Wednesday, January 7, 2009

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The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Answers: Any detergent advice for someone using an HE washer?

This question was posted by Shannon on January 4th. (Shannon: You get one EXTRA entry on the giveaway cause your question got chosen).

We just purchased an High Efficiency (HE) washer machine last summer. I honestly thought I would NEVER purchase an HE machine. We had been needing to purchase a new machine for months. We didn't purchase a new machine until the old machine literally died in the middle of washing cloth diapers. Yes, really!

So, the hunt for a washing machine was on. We currently had a stack able washer/dryer as the space was super small. Being that Riley was just a newborn we decided to go on-line when Sears was having a big sale. My husband insisted that we purchase a HE machine- I was dead set against it. Why you ask? I have heard HORROR stories of people who used cloth and would always had odor problems. I also had this image of diapers not completely cleaned- still having traces of bm (number 2)! Much to my husband's disappointment we purchased a stack able thru Sears on-line.

Well- to make a long story short the transaction was a nightmare! We arranged to have the old machine hauled away and the other one completely installed. Three guys showed up and they informed me that they couldn't install as the valves weren't easily shut off?? So, they left the machine on our deck and it proceeded to rain...for 2 days. Normally I would have covered the machine but I just had Riley and I even asked them if it was Ok to leave uncovered and they said YES. Hubby was traveling and when I told him what happened he was so upset that he called up Sears to have it taken back. Essentially the machine was ruined as it was exposed to the elements.

Fast forward- we decided to purchase local and the sales person assured us that an HE machine would work just fine. Also, I didn't realize that the dryer could stack on top of the machine. The transaction and installation went perfect. Now, the inaugural load. These were done by my 11 year old and Scott (hubby). They were so excited to try the new machine out that they proceeded to get a huge mound of laundry done. (This excitement has unfortunately ended and I am doing all the laundry- except for my son Hanz who folds/snaps/stuffs all the diapers!)

So it was my first time to do Riley's diapers and I was bracing myself for a disaster of icks when the load was done. I set it to a regular load with a pre-rinse and an extra rinse cycle and added Charlie's Soap. At the end of the cycle I opened the door and inspected EVERY diaper/insert. PERFECTLY clean. No odors, no traces of bm. Hurray!

We use the Charlie's Soap powder for our entire clothing and cloth diaper laundry and have never had an problems with odor or build-up. I do every week and half or so wash the inserts and wipes (not diapers) in hot water and add half cup of bleach. (I know the dreaded B-word.) I know many prefer not to use bleach so you can wash with bac-out stain/odor remover.
Now if you reading about Charlie's Soap on-line there are a few people who say that baby has received a diaper rash from using Charlie's. The rash is actually not caused by the Charlie's itself but can be caused from 2 things:

1) By using other detergents in the washing machine- We HIGHLY recommend to use one detergent for your clothing and cloth diaper laundry. You don't necessarily need to use Charlie's but once you find a detergent that works great for cleaning your diapers make sure to convert your entire laundry. By switching back and forth with detergents you are essentially creating a scientific experiment with the both detergents.

2) We HIGHLY encourage disinfecting inserts, etc every 10 days or so. Bacteria build-up (usually lurks in inserts) will cause diaper rash. As Charlies isn't a disinfectant it is recommended to disinfect every 10 days or so with bleach or bac-out.

Here is a list of HE safe detergents recommended:
Charlie's Soap
Allen's Naturally-For high efficiency washers use ¼ of the recommended amount."
Country Save
Planet
Nellie's

If your baby develops any rash when using a detergent please discontinue using and evaluate your washing procedure before continuing using the product. (Kelly's Closet,Inc, DiaperShops.com,The Cloth Diaper Whisper cannot be reasonable for any occurrences when using a detergent product.)

A statement from Charlie's Soap:
Manufacturers Note: "We have found that by following proper procedures with our detergents... we have remedied nearly all the problems. We know there can be a problem with hard water with our detergents" -Charlie Sutherland



(Cloth Diaper Whisperer Note: If you do have hard water and use Charlie's Soap adding a small amount of Calgon water softener should eliminate any problems.)

For more information on how he machines work visit the following link and download this PDF document.

67 comments:

Chic Mama said...

I think I am going to switch to Charlies when the next babe comes- great advice and I know a lot of people who have had great luck with it!

holly christine said...

interesting post. i am curious about why you disinfect the inserts every week and a half, but not the diapers. is it because you use bleach?

Shawna said...

