What is diaper delamination?
Delamination means that the polyurethane laminate, or waterproof layer, of your cloth diaper is coming away from the diaper. When this happens eventually your diaper will no longer function normally which means that you will begin to have leaks. Obviously that is no bueno for a diaper.
However the beginning of delamination isn’t the end of the world…for now. You can still use the diaper as long as you don’t have any holes or the lamination isn’t peeling away, but know that your diaper is likely on borrowed time.
What does normal PUL look like?
PUL is a layer of polyurethane film over the inside of the diaper fabric. Most normal PUL looks smooth and shiny like this diaper:
However some diaper brands use PUL that looks kind of like snakeskin. This is also normal and doesn’t mean that your diaper is about to delaminate. If you run your finger over the fabric you won’t see any bubbling. Some of the brands that use this kind of PUL include AppleCheeks and bumGenius.
This diaper is in the early stages of delamination. As you can see there are some small ripples and the lining is starting to pull away from the fabric. If you run your finger over it, unlike with snakeskin PUL, you will see that these areas seem like small bubbles.
This wet bag has moderate delamination. I say moderate because I can still use it without leaks but I have to be careful. If you run your fingers across it you can see that there are large bubbles where the lining has pulled away from the fabric. At this stage you have to be careful not to puncture the bubbles or leaks will occur.
The bad news:
Once your diaper starts to delaminate there isn’t anything you can do to stop it or fix it and once the diaper’s PUL starts to crack, peel, or get holes then you can no longer use it for its intended purpose.
The good news:
Don’t throw your delaminated diapers away because you can use them for swim diapers!