When my family and I moved this past fall, we not only left behind our first home, but our water softener as well. The first week or so that we were living in our new place (a rental – so we can’t add a softener), I noticed my hair wasn’t getting as clean as it used to. Even after washing it, it was feeling rather greasy and not so clean. It donned on me that we must have hard water and I wasn’t using enough shampoo to get it clean. As I began to think about it, I realized if my hair wasn’t getting clean using the amount of soap I was accustomed to using, then my diapers probably weren’t getting clean either. I had noticed they were beginning to smell a bit when I put them up to my nose; but just chalked that up to needing to soak the inserts in Bac-Out overnight to kill any lingering bacteria. (NOTE: I never use Bac-Out on my pockets – only my microfiber inserts.) I knew that using Bac-Out on the inserts would solve the stinky problem at hand, but would not address the hard water problem, so I began looking for other solutions.
I knew I needed to begin using more detergent at fluff wash time, but I also needed to restore my diapers to a clean, fresh smelling state. I started using 3-4 tbs of Rockin’ Green with each load of diapers, but didn’t like the idea of having to use so much detergent when I was used to using only 1 tablespoon. After doing a little research on washing diapers in hard water I noticed on the flyer from a recent Kelly’s Closet order that they recommend using Calgon water softener. I also read Calgon, when used alone (no detergent), can be used to strip diapers (just wash your diapers 3-4 times in hot water with Calgon only). I figured this was a relatively easy, fool-proof way to strip my diapers, so I headed out to the store to buy some Calgon.
I searched high and low for the Calgon water softener in the laundry aisle, and it wasn’t until my second trip to the store a week later that I finally found it. I picked up a bottle and got to work stripping my diapers a few days later. I have a rather large stash of diapers, so I broke it down into three smaller more manageable loads. I wanted to make sure my washing machine wasn’t overloaded, and drying too many diapers at once just takes too long. Since I wasn’t sure if I needed to dry the diapers between loads I just washed the diapers at the same time as other laundry so I could alternate the washer and dryer without feeling like I was wasting time. I used a capful of Calgon with an extra large hot wash, followed by an additional cold rinse, dried the diapers on medium heat and repeated the process three times. (If it hadn’t been raining, I probably would have put them on the line to dry and get some sun for the final drying.) I was pleasantly surprised when my diapers came out of the dryer for the last time smelling fresh.
It’s been a week since I stripped my diaper stash and I’ve finally got things back under control (hopefully). I am now washing my diapers every 2-3 days; I start with a cold water wash without detergent, followed by a hot water wash using 1 cap full of Calgon and 2 tbs of Rockin’ Green, and 1 additional rinse. Although I think I’ve got this hard water fluff wash under control, I can’t wait to get a water softener again once we buy a house here. Why would anyone want to live with hard water when you don’t have to?!?
By Katrina W.