Great information! We're looking into buying a HE washer soon, so I needed to know this stuff! Thanks so much.

Amanda said...

Is there a way to know if your water is hard? And if so how hard? How would I know if I need to use Calgon to soften it?

one day in the life of me said...

Thank you for posting this. I have been using Allen's on my dipes but I haven't been washing my clothes in it too. So it looks like I will be making a switch on my detergent.

Jennifer and Jason said...

Is using oxyclean a way of disinfecting the inserts?

Jennifer and Jason said...

Also, I use fuzzi bunz. I am pretty sure about hard water is it safe to use Calgon on Fuzzis?

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Holly Christine,
I disinfect the inserts only for 2reasons:
1) the bleach over time will ruin the pul (laminate) on pocket and aio diapers.
2) Most of any odor causing bacteria ends up imbedded in the insert(s).

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Amanda,
It actually is a good idea to have your water tested (if you have a well) every 2-3 years. If you call your local Soil & Water Conservation Office you can have your water tested for free or for a minimal charge.
If you are on town water a phone call to the water district is what you would need to do.
Also, if you recently purchased a house most home inspections will have a water test so you could look in your records for that information.

Erika said...

Thanks for that.... I had read that Charlie's can cause a rash, I didn't realize it was probably from Charlie's being mixed with other detergents. And that there should be only one detergent used when washing (I was going to switch back and forth....but not any more)!!

Cecile said...

This might be a silly question, but what is 'bac-out'?

Cecile said...

when you wash with bleach, do you need to rinse the inserts a few times before using them?

Cecile said...

Thank you for this post, by the way. I'm going home soon (Belgium) for a couple of months with the kids and they only have HE washers over there.

Katrina said...

Glad to hear that your HE machine works well on your diapers. Our old machine will probably need replacing soon and my DH wants an HE too. (Bring the green mommy I am, I like the water and energy savings as well.) I've also heard conflicting stories, but I'm confident that between using Charlie's Soap (Which I LOVE) and Bac-Out on the diapers twice a month, I'll be in good shape.

Will you ever stock Bac-Out? I almost felt like a traitor ordering it from someone else earlier this week :P

Kelly said...

I switched to Charlie's Soap not too long ago (well, I have already been through one 80 load bag, but I do a lot of laundry...especially for a family of three...but there are diapers...but I digress) and I LOVE it. My daughter has very sensitive skin, as does my husband. My husband's eczema has been really under control since switching and my diapers are very clean. I don't do any disinfecting either. Maybe I should? My daughter tends to get diaper rashes a bit anyway, but they were much worse before we switched to cloth 6 months ago, and then worse before we switched to Charlie's Soap. Now she only gets a rash, and I am not sure if it would really be a rash or just some redness that clears up after a couple diaper changes (no cream or anything) after she sits in a poopy diaper a little too long. I don't have a high efficiency machine either. Just a 15 year old Maytag I pray lasts a while longer!

Momto3LittleFlowers said...

Everybody: Thanks for your comments...

Katrina: Bac-Out is on the process of being in stock.. Hopefully, next time you need to buy it, you wont need to cheat on us... :)

And Fluff Friday winners are welcome to enter to following giveaways!!!

Leigh Anne said...

you know..i can't find any of those detergents in stores...only online. i'm not one that likes to pay for shipping, lol. we have an HE washer, and I just use Sun liquid (it was on a safe to use for dipes list somewhere)...It's not HE, but I just use a little bit. my dipes come out looking like new (even the poopy ones) and it only costs $1.97 for a big bottle...

the momma said...

I had never heard about disinfecting the diapers...had thought that using hot water did disinfect them. I have never had stink issues w fuzziz or BGs, but think our thirsties AIOs and HH inserts smell- kinda like bacon...I wonder if a little bleach would take care of that?

The McKitterick Family said...

I also am wondering what bac-out is? Also, were do you find it? And I also am wondering what oxyclean does for the diapers?

Sara in Seattle said...

Thanks so much!

Does anyone want to share what settings they hit on their HE washer? I'm currently using "heavy duty" which does a prewash soak and then an extra long hot wash. This was working great for me but now I'm starting to notice some stains still remaining. Is this just inevitable or should I be doing something different?

Dani said...

There's so much info out there about washing diapers, but not with HE machines. This is such a useful post. We have an HE, and it took me a while to figure out the best wash routine and detergent for us. I use Planet and have not had any problems since switching to it (we only use 1/4 cap for diapers and 1/2 cap for regular loads).
Great idea with the inserts, I'm going to start using your "method" this week :)

Serena said...

