Today, Brooklynn is 16 months old. This is not her monthly letter. (I do plan to get to it.) I just finished cleaning out her dirty diapers. We use cloth diapers (BumGenius, specifically), and we wash them at home. Which means that we take out the inserts, close the little velcro tabs, try to spray off any fecal residue—it actually sounds worse when you use technical terms, doesn't it—and turn the washing mashine on sanitize.
We have 18 diapers, and depending on how much Brooklynn drinks and how often she poops right after we change her, this will be enough for two to three days.
I don't know if we've saved money or not in the long run. We've still done our fare share of disposables over the past year when we were too busy some evening to wash, we've been traveling, or it's just been more convenient on a weekend running errands not to haul dirty diapers around. I do know if you do a rough average of 5 diapers per day—which might be low—over 12 or 13 months of actually using them, we'd be nearing 2000 diapers saved.
It helps that we have a daycare provider who is willing to use them for us and that Brooklynn has never had an issue with wearing them. So, every two to three days, I find myself dumping out diapers and separating inserts.
I think it's relatively well known that uric acid is a major component in liquid human waste. Uric acid in solid form is urea, which is odorless. However, when mixed with water, it give's off ammonia. Not odorless. Not be a long shot. Also commonly known - ammonia is a major component in common smelling salts.
After over a year of changing out soaked diapers that may or may not have been in a bag for a day or two, I think I'm starting to become immune to ammonia. Not that I don't smell it, but it doesn't bother me nearly as much as it used to. Either I'm getting used to it or my sense of smell has been permanently degraded.
Just something to keep in mind if you ever find passed out for any reason and I don't come around with smelling salts.