks Work?

Though a few diaper banks provide some new cloth diapers, most of them are able to operate by providing families with refurbished previously used cloth diapers that were donated to the bank.

Essentially, cloth diapers are donated to the bank when they are no longer needed, the bank then cleans them and makes any repairs necessary, and then either gives or loans them to successful cloth diaper bank applicants.

Are Used Cloth Diapers From Cloth Diaper Banks Safe?

Absolutely! In fact, many parents look to purchase used cloth diapers on forums like Facebook Marketplace, etc., because they are such a great way to cloth diaper in an environmentally friendly way and save money.

Used cloth diapers are safe because they can be sanitized with bleach between children, and sometimes deep cleaned (by a process we call stripping) to ensure they are perfectly clean for use again.

You can find instructions on how to clean used cloth diapers for use again here.

Diaper Banks and Charities in the United States

1. CNY Diaper Bank

Central New York Diaper Bank Website

The CNY Diaper Bank provides Central New York families to an adequate supply of diapers, both disposable and cloth.

To begin the process for cloth diaper help, you can sign up for a cloth diaper information session on their website.


2. Minnesota Cloth Diaper Bank

Minnesota Cloth Diaper Bank website

Since 2019 the Minnesota Cloth Diaper Bank has been helping families meet their diapering needs with cloth diapers.

Minnesota Cloth Diaper Bank applications are taken online. During the application process, you’ll be asked what types of diapers you’re interested in trying. It may help to watch my quick(ish) video on the many different types of cloth diapers before applying.


3. Share the Love

Share the Love Cloth Diaper Bank website

Founded in 2012 by Cotton Babies CEO Jennifer Labit, Share the Love is a national cloth diaper bank with a growing network of more than 100 host sites operated by volunteers.

Share the Love applications are accepted online. It’s worth noting that approved applicants must pick up their diapers at one of the host sites or pay a small shipping and handling fee to receive their diapers by mail.


4. The Cloth Option

The Cloth Option website

The Cloth Option is the largest cloth diaper bank in the USA. Their program is available within the United States, U.S. Territories, and to U.S. Military families stationed abroad.

The Cloth Option takes applications online or if there is a TCO advocate nearby, you may be able to apply directly with them.  

It’s important to note that if you’re pregnant or expecting an adoption or foster placement, applications will be reviewed no earlier than 45 days from the due date/expected placement and the diapers will only be given within 30 days before your due date/expected placement.  


Diaper Banks and Charities in Canada

1. Cloth for a Cause

Cloth for a Cause website

Cloth for a Cause was launched in 2011 by a single mom in British Columbia and now has chapters throughout Canada. They are a non-profit organization run by volunteers who sanitize, sew, and refurbish used cloth diapers for distribution to families in need.

All diapers are loaned and should be returned after use. Applications are accepted online, and applicants are connected with a local chapter to receive education about how to cloth diaper successfully.


Other Cloth Diaper Banks That May Not Be Active

In researching this article I came across a number of cloth diaper banks that still have a presence online, but their resources seem so out of date that I am not certain if they are still actively accepting applications.

You may want to look into these resources, but I recommend contacting the others listed above first.

April Duffy

April is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.