GREAT POST KELLY! I've been wanting to do my own little experiment with a HE machine!

In response to some comments/questions:
Bac-Out is made by Biokleen. It is used for stains and odor removal. It works best if you spray it on the soiled spot(s) on your diaper (after rinsing) and then toss your diaper in the pail. However, others use it by adding a little to the wash.

I forgot to mention in my last post... the SUN is also a natural disinfectant, stain remover, and whitener! So you can put your diapers and/or inserts in the sun (it doesn't have to be hot outside - even on cold sunny days it will work) and the sun will naturally take care of most problems!

(PS. Sunning works best on items that are wet/damp. For really stubborn stains you can spray a little lemon juice or vinegar on the stain and it's truly amazing how fast those stains disappear! )

Kira said...

I don't have an HE yet, but we will get one once our stackable poops out. So my question is related to regular, old fashioned washers...

Is it as big a deal to use multiple detergents in a regular washer? The reason I ask is that we still have some Dreft left and I've been using it on baby clothes, nursing bras, etc. Also, my husband does a lot of manual labor and his clothes get filthy, so we still use Tide for a lot of his clothes. Not totally sure that Planet (which is what we use on the diapers) could handle his "messes." Also, in the interest of saving money, I don't want to waste what we currently have. And I'm not sure that I want to spend the money on Planet for all of our clothes. Of course, if it is eventually going to ruin my dipes and/or contribute to rash, I will use it exclusively.

My other question is about Oxi-clean in a regular washer...How much and how often? Does it go in during a wash cycle with detergent or separately? And do you feel that it disinfects as well as bleach?

Sorry for the long question!

kira_williams2003@yahoo.com

Senior Family said...

what awesome advice :) i do not have an HE but once again this blog informs us all .. :) thanks

one day in the life of me said...

Sara in Seattle, I use the Sanitary cycle on my HE when washing my dipes. That's after I do a cold soak then I follow it up with a cold rinse. Sometimes I run a short cycle hot wash afterward. I rarly ever have any stains left on them.

Hope that was helpful!

Kathleen said...

I'll have to try Charlie's Soap. I use Seventh Generation unscented and it seems to work fine just using a little bit. I also have a HE machine and have had no problem cleaning my Bum Genius diapers. I do a hot pre-wash and a rinse after the regular cycle.

Shannon said...

What a great post. Thank you for answering my question. This helped so much. I wash diapers tonight and use my Allen's detergent for the first time. I'll make sure to only use 1/4 the amount. I was initially afraid to use the Charlie's Soap because my son's skin is so sensitive but will have to try it the next time.

writetanya said...

We have an HE washer and are still doing trial and error with our detergent. This whole cloth diapering thing is different for each person.

Katie said...

I am glad to hear that the rashes are caused by switching back and forth. I use Charlie's on my diapers, but use regular detergent on my other clothes. I have not had any problems yet with the diapers, but I will stop switching. I remember reading on the Charlie's information that they recommend you "wash out" your washer with the Charlie's to strip any other detergent build-up.

This is getting off topic, but I am wondering how many of you wash the inserts separately from the diapers?

Also, if you do, do you have two wet bags/ pail liners too?

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Jennifer & Jason,
Oxiclean is a laundry booster and not really a disinfectant.
Yes, Calgon water softener is safe to use on Fuzzi Bunz.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Cecile,
Bac-out is a natural stain and odor remover. You can read more about is here:
http://www.bi-o-kleen.com/general.htm

Before you do the bleach on the inserts the inserts should be washed already.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Sara in Seattle-
I have a GE machine and do the following:
Set on whites setting.
Press "extra rinse" button.
Press "pre-wash" button.

The total cycle time is 133 minutes. This sets the machine to wash on hot (not sanitize-that is way too hot), high spin speed.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi The Momma,
You can certainly bleach or use bac-out on the inserts but not on pocket diapers or aio's. Bac-out is all natural but contains enzymes (some babies are sensitive to enzymes) and you shouldn't wash anything that is next to babies skin with it (inserts are fine as they don't touch babies skin.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi The McKitterick Family,
Bac-out is a natural stain and odor remover. You can read more about is here:
http://www.bi-o-kleen.com/general.htm

We hope to have it in stock in a few weeks.

Oxiclean is a whitener and brightener but doesn't have disinfecting qualities. It does remove residue build-up and keeps diapers nice and bright.

Montana Momma said...

Thanks for the great blog! I will try the bleach on the inserts... I had been wondering about that but didn't have the guts to try on my own. What about for fitted diapers. Should they be bleached too??

