Tuesday, March 12, 2013

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Detergent Confessional

I have a confession to make. I don't use Rockin' Green. It's the premier detergent preferred by cloth diaperers everywhere. It's not that I don't want to use it. I do, and have in the past before, but it doesn't work for our family. It gave my daughter a terrible rash.

Cloth diapers are supposed to have decreased rash. Once I started using cloth diaper friendly detergent, we battled this ridiculous rash for months (seriously, like 5 months). I stripped, and stripped to no avail. I used tea tree oil. I bleached the inserts. I boiled the inserts. I sunned the diapers. We changed diet, used cloth-diaper friendly ointments, and even had prescription creams. Nothing helped. I was crying, literally, for answers. Were disposables my only option?

I stumbled upon the solution accidentally. I had a sample of Country Save detergent and decided to use it. I didn't notice a major change until I went back to the Rockin' Green. The rash got worse. Much worse! It dawned on me that when I was using regular soap (and got ammonia build up and stinky diapers) that we didn't have a rash. Maybe the detergent was the problem.

Rockin' Green is a great detergent and the testimonials of its effectiveness are littered throughout the internet, but I have a daughter with strange skin. She doesn't have eczema or anything out of the norm with her skin. But get this, she's also allergic to Aveeno products. It put little red bumps all over the places I rubbed lotion. Crazy! I mean, who can't use Aveeno?

The story ends without a diapering solution because my daughter was ready to potty train before I could figure out how to clean the diapers so they wouldn't hurt her skin. But now I'm using the diapers for baby number two. I don't want to take any chances that he might also have her skin sensitivities. So with this, I have had to experiment with a wash routine that gets the diapers clean but doesn't irritate my baby's skin.

Wash routines can't be over-taught because every situation is different and I think it is likely to change. You can't hear too much about options because once you think you've mastered cleaning, some problem comes up.

Here are the steps at our hard water, Arizona house:

1. Rinse and Spin cycle with half a capful of Calgon water softener.
2. Deep steam high efficiency wash setting with half a scoop of Country Save. I add the pre-wash, extra rinse, and extra spin option.
3. Every other wash, I use the regular wash setting with 1/4 cup BacOut to help with stains and smells.

I buy Country Save at Sprouts, Calgon at Walmart, and bought the BacOut off Amazon.

I want to try RLR and might include a packet or two in my next Kelly's Closet order because I hear it brings used diapers back to bright white and I would love to freshen up the batch for little brother.

Bio: Alicia is an 8th grade English and Drama teacher and is a pretty crunchy momma. She shares her Arizona home with a wonderful husband, energetic 3 year old, sweet 2 month old, 1 crazy dog, and 7 happy chickens.

8 comments:

Katie said...

We've had really good look with Planet powder detergent. Isla's been in cloth diapers for almost a year, and the only time we had problems was when we used Tide Free & Clear. The diapers smelled TERRIBLE and leaked constantly. I stripped them and went back to our old detergent, everything is amazing again. Finding the right detergent is critical to happy cloth diapering, and it seems to vary for everyone. :)

Carrie said...

Sorry you had to go through all that. How frustrating! I've only ever used Ruby Moon from the very beginning. It works, so why fix what isn't broken? I've never tried anything else.

Krissie said...

We have hard water as well, and sensitive skin in our house... I stumbled on an excellent solution.

We used to use Charlies, but were having some stink issues with it, then I tried EcoSprout and it did ok, but still I seemed to get stink issues. Then one weekend we went out of town to visit the in-laws, and I forgot to bring cloth detergent. We headed to walmart, the only place to go in this small town, and I picked up some All Free and Clear figuring that was the safest option.

Now it's all that we use on our diapers, we have no rash issues, it doesn't have SLSulfates which is typically the ingredient that causes rash issues, and it gets the diapers squeaky clean, no stink issues at all! I never have to strip and I don't have to do extra rinses or anything, it's fabulous, just a quick pre-rinse then a regular wash with All Free and Clear and then in the dryer. Plus it's SOOOOOO much cheaper than all the fancy CD detergents.

Hope you find something that works!

Anonymous said...

I used Charlie's Soap religiously for a year with no issues. Then we got the ammonia stickies that no amount of RLR, Calgon! Rockin Green could help. I boiled I soaked nothing worked. So I went to four tablespoons of original Tide powder. My diapers have never been cleaner and no ammonia or rashes. Shhhh don't tell.

Jessica Barber said...

Sounds like you could have a wheat sensitivity on your hands .... I have celiac and can't use any aveeno products .... Best of luck! Great suggestions here! We use eco sprout ..... And strip with rlr but can't say we have perfected the stink leak cycle but eco sprout is my fav after trying rockin, ecos, baking soda, etc :-)

Jessica Barber said...

Sounds like you could have a wheat sensitivity on your hands I have celiac and can not use aveeno products .... We use eco sprout to wash and rlr to strip but i cant say we have the stink leak issues TOTALLY perfected- tho I'm happy - and i have been thru rockin, ecos, baking soda, dawn, etc...... Best of luck! :-)

kristie said...

I just bought Nellie's laundry soap. Has anyone else used that kind? It was one of the recommended detergents on the Bumgenius website and I found it cheap at TJ Maxx.

Southern Homemaker said...

BacOut leaves my baby with terrible rashes! Chemical burn kind. It is VERY HARD to get it out and then when they wet the diaper it reactivates the enzymes. I had washed some of my momma cloth in it to try and get rid of some stains, and when they got moist on me I was about to crawl out of my skin! Horribly itchy and burning. So use caution with that and cloth diapers!