My Cloth Diaper Escapades…

I feel like the search for a cloth diaper friendly detergent I can buy from a store, that I can walk into mind you, is all but expended. We have been cloth diapering for a little more than a year now. I enjoy, though hubby can go either way. Being pregnant has given me that super ability to smell what no ‘man’ can smell; literally. I keep complaining there is a stink to our recently washed diapers, but DH swears up and down he can’t smell anything. So I’ve been on the hunt for something that will work. We definitely don’t want to have to buy some cloth diaper specific detergent. To us, that defeats the purpose of cloth diapering, which is the low-cost.

I was grateful to have received a sample of Charlie’s Soap from a friend, who has been extremely great to us and I’m so grateful to have her and her family in our lives. The Charlie’s soap did wonders in the beginning, but then the stench came back. It’s cost, in the long run, is pretty small, so I think we could afford it without there really being an issue. The only problem is I am allergic to laundry powder. However, since the Charlie’s Soap would just be used on the diapers only, it’s still the initial cost. I would rather buy the big huge tub of powder or the largest bottle of liquid they have, but it’s still the initial cost.

My allergy to laundry powder. I don’t know what it is, but it’s there. I can clean with borax without an issue, so maybe it’s one of the other two ingredients, but since liquid detergents have oxi and I assume they also have washing soda, I don’t know what the issue is. I do know that since starting cloth diapering, we have used the extra rinse on all of our laundry. I’ve told DH if we use the laundry powder, it has to go in first before the clothes are even put in. Sometimes I don’t do that, which is my fault. I don’t know if it’s an issue with particles of the powder getting stuck in the fibers of the clothes, if they aren’t being rinsed enough or what the problem is, but I itch something horrible.

Funny thing: I don’t itch with liquid detergent. So for a little over a year I have struggled to deal with my sensitive skin. I think I have finally reached a point where enough is enough. We tried the Ology Stain Fighting 2X Laundry Liquid Free & Clear, but only after I read the ingredients and found this post at babycenter: Ology Laundry Detergent? I still had stink issues, but that was before I found out that cleaning your washing machine was so important. Yes, sometimes I have my moments where I don’t let common sense in. I think I have only cleaned our washer once at our old place, but that was to get rid of a clog I thought we had, and once since we’ve been here. So today I will be trying a different method to cleaning my washing machine. Last week, I believe it was, we had cleaned the washer with CLR. This advice came from a fellow cloth diapering momma who comes from a family of plumbers. She also suggested ammonia, but that will have to come later, when the boys and I are out of the home and DH has time to do that. We did the extra wash cycle to rinse, than I followed that by a cup of bleach and an empty cycle, than a cup of vinegar and a wash cycle. I just wanted to make sure it was all getting clean!

It seemed to have helped, but I think we may still have a long ways to go. There is still some stink. It’s not as bad, but I can still smell it. Call it my pregnancy sensitivity. Just some residual stink, I assume. It’s amazing what a cleaning and disinfecting will do. I’ll be happy when we don’t have this issue any longer, but I’m beginning to think that we may need to clean the washer every weekend for a while. I didn’t know this, or really hadn’t thought about this.

Did you know that as you wash your laundry, clothes or cloth diapers, that a build up is created in the hoses? Think about how your sink drain gets clogged. I don’t know why I never thought about it before, but it was thanks to the cloth diapering momma from a family of plumbers that I learned this. It really seems like common sense, but I think we like to think that our machine is getting cleaned with each wash, so we don’t really think about needing to clean it. As she is explaining all of this to me, I’m thinking, “wow, all of that poop, my hair, lint, dirt, and whatever else that makes it through the little tiny drain holes and into the hoses and pipes are just building up there like they would in a clogged sink or tub drain.” Really, the common sense thing comes to mind, but we don’t really think about it.

So now that the stink dilemma is being rectified, I still have to look at how in the world I am going to clean the diapers and the clothes with the same detergent that won’t leave me itching, won’t give my babies any rashes,  and won’t destroy the diapers. I went to the two leading experts at this point. Diaper Jungle and PinStripes and PolkaDots. I went through their lists looking for what I could find in the stores around here. It was a very small list, to say the least. We don’t make it to Tuscaloosa as often as I would like, and Tupelo is even further, not to mention Birmingham and Memphis. That leaves only a few options around here. Sure, we could order online, but then the shipping, not to mention the waiting. Especially when sometimes I wait until the absolute last-minute, than we’re out of the detergent we absolutely need for our diapers, and wanting to use the same detergent for our clothes too makes it an even bigger deal.

Here’s the list I have compiled. Hopefully it will work for us, and hopefully we’ll see how it works for our diapers too.

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2 thoughts on “My Cloth Diaper Escapades…

  1. I am allergic to perfumes and whatnot in commercial laundry detergents. I have been making my own and using it for 2 years and the results are better than Tide! I use Borax, Washing Powder, Oxy Clean and Zote Bar Soap. 1 cup of each, mix together and it takes 1 Tbsp for soft water, 2 Tbsp for hard water. You could add Purex Softener Crystals if your skin and your babies skin can tolerate the perfume. Every now and then I add a cup or two of vinegar to the load of bath towels, undies and socks. I have a very sensitive nose and my laundry smells great! I do not have a clothes line but people tell me that sunshine and fresh air will deodorize diapers, too!

    • Yes, sunshine and fresh air will deodorize diapers. So you put zota in as well as washing powder? I pretty much thought it was one or the other. We may just have to try that!

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