Anonymous said...

This is a great post!!! I am in the process of discontinuing the use of cloth diapers, because of the rash my daughters are having, and there is no much I can do about it... We live overseas, and we order our cloth diapers with Kelly's Closet online and make them ship to my sister, who then ships them to me (which means that we pay extra for each pound to every shipping to me)... Having any special soap shipped is impossible due to weight so I have been using several local detergents (most of the ones that wont even have an ingredient list on the box) trying to find one that would make the situation better, with no luck... The only US detergents that are sold here are Tide, Purex, All and Ivory...

Could I have some words of advise??? Should I just start using disposables?????????

- Kristine

Angela said...

Wow... I have been switching back and forth det. for sometime now... I guess when this bottle is done I will stop... or does it make a huge difference. I use Tide Free for our clothes and Allens on my diapers, I have to do what is most cost effective as money is tight and just keeps getting tighter:( I will have to try the bleach too, I did not know about that... Great info.

Kelly said...

Is/are there a good temperature(s) for washing the diapers? I'm new to cloth diapering and we just moved to our house. I have no idea what the temperature setting on our hot water heater is or what it should be set to for the various cloth diapers. Are there some that should not be washed on hot or could be washed on warm/cold? (I keep reading conflicting info - even when the instructions come from the diaper companies themselves!) I'm also trying to figure out (on my top loading washer) how to get it to do a cold presoak before running the hot cycle and another rinse. I think my only option is to do two separate washes for each load but if anyone has a work around on that (so that I'd only have to put my diapers through once), that would be great! I'm all about trying to save water/energy too even if I don't have an HE washer at this point (we will get one when our top-loader dies out). Thanks for the informative post!

Shari & Andrew said...

Thanks for posting this--we just bought an HE washer and I wasn't sure how that would impact our diaper laundry--and I just bough some Charlie's Soap to buy! Thanks for the recommendation!

one day in the life of me said...

I have a question.

When using bleach, can you use bleach on the PF?

I stuff most all of my diapers with PF, sometimes we use just a PF with cover, should I only be using bleach on the terry and hemp inserts?



Thanks!

Erin

brietta said...

I have an HE washer & hard water, and I use Charlie's. Sometimes we have stink problems (in the summer this wasn't so much an issue since I outdoor line-dried exclusively), and I can't tell you how many people have told me the problem is Charlie's or the washer and that I'll never get it resolved until I change those things. I really love my washer and I absolutely love Charlie's-- our clothes have never been cleaner and softer before! So it's good to hear a vote of confidence in that.

Per your example, I've started bleaching the inserts every once in a while to combat the stink/bacteria. It totally makes them smell so fresh again, but I do find that there is a slight ammonia smell when they're pee'd on that I didn't use to notice. Am I using too much bleach? (I try to use just a smidgen-- and only every week or two.)

Also, my washer has a Whitest Whites setting that allows me to set a prerinse and an extra rinse, but I've been doing a cold rinse and then I go and put it on Heavy Duty (which allows me to choose an additional rinse, as well). The reason for this is that I've heard with the Charlie's powder that I need to put it right in the washer (vs. the dispenser), which means it would get used with the rinse instead of the wash, right? Can you help clarify that I'm doing this right?

Anyway, thanks so much for all of this. It is SO ENCOURAGING.

brietta said...

Oh yes, I also wanted to ask about the need for Calgon in addition to Charlie's since we have hard water. I believe it was a Charlie's rep who told me that washing soda is the base for both Calgon and Charlie's, so using Calgon would be redundant. Is this true? Should I use Calgon anyway?

Kelly said...

I almost forgot to ask: From your experience, which works better for cloth diapers: Liquid or powder? Or is there little or no difference between the two? Just curious! Thanks!

Kelly said...

Great post and I love all the comments I don't have a HE washer but when we visit my brother-in-law they have one and I hve played around with different settigs there to be what I think is right. What ever I have used have always gotten my dipes clean.

I have also heard about using one detergent for all laundry and have used SA8 detergent by Amway without any problems.

I have always used vinegar every once in awhile in the rinse cycle to get rid of smells. Is that a disinfectant like bleach? I had always heard not to use bleach.

Matt, Sara and Kinsley :) said...

I have been waiting for this post!! My husband is an appliance salesman (thank you for supporting the local companies instead of the big box store in the end) and I am always searching for the best detergent to launder with for the cloth diapers. I currently am using Ecos HE. I have wanted to use Charlies, but after talking to my husband am very afraid about using powder. He says that most HE machines DO NOT recommend using powder detergents-they ruin the machine. Does Charlies have liquid?

