Tag Archives: Hard Water

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Hard Water Heartache

I’ve had to put most of my original cloth diaper stash to rest. Or at least it’s temporarily retired until we figure out how to resolve our hard water issues. Stinky like sulphur and loaded with minerals and sediment that eat away at our sink and tub fixtures, I should have anticipated that our water would present some challenges with cloth diapers. We also have an HE frontloader which is wonderful at conserving water but never truly rinses our diapers clean. Though we’ve experimented with every wash cycle and detergent imaginable and have tried various water softeners in the wash water, the ammonia stinkies keep coming back. Every time I think I’ve finally come up with THE cycle, the odor returns and my son’s diaper zone becomes red and irritated again. So, sadly, the following diapers–that have been the biggest offenders–will be resting in peace: 14 Kawaii Pockets 3 Happy Heinys Pockets 3 bumGenius 4.0s (2 Snaps; 1 Hook & Loop) 1 Rumparooz The common denominator is that they all have microfiber inserts and fleece or microsuede lining. We have loved using all of these diapers–especially the Kawaiis and Happy Heinys which fit our generously sized baby so well—but even the pocket linings themselves have absorbed and retained the stink. What we’re using now: 5 Kawaii Bamboo Pockets w/10 Bamboo Inserts (these diapers are the only survivors from the original …

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Hard Water Heartache

I started cloth diapering my daughter when she was about six weeks old. My husband and I researched, and I talked to a friend of mine that I knew was using cloth diapers. We decided on BumGenius 4.0’s and ordered twelve of them. After two days I knew that I loved them and ordered a ton more diapers. This time I decided to get a variety. I suddenly wanted to try every single diaper out there. Things were going along great for about four weeks, then one day I pulled my diapers out of the drier and they smelled funny. I just thought maybe I put too many diapers in the wash. After about a week they kept getting worse. That’s when I started Googling. What was going on with my diapers? I tried a bunch of different detergents. The top of my drier looks like the laundry aisle at the grocery store. There are six different types of detergent; all half used sadly sitting there. People were talking about hard water and how that can interfere with your diapers getting clean. On top of that my brand new high efficiency washing machine probably wasn’t putting enough water in the machine to get the diapers clean enough. I was on a mission to figure this laundry thing out though. I was not going back to disposables. I called the water …

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Attack of The Great White Crusty

You know your water is special when Kim, from Rockin’ Green, says, “Wow.” Let me start by saying that I already suspected we had very hard water . Water hardness is a measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium in your water – that’s the (usually) white crusties that collect on the side of the pot if you start the pot of water boiling for dinner but get distracted by Thing 1 pinching Thing 2 because Thing 2 looked at Thing 1, “Like this, mom, and it made me feel so mad!”. If this sounds familiar (the white ring around the dishes, not the whiny Things – I can’t help you there), you probably have hard water. If you’ve seen The Great White Crusty in your pans, coffee pot, and on your faucets, you can rest oh-so-much better tonight knowing it’s also on/in your diapers. If you’re not sure if I’m being sarcastic, here’s a hint. The Great White Crusty (mineralization) does not increase the absorbency of your diapers. I called the city water department and found that while the water hardness in our city “depends on several different factors”, it’s roughly 600-800ppm (parts per million). For reference, anything over 200ppm is considered very hard. I was told that if I didn’t want to ruin the diapers (I had to admit this was my reason for calling before the …

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Living With Hard Water

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. …

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Could you have hard water?

Most moms I talk to are oftentimes discouraged from even considering cloth diapers because they are intimidated and overwhelmed by the mere thought of having to wash “dirty” diapers. My husband, too, shot down my initial suggestion of cloth diapering when I was pregnant with our first darling daughter because of his concerns with washing them. My initial thoughts when it came to laundering cloth diapers were, “What’s the big deal? I’m already doing laundry; what’s an extra load or two a week. It can’t possibly be too vexing; after all the machine is doing most of the work.” I personally LOVE doing laundry. However, in my early cloth diaper days I discovered a few challenges that almost had me throwing in the proverbial towel. I read many comments online about not having to rinse soiled diapers of exclusively breastfed (EBF) babies. Just throw the soiled diaper in the pail and it will all come out in the wash. How simple! Now imagine my dismay after the first load of diapers came out looking nearly the same way they went in. YUCK! I quickly figured out that I wouldn’t be able to get away with not rinsing the diapers before putting them in the pail. Thankfully I purchased the bumGenius Shop and Go Pak from Kelly’s Closet which included the nifty diaper sprayer making rinsing a cinch! This step along …

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