When parents first start to cloth diaper, they often wonder how to use fitteds and prefolds with covers. Some question how cost effective and efficient it is to change the diaper as well as the cover with each change. That's the beauty of diaper covers-they can be used through more than one change! Reusing a cover is a key element in keeping the cost of prefold and fitted diapering systems as low as possible. There are a few methods for using covers:
Change and go: Sometimes you catch the prefold or fitted diaper before it really soaks through. If the cover hasn't gotten wet or damp at all, some parents are comfortable changing the fitted or prefold diaper and reusing the cover right away.
Wet, rinse, repeat: If your cover has gotten a little damp, all is not lost. It's very easy to wipe the inside of a PUL cover, then let it dry. If your cover has a fleece inner or is sandwich PUL, it's probably better to wet it completely, rinse it, and let it air dry. Covers are designed to dry quickly. By the time you're ready for the next diaper change, your cover will be ready for another use.
Number 2? Start new: Reusing covers works best for wet-only changes. If poo gets on the cover, you'll want to throw it in your pail no matter how many times you've used it. Even if I don't see poo on the cover, I like to toss it in the pail in case I've missed something.
What's the limit? You should be able to get a solid 3 uses out of your cover before you wash-maybe even 4 if you're vigilant about changing before the cover gets wet. With diaper covers, you can really enjoy the benefits of less laundry and fast drying times!