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Kira,
If at all possible try to use just one detergent for all laundry even in a regular machine. The one detergent I would really recommend not using is the Dreft. This could leave some severe build-up on your diapers even if you are using it to wash baby's clothing.
Oxiclean works best on cloth diapers when used in hot water with no detergent. Regular bleach is more of a disinfectant though.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Kristine,
I would contact either Charlies Soap directly or Allens Naturally directly and see if they can ship a bulk package to you internationally. Many babies are super sensitive to Tide.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Katie,
I wash Riley's diapers and inserts all in the same load. I use a Knickernappies Hanging Doorknob Pail liner to store all the "dirties". About every 10 days or so I do a wash with only the inserts in bleach (small amount)

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Kelly,
I just wash all the diapers/inserts in hot water. (On he machines make sure not to set to the "sanitize" section as it will be too hot and can destroy the PUL).
For a top loader I would set you machine to a rinse cycle first and then set to a regular wash cycle.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi One Day in the LIfe of me,
Yes you can use bleach on the prefolds and on the inserts! I wouldn't do it with every wash but once a week or so.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Brietta,
I usually recommend about a 1/4 cup per load is fine.
For the charlies powder I always put it in the dispenser and everything works a-ok!

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Kelly,
I personally always found that powder cleans better for us and it is usually cheaper.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Kelly-
I know that bleach is a no-no with diapers. I know I have mentioned bleach a lot in the comments- just want you to know I don't use bleach with reckless abandon (he he). Just use it sparingly and only use it on inserts or prefolds. Never use it on pockets,aios, fitteds, etc.
Vinegar is a great product however you do need to be somewhat careful if you have hard water.
Serena- if you can chime in about vinegar that would be great- I honestly don't use it.

Kelly Wels said...

Hi Matt, Sara,& Kingsley-
Yes, buying local was SO much better.
Yes, Charlies does have a liquid form.
I have actually talked with Taylor who is part-owner of Charlies and the powder is extremely safe for he machines. It is definately not like the chemical compostion of typical grocery store brand detergents.

Ira said...

A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to do diapers is to make a homemade liquid from soapberries which grow on the Chinaberry tree and have been used for thousands of years. They work very effectively.

Serena said...

Sorry ladies!

I've been super busy the last few days and I'm currently playing catch-up!

Kelly: If you do not have your washing machine's manual - try going online to find the instructions. My machine does have a pre-soak option - however I can also do it manually by starting a regular cycle - letting it agitate for a few minutes then pulling the knob to stop the machine and allow the items to soak. When I'm ready to start the wash again I turn the knob until I get to the drain/spin section of the wash cycle - which isn't labeled on the dial but usually easy to figure out where. As for the hot water - I recall reading that it shouldn't be higher than 120 degrees. Your water heater (which is usually in the garage near the washing machine) will have a dial/knob on it and it will be pointing to either very hot, hot, etc... but this will not provide an exact temperature. Your best bet is to use an instant read thermometer (or a good old fashioned thermometer will work too) to determine the temperature of your hot water.

If the water is too hot - it can/will damage the PUL.

Serena said...

BRIETTA: Calgon comes in two forms: liquid and powder. The most readily available form of Calgon is the liquid (unfortunately it's also the most expensive). The liquid Calgon, as far as I know, does not have washing soda (sodium carbonate) as the base... it's actually polycarboxylates. The powdered form, however, does include washing soda (sodium carbonate) but it is not the only ingredient.

Washing soda is a precipitating water softener - which means it does soften the water but doesn't suspend the dirty residue and minerals in the water until they're ready to be rinsed - meaning the stuff MAY be redeposited/not thoroughly rinsed away. You really want to use a non-precipitating water softener because this not only softens the water but also keeps the residue/minerals suspended in the water until it's drained/rinsed.

I hope this helps clarify a couple things!

Serena said...

Kelly: Detergents whether liquid or powdered typically work equally.

I, personally, prefer the powdered detergents because liquid detergents utilize additional (and unnecessary) solutions to suspend the detergent in the liquid. Liquid detergents aren't harmful or anything - but I just prefer the powdered stuff.

Serena said...

Kelly #2: =)

Vinegar can be used as a disinfectant - but requires a large quantity (usually 1 cup or more) and for items with PUL this is NOT recommended.

