The Dirty on Cleaning Cloth Diapers

If you thought that cloth diapering could be confusing and complex, wait until you get into what detergents to use.  There are so many people who have differing opinions on which detergent is best.  Then it can depend on how hard or soft your water is.  You hear these horror stories about buildup from commercial detergents in diapers.  This buildup can cause rashes or gasp repelling.  You do not want your cloth diapers to repel because that would mean a puddle in your lap!  The basic premise is that soap containing detergents don’t rinse out cleanly and leave buildup which can eventually lead to these problems.  Some of the favorite detergents for cloth diapers are:  Charlie’s soap, Rockin’ Green, Allens and Country Save.  I will state here that a LOT of women use Tide original powder and have no problems at all.  A lot of women recommend trying Tide Powder first and if you have problems try other detergents.  I could not do that, I have minor OCD so couldn’t quit obsessing over the fact that commercial detergents “could” cause problems.  I looked at a chart rating the different types of detergents and started out using Purex free and clear or All free and clear.  Both of these were liquid detergents and after I bought them, I read that if you have to use a commercial detergent even the free and clear ones, try to get them in powder form.  You want to get them in powder form because that way they are missing the chemicals added to liquids to keep them in liquid form.  So then I started obsessing about the chemicals in the Free and clear detergent and didn’t want to use that with my diapers either.  I guess it is one thing for detergents to contain brighteners, chemicals and enzymes in our clothing that don’t wash out, but to have that stuff in diapers you pee on could be asking for a reaction!  So in my searching around, I ran across a bunch of women in the forum on one of the cloth diapering boards that make their own laundry detergent and cloth diaper detergent.  So I made my own cloth diaper detergent.  It contains one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda and one cup of Sun Oxygen Cleaner or Oxyclean Free.  I have been using this and the first two times I washed my diapers with it they smelled funky.  I believe the reason for this was due to the free and clear buildup in my diapers.  My diapers now smell clean and I haven’t had any problems.  Detergent Heaven…Until I started researching again. 

I had a person post that there was no surfactants in that recipe so the diapers couldn’t be getting clean.  I needed a natural alternative to the surfactants that didn’t rinse out cleanly!  I have since found soap nuts and have ordered a bag.  I have heard great things.  I will just throw 2 of the nuts in the muslin bag they come with and toss them in the washer with my home-made detergent!  I will post an update once I see how the soap nuts do!  I am so excited about making my own cloth diaper detergent!!!  Once we are out of all the pounds and pounds of laundry detergent we have in our laundry room, I will probably try to make a slightly different recipe for our laundry detergent!  Why is this stuff so fun?!


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