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Parents like myself who cloth diaper their babies are already in on a little secret: prefold cloth diapers are the best household helpers around! Absorbent and indestructible, they're great for cleanup tasks, and -- at only $1 to $2 each -- they're much cheaper than specialty cleaning cloths or paper towels.

Here are some of my favorite ideas for using prefold diapers around the home:

Prefolds make ideal dusting cloths, being grippy and lint-free. Tuck one onto your wet or dry Swiffer mop and save money on those expensive refill pads. Use them to soak up all kinds of household spills, too.

Flooring Protectors
Need to protect your hardwood floors? Prefolds can help. Tuck them underneath legs of heavy furniture or heavy houseplants and rearrange a room without scraping up the floor.

Polishing cloths
Prefolds make grimy windows sparkle, and they'll bring up a nice polish on furniture too.

Burn protectors
Use them as pot holders or to remove hot bulbs from light fixtures.

Pet Bowl Placemat
Keep a prefold under your pet's water bowl. It prevents the bowl from sliding around and being knocked over, and also keeps the area around the bowl dry.

Talk about handy household helpers, right? Now that I have a stack of prefold diapers on standby, I don't know how I got by without them!

Cloth diapers are making a comeback and can now be found in big name stores. Just be aware not all prefolds are created equal.

The most absorbent are Chinese prefolds, also known as Diaper Service Quality (DSQ) in cloth diapering lingo. If you're planning to purchase prefolds for actually diapering your baby, make sure they're DSQs. For general household use, though, any old store-bought prefolds will be just fine.

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