It's also important to note that vinegar is very acidic, which is why it is capable of disinfecting - therefore leaving your diapers in vinegar for too long can cause excessive wear. So, when using vinegar with diapers it's best to stick with 1/4 or less as a rinse aid versus a disinfectant.

Serena said...

Oxyclean (or other oxygen based products):

Do they disinfect? Some say yes and some say no; both answers are right. It does disinfect but NOT the same way bleach does.

Oxyclean and similar products are made from a form of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is used to clean/disinfect; hence the handy little bottle we keep in the medicine cabinet/first aid kit. Although it's not the exact same formula - they are similar. However, it doesn't disinfect ALL things the same way bleach does.

Once the formula is dissolved in water it begins to react with the oxygen in the water to fight/lift ORGANIC stains/compounds from the clothes.

Also important to note: Oxyclean MUST be dissolved in very warm/hot water initially, to be most effective. So, when you add it to your machine - start the wash on hot - add it, wait for it to dissolve- then switch to your desired temperature setting (this actually applies for all powdered detergents/additives).

Of course the process for doing this in an HE machine may be different (you may want to dissolve it first in a separate bottle/container and then add it to your machine - Kelly will be best at letting you know how to use it in your HE machines)

brietta said...

Serena:

YES, that does clarify for me.

So I'm assuming I should buy some of the liquid? And how much should I use, and how often? (I have an HE washer.)

Jennifer Swanson said...

This is hilarious. Our top-loading washing machine broke down last month, same thing--in the middle of a load of diapers! Yuck! (And this was just a few days before baby #4 was born.) We bought an HE not having a clue that it would affect our diaper washing strategy, but now we have water-repellent wipes (and dipes certainly will be next). Thanks for the info...I'm stripping everything and switching detergents. Thanks again!

coconuts said...

I have an HE machine. My issue is it leaves a musky smell on the diapers. Nothing on clothes just my cloth diapers?????

Serena said...

coconuts: What detergent are you currently using? Usually, any lingering odor is a sign the diapers just aren't clean. What process are you using for laundering?

Typically, what I've personally discovered works best for laundering with a front loader is to use the following process:

1 short cycle cold water wash
1 heavy duty cycle hot water wash
1 additional rinse (warm water if possible)

I personally use 2 T of baking soda and 1 T of OxiClean in the cold water wash - this helps to neutralize the acid and fight stains... but some manufacturers don't recommend using baking soda - so just be aware of that.

For the hot water wash I use 1 scant T of Country Save and 1/4 of a cap of Calgon Water Softener.

I follow up with a warm rinse and a scant 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse (again, some manufacturers don't recommend this).

This does wonders for me. =)

San I Dave I Lucy said...

Hello. Just wondering. If I should only use bleach to disinfect the inserts, what should I use to disinfect the covers (like Fuzzi Bunz or Bum Genius AOI)?

My dd was getting a diaper rash and someone at Charlies suggested using one TBS of bleach with Charlies during the coldwash to be sure that all of the bacteria is killed. Follow up with a hot wash with Charlies and then an extra rinse. He didn't think that 1 TBS would harm the dipes. Any thoughts?

Cloth Diaperer Extraordinaire said...

San I Dave I Lucy: We do recommend bleaching the inserts regularly (as needed) - however we do not recommend bleaching the diaper covers/shells themselves. Usually any bacteria is hanging out in the inserts and not so much on the cover/shell. Therefore, hanging the covers outside to dry in the sun will kill the bacteria on your covers safely (and technically it doesn't have to be a sunny day - it will work on cloudy overcast days too).

bumGenius is the only brand that does permit the intermittent use of bleach (usually 1/4 cup or less) but we personally do not recommend using it on any products containing PUL (the waterproofing material used to make pocket diapers, all-in-one's, etc...) as bleach will break down the material.

I hope this helps!

Jess said...

Hi!! So glad I found this! Just started CDing and after 2 weeks am noticing that I can't get the detergent rinsed out no matter how many rinses. There are always suds on my covers. So, after the 3rd rinse I usually end up taking out my covers and rinsing my inserts once more separately while rinsing my covers in the bathtub.
I have a TOP loading HE washer...
I do a cold/cold rinsw, followed by a hot/cold wash using 1/4 the recommended amount of All Free and Clear Small & Mighty Military (brightener free).
Scared of the Charlie's rashes and the price to risk it... Have heard from many that Tide works fine. We are using a different soap (Arm & Hammer Free & Clear) on our clothes so I guess I will just switch to one.
Any advice on my suds problem??? Thank you!!!